Whiskey

Whiskey, a young male American Staffordshire Terrier, is one of about 40 dogs available for adoption currently at the Nancy J. Brua Animal Care Center, which is near capacity.

SIERRA VISTA — For the last two months, the Nancy J. Brua Animal Care Center has been overcrowded with dogs, and officials there feared they would have to euthanize some of the canines.

All 40 dog kennels were occupied, said kennel technician Coralee Knippel, and five additional canines had to be kept in the isolation area because there was no other place to put them.

“This is unusual for us to be this full,” Knippel said Wednesday. “Usually eight to 10 of the dog kennels are empty. We were afraid we would have to euthanize. We haven’t had to do that since 2015.”

But just as the situation was at its worst, officials with the Arizona Animal Welfare League in Phoenix stepped in earlier this week and took three dogs to help with the overcrowding conditions at the Center, Knippel said.

And while that helped alleviate the situation, it’s only temporary. Knippel said people usually surrender their pets to the center during the summer months — especially this year.

A lot of them are military personnel from the base, Knippel said.

“Many of them (military) leave in the summer and sometimes they’re stationed somewhere where they can’t take their dogs,” Knippel said. “A lot of (other) people are moving and they surrender their pets. Also, some people are going on vacation and are surrendering their pets.”

Also, the center is not a no-kill shelter, Knippel said.

“We are a low-kill shelter,” she said. That means animals are only euthanized if they are very ill or have a serious behavioral issue.

“But we haven’t had to euthanize for overcrowding,” Knippel said. “People are coming to adopt.”

Knippel said dogs and cats can also be fostered for 30 days. If the foster parent wants to keep the animal permanently, they can adopt.

The overcrowding also has prompted center officials to lower adoption fees for both dogs and cats, said Knippel and center director Arlene Garcia.

Dog adoption fees are $50 and cat adoption fees are $25 until July 31. The fee includes spaying or neutering, microchipping, registration for the microchip, a rabies shot, a veterinarian check up and a one-year city license, Knippel said.

Sierra Vista resident Robert Pourier took advantage of that on July 9 when he adopted a black Labrador mix that he and his wife named Livvy. Pourier said one of his dogs recently passed away and his other dog was lonely.

“Livvy comes from a hording situation,” Pourier said as he showed off a picture of the 4-year-old canine. “They’re (Livvy and his other dog Novi) are getting along fine.”

Anyone interested in adopting a dog or cat from the Nancy J. Brua Animal Care Center should call 520-458-4151, or stop by the facility, 6799 E. Highway 90 in Sierra Vista. the Center is open Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.

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