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  • Pima Animal Care Center – Phase 1

    The new Pima Animal Care Center is open for business

    new PACCThanks to County voters who approved Proposition 415 in 2014, PACC's shelter now operates from a state-of-the-art animal care facility that meets modern day standards. On Dec. 18, PACC staff and pets completed their long-awaited transitioned to the new building. The Pima County project team, in collaboration with Sundt Construction contractors and the design team from Line and Space, made it possible for PACC to get in a week ahead of schedule to unpack and pilot the new building. While contractors will remain onsite completing finishing touches for a few more days, the new PACC is now open to the public.  

    Community members interested in visiting the new building can stop by anytime during normal business hours. There will be maps of the new facility and greeters to help visitors find their way. During the visit, community members will get to see the roomy pet housing areas and many more features that will soon help PACC staff take their lifesaving efforts to the next level.

    Led by Pima County Facilities Management, Phase 1 of construction, came ahead of schedule and under budget. Construction for Phase 2 begins at the end of December for completion by summer 2018. For more information on PACC's new building, see the frequently asked questions section below. In case you don’t find what you’re looking for, fill out a website feedback form and ask.

    Phase 1 Highlights

    The completion of phase one means the most significant portions of the new facility are complete and operational. The areas completed in phase one include:
    • A state-of-the art medical suite – one of the best in the nation, designed to provide routine and lifesaving care including emergency surgeries, infection disease monitoring and high volume spay and neuter. Designed in consultation with the University of California (Davis) shelter medicine program.
    • All-cat housing including, eight group housing rooms and several indoor/outdoor cat spaces
    • Indoor/outdoor dog housing and separate medical isolation and quarantine areas
    • The adoption lobby and the community services center lobby
    • The animal protection, licensing and dispatch administrative spaces
    • A large, multi-purpose room for orientations, classes and animal-related programming
    Roughly 18,000 pets enter PACC each year, including many puppies, kittens, senior and geriatric pets and pets with special medical needs. The new medical suite and housing areas will be a vast improvement for the medical team who have been working out of a large trailer. In the vet clinicexisting facility, there is limited housing for pets with contagious illnesses like kennel cough. The new facility has more than ample space for housing pets with contagious illnesses, meaning treatable sicknesses can be isolated, preventing costly and life-threatening disease outbreaks. 

    PACC relies on 1,200 volunteers, 700 foster families and more than 100 rescue partners to help save lives. Today, PACC saves nearly 90% of the pets who enter the shelter, making it one of the largest, lifesaving, municipal shelters in the U.S. and a national leader in progressive animal services. 

    In addition to the new facility, in 2018, PACC plans to increase outreach efforts throughout the community, especially in areas of the County where there are a high number of pets coming in to the shelter. These efforts will include spay and neuter for community pets, free or reduced cost microchipping events and an increased presence at community events. 

    Frequently Asked Questions


    Why did Pima County build a new Pima Animal Care Center?

    The existing Pima Animal Care Center was built in 1968. It originally held pets until they were claimed. Unclaimed pets were euthanized in a matter of days. With the input and support of the community, PACC’s mission has since changed to one of adoption and staff accept all pets presented for care.

    How was the new facility funded?

    In November 2014, Pima County voters approved Proposition 415 authorizing the County to borrow up to $22 million to improve Pima County’s animal care facility. 

    How much did the new PACC cost?

    An estimated $16 million was allocated to the construction of PACC’s new facility, which includes Phase 1 and Phase 2. The remaining $6 million was allocated to furniture, equipment, design/engineering fees, administrative/project management expenses, and other miscellaneous costs.

    Who designed the new facility?

    Pima County contracted with local architectural firm Line and Space to design Pima Animal Care’s new facility. Part of why Line and Space was selected was their connection to and inclusion of national experts in the field of animal welfare design. These include Animal Arts Design, a Colorado firm that exclusively designs animal shelters, and UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program, which specializes in best practices for animal housing.  Line and Space architects also incorporated community, volunteer, staff and other stakeholder feedback in the design process.

    How many more kennels are in the new facility?

    The current PACC facility contains approximately 300 permanent kennels as well as about 200 various temporary kennels, crates and containment areas that house shelter pets. During busy spring, summer and fall months, cats are often housed in free-standing dog crates. Both cats and dogs are frequently housed with up to five other animals in a kennel. The average kennel inventory ranges between 600 and 900 pets in the shelter, with an average daily inventory of about 750 pets. Once the new facility is entirely complete in late June of 2018, PACC will have approximately 750 individual, permanent housing units. While the average kennel inventory is not anticipated to change, PACC will no longer have to house multiple animals in one kennel or use temporary kennels or crates to house pets. Each animal, unless it entered the shelter with another pet or was intentionally paired up for enrichment and mental stimulation, will be able to be housed individually.

    How does the new facility positively promote the adoption of animals?

    The top priority for County officials in building the new PACC facility was to design and build a facility to the highest animal welfare standard possible while meeting taxpayer expectations regarding value and fiscal responsibility. 

    Throughout the design process, County officials worked closely with contractors and consulted with national leaders to ensure the new building included features that would promote a humane model of care and optimize disease control.  The new building is equipped with a top-notch veterinary clinical facility and pet resource center to support county residents in caring for their pets. The new facility supports the future of PACC’s animal welfare needs, which is focused on owner success and animal placement by way of innovative adoption and foster programs. 
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    Animal Care Center

    4000 N. Silverbell Rd.
    Tucson, AZ 85745

    (520) 724-5900

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    Weekends: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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