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  • PACC leader joins national committee to save shelter pets across nation

    Mar 29, 2017 | Read More News
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    Best Friends Animal Society has selected Pima Animal Care’s Director of Operations, José Ocaño, to participate in a national steering committee to help animal shelters across the nation reach “no kill” status by 2025. 

    Jose OcañoThe national animal welfare organization recruited Ocaño along with nine other rescue and shelter leaders from Los Angeles, Atlanta, Austin, Jacksonville and other U.S. cities that have successfully driven no kill agendas. 

    The Steering Committee will coordinate activities, exchange ideas, commit to goals, and enhance widespread ownership of the 2025 initiative. This effort, led by Best Friends, aims to save the thousands of healthy or treatable dogs and cats euthanized in animal shelters throughout the country each year.

    “It’s an honor for PACC and Pima County to be part of this huge initiative, which will completely change the country for homeless pets,” Ocaño said. “Reaching no kill can be difficult, but it’s possible with coordination, compassion and community support.” 

    Pima Animal Care achieved a historically high save rate of 90 percent in 2016. Reaching this milestone was a challenge, as PACC is the community’s only shelter that helps every pet in need, which means it never turns away a pet for being sick, old, injured or scared. To reach this measure, Ocaño and fellow PACC leaders worked closely with numerous animal advocacy organizations, including Best Friends Animal Society, who provided funding and support to implement progressive animal sheltering programs focused on saving more lives. 

    One of the projects Best Friends and its partners at PetSmart Charities helped start in Pima County was the Community Cats Project, which immediately allowed PACC to stop euthanizing nearly 1,600 feral cats each year.  The program has played a pivotal role in pushing PACC’s save rate for cats from 55 percent in 2013, to 91 percent in 2016, and it has helped decrease the number of cats being admitted to PACC by more than 35 percent during that same time. 

    “Best Friends launched our ‘No Kill 2025’ initiative to save the approximately 5,500 healthy or treatable dogs and cats that are killed in shelters every day,” said Holly Sizemore, chief national programs officer, Best Friends Animal Society. “We are excited to have José on the steering committee as key to achieving this goal is to organize animal welfare advocates around effective practices that have been proven to achieve no-kill at the community level. We are very proud of what Pima County has accomplished.”

    Photo Credit: Unique Photography

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