The Pima Animal Care Center on Silverbell Road hit a major milestone last week by reaching 12,000 animal "saves" for this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Shelter officials reached their goal when Tucson newlyweds Robert and Rachel Jentoft adopted Samurai — Sam for short — a 2-year-old Siberian Husky.

Sam's owners had just relinquished him after foreclosing on their home.

An animal "save" means adoption, rescue or released back to the pet's owner. Last year the county had 11,364 saves.

The Jentofts, both 26, received a round of applause and a gift basket filled with treats and toys before they left as a happy trio with Sam. The couple was already talking about buying a kiddie pool for the back yard.

Pima Animal Care Center Manager Kim Janes said he was thrilled to reach the goal, but wished every single adoption could have been celebrated to the same degree.

"The first adoption of the year, and every one after that, was no less significant. We appreciate every single person and every single rescue partner who has helped us save a life this year," Janes said.

"And while we’re grateful to have reached our goal, I don’t see why we should stop there! We have plenty more animals like Sam that are looking for loving families."

Adoption fees for the rest of June are $12 for dogs. Cats over the age of four months are free.

One other piece of good news from the local shelter, which certainly sees its share of sadness: Della the cattle dog, who I wrote about earlier this month, was adopted June 19. Another success story!