TUCSON, Ariz. - Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) was awarded over half a million dollars in an effort to improve foster care for pets.

Maddie's Fund -- a family foundation dedicated to improving the life of companion animals -- awarded the three-year $573,536 grant to PACC as part of its “A Foster Home for Every Pet” project.

The plan is to launch a large-scale, "first-of-its-kind" foster initiative to get pets out of shelters quicker. The foundation wants it to be a "model program for other U.S. shelters to follow," according to a release.

“This is a game changing project for shelter pets,” Dr. Sheila D’Arpino, director of research at Maddie’s Fund, said in a release.

Most foster programs at shelters like PACC, according to Maddie's Fund, traditionally focus on younger or injured animals. Seldom are adult animals considered for fostering.

Foster care, according to Dr. D’Arpino, has been shown to be a less stressful place for pets to stay

"This program will have a huge impact far beyond our own community,” Kristen Auerbach, director of animal services at PACC," said. “With this grant, we hope to show the world why foster placement for adult pets has such a huge payoff – it’s humane, safe, cost-effective and most of all, it engages more members of the public in lifesaving efforts.”

In a Facebook post, the shelter said it still couldn't believe it was awarded the grant.

PACC said it would use the money to hire additional foster coordinators and create a range of foster-based programs.