Pima County Photo provided by Pima County Animal Care Center
Fourteeen dogs were surrendered to Pima Animal Care after the owners were evicted from their home. Before they were brought into the facility, they were tested for parvo, which came back negative.

Plus two other stories impacting Southern Arizona.

The Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) announced Thursday that it’s teaming up with the Pima County Health Department, Pima Council on Aging and other community organizations to address hoarding cases and instances involving households becoming overwhelmed with too many pets.

According to a press release, PACC Animal Protection Officers have responded to seven cases this year where pet owners had 10 or more animals in a home. In 2018 and 2019, the shelter saw 36 and 37 hoarding cases.

Kristen Hassen, director of Animal services, said, “In most cases, pet owners start out with the best of intentions. They begin acquiring pets, but at some point they reach a tipping point, either because the pets aren’t sterilized or continue to breed, or because they keep getting more and more animals.”

The release points out that hoarding is not defined by the number of animals a person has, but whether or not the household can provide for an animals’ basic needs. The problem is magnified when pet owners deny they have reached their pet capacity, and continue to collect animals after reaching that point.

PACC’s Community Program Manager Bennett Simonsen said without help the recidivism rate is almost 100%.

“These pets are very important to the folks in these situations,” Simonsen said. “When you remove these pets all at once or don’t connect the owner with the resources for themselves, you do nothing to address the root of the problem.”

The task force plans to meet at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 25 in the Community Room at Pima Animal Care Center, and a second meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 26 at Abrams Public Health Center.

PACC officials stated if individuals have a concern about the number of pets they have, they can call the Pet Support line at 724-PACC to ask about resources available to them.

People who would like to donate to the Hoarding Task Force or the Pet Support Center can make a donation to PACC’s official nonprofit partner, Friends of Pima Animal Care Center.

Hiker Finds Remains of Missing Southern Arizona Woman with Down Syndrome 

Sarah Galloway|Photo provided by Pima County Sheriff’s Office

On Thursday, news of 38-year-old Sarah Galloway rocked Arizona media waves. The Picture Rocks resident with Down Syndrome went missing in March 2019. A hiker found Sarah’s remains on Wednesday, about a mile from her home where she was last seen. The site was also a short distance from The Wagon Wheel, a convenience store where search volunteers would meet almost every day during their two–month search for Galloway, according to KOLD News 13.

The Pima County Sheriff’s Office said the cause of death has yet to be determined. 

Sherry Galloway, Sarah’s mother, told KOLD that the last year has tested her faith, and she’s feeling many emotions since learning her daughter’s remains were found Wednesday.

“I’m feeling a lot of emotions, a lot of anger,” Sherry said to the local news source. “I feel in a case like this there’s never, ever going to be any closure.”

The Sheriff’s Office stated that Sarah functioned at the level of an 8-year-old, and more than a dozen organizations assisted in the search efforts.

Anyone with information is asked to call 9-1-1. Anonymous tips, with the potential for a reward, can be submitted by text, phone, or by going to 88CRIME.org.

Mark Kelly Kicks Off Campaign With Video Ad And “Mission for Arizona” Field Offices

On Thursday, Mark Kelly released his first campaign ad for 2020 and announced the opening of his campaign’s first field offices in Tucson and Phoenix as part of his “Mission for Arizona” this Saturday. Dozens of volunteers and various local leaders, including Mayor Regina Romero, will be at the office opening events.

According to a press release, this is the “Arizona Democratic Party’s Statewide Coordinated Campaign to elect Mark Kelly and Democrats up and down the ballot.” At this time, Kelly is leading his opponent, Sen. Martha McSally, in polling by almost seven points.

“Mark will be speaking and encouraging Arizonans to get involved and volunteer,” said the release. “Also joining will be Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, Congressman Ruben Gallego, Congressman Raul Grijalva, and State Representative Amish Shah.”

As for his one-minute campaign video, Kelly gives more insight into who he is. He discusses how he didn’t always have a plan when he was younger, but had high expectations. He talks about his parents, who took pride in their law enforcement careers, and instilled the importance of public service. He also highlights his time flying a U.S. Navy jet and commanding  “the Space Shuttle twice.”

“My parents didn’t have a lot of extra money, but you could comfortably raise a family on a middle-class income, and it doesn’t work so well today,” Kelly says. 

He states his focus is ensuring every Arizonan has the necessary conditions and environment that will allow them to accomplish anything they want – as long as they’re willing to work hard for it.

And this Saturday, Kelly plans to discuss those plans for Arizona.

The Tucson field office opening will take place from 10 am. to 11 a.m. at Mission For Arizona Tucson Office, 3532 E. Grant Rd. Attendees will include Mayor Regina Romero, Congressman Raul Grijalva, and dozens of volunteers. The event is open to the public and residents in the Tucson area can sign up to attend the event here. 

From 2 p.m. – 3 p.m., Kelly will be in Phoenix for the second field office opening at Mission for Arizona Phoenix Field Office, 702 W. Camelback Rd., Ste. 7. Attendees will include Congressman Ruben Gallego, State Rep. Amish Shah, and dozens of volunteers. People in the Phoenix area wishing to attend the event can sign up here.