In late 2012, Pima County joined a collaborative effort with other animal care advocates to improve animal welfare in this community.
At the time, Pima Animal Care Center had closed out fiscal year 2011-2012 with a 55 percent live release rate – far better than the 31 percent of years earlier, but not where we wanted to be. We resolved to do better.
Here’s how we’ve made progress in 2013 and why we think 2014 will be a pivotal year:
- More room: A commercial-grade tent with cooling, heating and other utilities is being installed. It will double our dog kennel space and alleviate chronic overcrowding in our facility, built 60 years ago for a much smaller population;
- More staff: The Pima County Board of Supervisors added $1.5 million to the base budget for Pima Animal Care Center, then followed up with a supplemental budget request of $242,000 to address staffing shortfalls. A job fair this week will help us find seven new shelter care staff members;
- More treatment: We have contracted with Pima Paws for Life, which will help our pets with upper respiratory infections by taking them out of the shelter and restoring them to health so they can be placed in homes faster. Funding is currently very limited but we are hiring a fund development coordinator, who will help us identify additional resources for treatment, and we’ll be adding a treatment donation line to the licensing renewal forms to allow the community to assist in saving more treatable animals;
- More integration of shelter services: Our shelter is working together more closely than ever. We are soliciting for a shelter veterinarian who will work hand-in-hand with our shelter manager to save more lives. And thanks to strong recruitment, we grew our volunteer force from 100 to nearly 600 in a single year.
- More collaboration: We remain proud members of the Pima Alliance for Animal Welfare, bringing animal advocates to the table to jointly build a community where far fewer animals ever need emergency shelter in the first place.
- More life-saving: We had an 82 percent live release rate for the month of November, proving we can do it with the community’s help! We’re at 73 percent for the first five months of the fiscal year – not where we want to be, but making steady progress year over year. Adoption fees are waived for December, too!