Group wants Marana to continue relationship with PACC - Tucson News Now

Group wants Marana to continue relationship with PACC

(Source: Pima County) (Source: Pima County)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

There's growing opposition to a plan being debated in Marana which would sever its ties with the Pima Animal Care Center.

The reasons for the plan appears to be financial. But how much money would be saved, if any, is up for debate.

When Marana and Pima County first signed their Intergovernmental Agreement 35 years ago, the cost to the town was $10,000.

But things have changed considerably and inflation isn't the only reason for the increase.

Five years ago, PACC began working towards a no-kill designation, which it reached nearly two years ago.

The designation means 90 percent of the animals that come into the shelter are adopted or released to rescue operations.

But that's expensive. PACC's budget now exceeds $10 million annually, twice what it was a few years ago and many times higher than it was when the county was euthanizing 7,000 animals a year, nearly 60 percent of the animals which arrived at the shelter.

Marana pays about $240,000 each year for PACC's services.

Town leaders was to know if they can do the same job cheaper

Marana advertised the job and received only one reply, a $46,000 bid from the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.

Roxanne Ziegler, a Marana council member, said she thinks it would actually cost more.

"The calculations that I have done, it shows we will be down to a negative $30,000," she said. "And that's before all the other costs, like vet expenses."

Ziegler said the town gets a rebate of $100,000 in license fees, bringing the total way down.

She said if the town had to hire two animal control agents and lease two trucks, plus pay the Humane Society $46,000, it would add up fast.

Also of concern to some veterinarians and town residents, is if proposal passes, Marana would stop paying for shelter services after three to five days for any animal picked up in the town limits.

"What happens after that?" asked Beth Neuman, owner of the Twin Peaks Veterinary Center in Marana. "What they need to know is the Humane Society will turn away pets and what do they do with those leftover pets."

It's the same questions Ziegler will pose at the town council study session Tuesday night.

"Some of them, they might decide that euthanasia is required and some might go in that direction," she said. "I don't really think it would happen but I don't know."

Neuman has posted a call on Facebook for people to show up to express their displeasure. 

"I don't think the town completely understands what goes into running PACC," she said. "I'm hoping that it's not political, but I worry."

The town council study session, which is open to the public, begins at 6 p.m. at the Town Hall. 

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