Since 2018, I have been coming home to my best friend, Jersey. Like plenty of other animals, Jersey was discriminated against during the adoption process for having a positive Feline Leukemia Virus diagnosis. Originally, when I viewed his profile, I was uneducated on the virus and what it meant. I saw his profile for months as I was looking for hypoallergenic cats to adopt. On Mother's Day of 2018, I asked my mother if we could stop by PACC quickly for a visitation, just to see if this Himalayan cat truly caused less of an allergic reaction in humans. I had no intention on adopting him, or any animal for three more months, as I was still in the college dorms for a summer job. I spoke with the representative, he described that Jersey had been rescued from Puerto Rico and displaced during Hurricane Maria. This is most likely how he was infected with FeLV. I asked to hold Jersey, who was named Laredo at the time, to test my reaction and the moment he was in my arms, he began to nuzzle into my neck and held onto my shoulders. I didn't even have to ask my mother, she told me she knew he was my cat. She cared for him during the duration of my stay in the dorms. When educating myself on FeLV prior to the visit, and speaking with the representative at the PACC shelter, I learned that it doesn't automatically mean their life will be shorter, though positive FeLV cats are predisposed for cancer in the future and cannot be around any other cats (other animals like dogs are fine). From the moment I signed the adoption papers, it doesn't matter whether Jersey is here for 3 years or 20 years, he will always be my buddy.
I will be riding in the 2021 Banner-University Medicine El Tour de Tucson for Friends of PACC. If you have ever adopted a friend for life, please support my ride by making a donation.
Update, November 6th, 2021:
Training for this ride, I went out for a 30 mile ride on October 30th and ended up doing the full 57 miles. This was a huge accomplishment as I was able to complete the Tucson Chuck Huckleberry Loop for the first time and even went a litte further to meet that 57 mile goal. Now I know I can at least complete the ride on the 20th. Today, I did attempt, limit, and succeed in riding 30 miles as I would like to keep myself limber and ready, but not exhausted on race day. Thank you to all who have supported me and the animals so far, this is a great organization and I couldn't be more excited to have the opportunity to raise some extra funds.
Friends of Pima Animal Care Center
Friends of Pima Animal Care Center (PACC's Official 501(c)(3)) invites you to ride with the PACC in the 39th El Tour de Tucson, Saturday, November 19th, 2022!
The Ride with the PACC team is passionate about cycling, pets, and our community. This year, Friends of PACC is the only non-profit serving cats and dogs in our community. Your ride can make a dramatic and focused impact on the lives of truly vulnerable pets.
Pima Animal Care Center is the only open-admission shelter in the 9,000+ square miles of Pima County and never turns away a pet in crisis. In FY 20/21, PACC took in 14,676 pets, including 7,860 lost animals and 4,861 pets surrendered by their owners. PACC takes in and provides individualized care as needed to every stray dog, pets with medical or behavioral needs, and pets whose owners are in crisis. Ninety-two percent of the animals left the shelter through adoption, reunification with their owner, or rescue placement. During the COVID pandemic, staff worked tirelessly with the community to keep animals in their homes and neighborhoods. Our community responded overwhelmingly by holding on to healthy and friendly stray animals to help get more pets reunited with their families.
Those are some big numbers—we know—but every pet at PACC is treated as an individual. We hope you will consider joining us for this incredible local event and be a part of a team that has fun all year long! In addition to fundraising and riding in the El Tour de Tucson itself, riders can volunteer to help organize and promote the team, join and/or lead group training rides for all abilities.
Friends of PACC is the official nonprofit partner to Pima Animal Care Center. Our mission is to support the shelter and enhance its efforts to save lives. Donations ensure that every abandoned, neglected, and abused pet in need gets the chance to find a loving home. In 2019 PACC took in over 18,400 pets and had a save rate of 91%.