PACC considering new rates for residents in towns without agreem - Tucson News Now

PACC considering new rates for residents in towns without agreement

PIMA COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Sahuarita is the second town to jump ship on Pima Animal Care in recent months.

Following Marana's lead, Sahuarita will sever its relationship on July 1 to establish its own animal control.

For both towns, the Humane Society will board their animals but vet services and other functions will be provided by the towns.

For the Humane Society, which will soon move into a new $10 million facility at Roger and Oracle, it presented opportunities.

Marana approached it about a year ago to see if they could work out a financial arrangement.

"When we initially talked to them, we would not be doing animal control but would do sheltering services," said Brandi Burke, the Chief Operating Officer for the Society. "This is an opportunity to partner with someone in our backyard."

There has been a great deal of concern about the change from local vets and many in the community.

"I think they will soon learn that animal care costs money," said Marana vet Beth Neumann, owner of the Twin Peaks Veterinary Center, who spoke out against the change when it was first proposed last spring. "It will be an interesting year."

What has her concerned now is an ordinance change being proposed by Pima County that is scheduled to go before the Board of Supervisors at a meeting on July 11.

Under the code change, residents in jurisdictions that have opted out of the agreement, will be assessed higher fees for services.

According to a memo released by Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry, it is unfair for county taxpayers to pay "for access to PACC care" at the same rate as those who have opted out.

He's proposing a second rate structure for those who are not part of the agreement: $60 a day for boarding, $120 an hour for vet care, $120 for euthanasia.

Neuman, who was the only Marana vet to volunteer to help the town with animal care services even though she was opposed, is wary of the county plan to charge more.

"I feel there is a danger more pets will just be released into the desert," she said. "I think there will be more strays for Marana to pick up."

Both Neuman and the Humane Society share the same goal. 

"It's about the animals," they both echoed.

The agreement has pluses for the Humane Society.

"To really focus on our three pillars, prevention, outreach and education," said Burke. "And in a community we can have a pretty good impact in."

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