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Pima Animal Care Center halts snake removal service in Ajo starting Jan. 1, 2014

Dec 03, 2013 | Read More News
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Pima Animal Care Center soon will discontinue the snake removal service it has provided for many years to the community of Ajo. none

Responding to venomous snake calls can be challenging and risky to County employees, whose core mission is to enforce rabies laws, investigate complaints of animal abuse and provide shelter for abandoned pets.

Therefore effective Jan. 1, 2014, staff will no longer be dispatched to calls in the Ajo area seeking assistance with snake removal. Because of its remote location and distance for large medical facilities, Ajo is the only area in which Pima Animal Care Center has provided the service.

“We’ve been wrestling with finding that balance between protecting public safety and protecting the safety of our employees, who really were never intended to be experts in herpetology,” said Kim Janes, Manager of the Pima Animal Care Center. “I ask for the community’s understanding as we continue to refine the core services we offer.”

Ajo residents Debbie Morrow and Catrina Vargas are County employees who have decided to continue to responding to snake removal calls on their own for a small fee.

“There’s a real need for it, so that’s why we’re going to continue to do it,” said Morrow. Morrow and Vargas will be available for snake removal while they are off duty by calling (620) 228-2495.

In addition, Pima County residents may be able to find licensed wildlife removal specialists using a directory maintained by the Arizona Fish and Game Department at http://www.azgfd.gov/w_c/urban_wildlife_control.shtml