Making a difference for dogs at the shelter

Laurel Parrott and Joy Wegner

This is a story about how regular people can make a huge difference for a great cause.

Last spring, SaddleBrooke residents Bud and Joy Wegner learned that dogs at the Pinal County Animal Care and Control (PCACC) Shelter near Casa Grande had to sleep and rest on the hard, cold and sometimes damp concrete floors of their kennels while waiting to be adopted. “We visited the Pinal Shelter in the spring of 2018,” said Bud, “and saw that the majority of dogs there were sleeping every night on a cold concrete floor. At that point, our hearts saddened and we knew we had to do something!”

The Wegners initiated a fundraising project to raise money for elevated beds for the shelter. The contributions totaled over $4,000. After much research, Bud designed a low-cost bed and, as a result, 158 beds were made by volunteers and distributed to many local shelters in southern Arizona. Of these, 68 beds were supplied to the Pinal Animal Care and Control (PCACC) Shelter and ten to the City of Casa Grande Animal Shelter.

By custom-building a frame from PVC pipe and securing a mesh cover onto the frame with screws, the beds fit the criteria for durable, raised beds that can be hosed down, are as chew-proof as possible and are relatively compact. Additionally, as the beds experience wear and tear at the shelter, parts can readily be replaced, thus extending the life and usefulness of the beds.

So far so good, but now the project is moving into the “maintain and repair” phase. PCACC needs volunteers willing to help maintain these beds. The Wegners will help with this effort, but are looking for individuals from communities closer to these shelters.

The most likely component to be damaged is the cover, which can be replaced by removing screws, removing the damaged cover and stretching a new cover while securing with screws. Volunteers are needed to raise funds for replacement covers and/or help make future needed repairs. Anyone interested in helping extend this project can contact the Wegners at 619-971-4225 or send an email to joy.wegner@gmail.com.

This is a particularly stressful and crowded time at the shelter. If you’d like to volunteer in any capacity, you can find more opportunities by calling the shelter at 520-509-3555. PCACC is located at 1150 S. Eleven Mile Corner Road, a mere ten-minute drive from Robson Ranch. Their website is www.pinalcountyaz.gov/AnimalControl/Pages/Home.aspx.