Beyond extremely urgent. Imagine those words next to a name - Matilda, Kermit, Chives - and a photo of an animal that wants only to be loved. Animals don't know those words mean their time is running out.

Imagine that and know the importance of the Pima Animal Care Center ensuring - as much as possible - that dogs and cats who are neglected, abandoned or lost are able to spend their lives in a caring household.

The county-run shelter recently reached its objective of 12,000 adoptions by July 1. In fact it reached it well before that date, blowing past its previous record of 11,364 adoptions last year at this time.

While that's reason to celebrate, the center sees about 28,000 animals a year, so it's still short of the dream goal of finding a home for every pet in the county.

Pima Animal Care is doing its part to encourage adoptions with reduced fees throughout July and a special bargain price for a couple of hours to celebrate the Independence Day Thursday.

You can do your part by adopting a pet through Pima Animal Care, the Humane Society of Southern Arizona or one of the other groups matching pets with loving homes.

As part of Pima County Animal Care's successful strategy to find homes for pets, the shelter holds adoption specials throughout the year. During July, adoptions of all dogs over 40 pounds and adult cats are $13. All other pets are $50, except between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Thursday, when all dogs and cats are available for $13.

Benefits of adopting from a shelter, according to the Humane Society of the United States, include:

• Saves a life. Unfortunately there isn't enough space in shelters, so sometimes animals have to be euthanized. You not only save the life of the adopted pet, it also opens up room for another animal to be rescued.

• Pets are healthy. Pets adopted from Pima Animal Care have all their vaccinations, are spayed or neutered and have microchip identification.

• It's inexpensive. The regular $50 fee is a fraction of what you would pay at a pet store.

• Avoids puppy mills. These factory-style dog-breeding facilities are harmful to dogs. Unfortunately, plenty of pets for sale come from these places.

The Pima Animal Care Center, 4000 N. Silverbell Road, is open noon-7 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Go to or call 243-5900.

Also, check out the pets for adoption in Thursday's Caliente.

Arizona Daily Star

keep your pets safe this FOURTH of july

The Fourth of July can be a stressful time for animals, especially for those frightened by loud noises. Here are some recommendations on how to keep your pet safe:

• If possible, keep your pets inside. Turn on the TV or music to dampen outside noise.

• Secure all gates, windows and fences.

• If your pet is outside, make sure it's on a leash or inside its carrier.

• Keep pets away from alcoholic beverages, fireworks, open fires and sparklers.

• From a microchip implant to just a phone number written on its collar, make sure your pet has some form of identification.

• If your pet does run away, call Pima Animal Care Center or the Humane Society of Southern Arizona at 327-6088.

Source: Pima Animal Care Center