No Rhyme or Reason: PACC’s 5 Longest Stay Dogs Need Forever Homes Today!

Story by: Rebecca West
Photographs by: Candice Eaton

Oftentimes, when it comes to shelter dogs, there is no rhyme or reason as to why some seem to get adopted relatively quickly, as opposed to others who can languish for months and even years before finding homes. It’s a riddle rescues have been puzzling over with no clear answers as yet.

Many animals do not cope well in a shelter or kennel environment and, in turn, may appear shut down or aloof to visitors looking to adopt. When this happens, potential forever families can’t see the true nature of the canine and all its potential. Others are just so excited at the prospect of someone to love they spaz out during introductions and can come across as too high-strung to consider. Some appear on an even keel with still no luck.

One thing all adopters should be aware of is that most animals will need at least a week to behave like their real selves after a decompression period. This could mean they are higher energy than first exhibited or the complete opposite. It helps when you can gather some insight from their day-to-day handlers on the inside before taking the plunge.

That’s what we set about doing for the five wonderful doggos highlighted here that represent some of PACC’s longest-stay canines that we have made our mission to see adopted in 2024. While there are dogs up for adoption at PACC that have technically been admitted before these five, those pups have had the benefit of stints in foster care, allowing them long stretches outside the shelter itself.

We’re hoping our readers will share these animals’ stories with friends, family, and acquaintances who might be looking for a furry friend of their own. To help persuade folks that now is as good a time as any to adopt, we’ve reached out to product and service providers in the area to donate their time, items, or talents to adopters to help sweeten the deal if they are adopted within the next four months. We’ve listed the perks at the bottom of the page, but they include free training sessions for interested parties.




Kennel #D011


Neutered male Pit Bull Terrier

Weight: Approximately 57.00 lbs.

Age: About 1.11 years old

Daruk is a handsome, athletic dog who was rescued after getting caught in a fence. While he appreciated being brought to safety, truth be told, shelter life isn’t for him. He’s ready to pack his tennis balls and chew bones, and move into his forever home today.

Daruk’s an affectionate boy who sometimes thinks he’s lap-dog-sized and wants to squeeze in for some scritches, so make room! When meeting other dogs in the playgroup, he is social and tolerant. He can be a bit dog-selective, so he’d like to meet any resident dogs before heading home to ensure it’s a good fit — and humbly requests that you have plenty of string cheese on hand!


Volunteer input:

“I’ve been walking Daruk 2-3 times a week, and he’s doing great. He’s always waiting eagerly at his kennel door to go out but is calm and easy to leash. He exits his kennel smoothly and is great out on his walk. He’s athletic and strong but not a major puller. He’s one of my favorite dogs to walk!”

“Daruk enjoys treats, especially string cheese. He’s a fun boy who’s working on cues. He is very focused and also gives great puppy kisses. He is very sweet and a real pleasure to walk.”

“Today, I took Daruk for a walk. Walking loose leash, Daruk sat when asked, accepted treats gently, and sat calmly while I gave him head and ear scritches.”




Kennel #D196


Neutered male Pit Bull Terrier mix

Weight: Approximately 65.00 lbs.

Age: About 1.10 years old

Blaze is another sweet boy who is not cut out for shelter life. He’s looking for a family who will help him continue to build his growing confidence and be patient with him as he adjusts to a new environment. He’d like to meet all members of the family before heading home. When meeting other dogs in playgroup, Blaze is playful but can be a bit of a bulldozer, so an introduction with any resident dogs is recommended.

In the shelter, he can come off as a bit reserved, but in a home environment he’s a completely different pup, full of love and kisses. During walks, he can pull on his leash initially but settles down quickly. He’s very playful and energetic and likes to chases lizards and play fetch with tennis balls. Due to his higher prey drive, he may not be well-suited to cats.


Volunteer input:

“I learned something new about Blaze: he likes to cuddle! Like all his usual walks, he was busy sniffing all the good smells. When I squatted down to pet him, he stopped what he was doing immediately and leaned against me. I massaged his ears, chest, and butt. I always knew he was sweet, and now he’s officially a cuddler!”

“Blaze is a sweet guy who’s easy to leash. Once away from the noisy kennels, he really relaxed. We went into the play yard, and once I sat down, Blaze immediately came over and rubbed his side against my legs for pets. He was really happy to get affection and seems like a sensitive guy. Very endearing personality and easy to bring back to his kennel.”




Kennel #D053


Neutered male Pit Bull Terrier mix

Weight: Approximately 62.50 lbs.

Age: About 5 years old

This handsome boy was found as a stray but kept popping up at the same home, looking for food and shelter. He’s smart enough to ask for help when he needs it! Looking for a slower-paced lifestyle, he loves his daily walks, taking time to smell all the good smells and check out the sights. Bing isn’t about life in the fast lane.

When initially meeting other dogs in playgroup, Bing mainly kept to himself, so he’d like to meet any resident dogs before heading home to ensure it’s a good fit. Bing is more interested in people than other dogs. He enjoys off-site day trips and is comfortable and friendly, but doesn’t go overboard when meeting people. In fact, he’s very gentle and sweet, rolling at his own slower pace.


Volunteer input:

“I’ve walked Bing since he’s been at PACC, and he’s really come around. Bing was head-shy when he first came in, but the last time I had him out, we stopped for a bit, and he allowed me to pet all over his head and even nestled up against me. He’s a very stoic guy, so I was so happy to see him both want and give affection. He walks well and likes to stop and smell quite a bit. I’m very fond of this guy and hopeful that his home is out there.”

“I walk past Bing’s kennel every day, and he barks at me for attention. I toss treats, and he can catch them in the air. I work on ‘Bark-Shush’ but mostly the ‘Shush’ part. When he barks, I let him sniff the treat. When he stops barking, I say ‘yes’ and give him the treat, and each day he is barking much less. He’s a smart boy who learns quickly!”




Kennel #D036


Spayed female Pit Bull Terrier mix

Weight: Approximately 49.00 lbs.

Age: About 1.9 years old

Blanca is an incredible girl who arrived at PACC as a very skinny stray in need of feeding. She’s definitely appreciating the regular meals she’s getting now and has adjusted to the daily routine of shelter life. Blanca shares her kennel with another PACC pup, Oreo, and is overall tolerant when meeting other dogs in playgroup. She can be a bit shy but turns to handlers for reassurance and has built up her confidence.

In fact, she now assists in evaluations for incoming dogs and is considered a valuable helper dog who assists the handlers in determining where the incomers stand regarding temperament and confidence. She’d also like to meet any resident dogs before heading home to ensure a good fit. Blanca’s looking for a home with a secure yard and a family committed to keeping her safe.


Volunteer input:

“Blanca is an energetic, happy puppy. She jumps for joy when I approach her kennel, but with a few tossed treats, she settles with all four paws on the floor. She loves exploring all the interesting sights and smells, checking in regularly with good eye contact. She loves treats and will go into a solid ‘sit’ when she decides she needs a little snack. With a wagging tail and huge smile, it’s very hard to say no. She takes treats gently, and once satisfied, she is ready and eager to continue our explorations.

“She is quite comfortable with touch, and I get a good tail wag when I call her a good girl. She was initially somewhat reactive to other dogs (some leash pulling), but that seems to have passed and is now responsive to verbal cues (‘leave it’). Blanca is an intelligent young pup who would do great with an experienced partner who can guide her with some simple training. She will make a joyful companion for some lucky adopter.”



Kennel #D036


Neutered male Pit Bull Terrier

Weight: Approximately 66.75 lbs.

Age: About 2.8 years old

Oreo came to PACC with an injury and spent some time in the clinic. When he first moved to the main shelter floor, he was a bit shell-shocked by the noise and all the hustle and bustle, but he gradually figured out the routine. An active fellow, if you’re looking for a pal to join you on your explorations and adventures, Oreo’s your guy!


Volunteer input:

“Oreo was quite stressed when he arrived, but he’s mellowed into a wonderful walking companion. He is often up on the gate when I pass by but immediately drops with a solid four-on-the-floor when I move to open the door. He is calm as I enter and leashes easily. Once outside, he sets a quick pace in his explorations. He checks in regularly with good eye contact and will wait patiently for a treat (gentle mouth). On return, Oreo enters his kennel without any fuss, and unleashing is easy. He still needs some polish on his leash manners but is otherwise a fine dog who loves exploring.”

“I met Oreo when he was first released from the clinic, and he had quite a few wounds and scars. Despite his injured appearance, I found him to be a delightful companion easy to spend time with. He’s not that interested in other dogs when out walking, but he does enjoy exploring and seems to have a high prey drive for little critters (lizards, rodents, birds), so he’d do best in a home without small pets. He’s a great little dude with a happy, adventurous outlook. Bet he’d love some couch time, too!”



If you’re interested in adopting any of these lovely puppers, email pacc.adopt@pima.gov for any questions regarding the adoption process. If you believe one of these animals is your lost pet, visit PACC during regular business hours to reclaim them or email pacclostandfound@pima.gov.

If the animals are *successfully adopted by April 30, 2024, they are eligible to receive products and services from the following:

  • The Complete Canine Training Center
  • Capturing EveryBuddy Pet Photography
  • Dogs-n-Donuts
  • The Packs Snacks
  • Bella’s Gelato
  • Sol Dog Lodge
  • Gaia Provides
  • Luna Scrub CBD products
  • GreytEscape
  • Stardog Style
  • Animal Soul Connection
  • Camp Bow Wow
  • BarkBox
  • My Spirits Journey Pet Reiki



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