TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Pima Animal Care Center has moved to a new building, completing the first phase of improvements made possible by Prop 415.
Staff and volunteers celebrated the milestone on Thursday, Dec. 28, with a grand opening ribbon-cutting event. PACC said the new facility, complete with a top-notch clinic, is a game changer.
"For years to come when you walk in this building, I hope you'll remember that the story could've ended much differently," PACC Director Kristen Auerbach said to about 100 people present for the ceremony. "It's because of this group of people and it's because of our community – our taxpayers who said that animal lives matter and that this new facility was worth building – that this building stands here today."
Some major improvements are the living spaces for the animals. The cats have bigger kennels and group rooms in which they can roam and play.
The dogs also have bigger kennels with the option to step outside for fresh air. Staff at PACC said these new spaces will provide a less stressful environment while the animals wait for new homes.
"This new PACC is going to be more than an animal shelter," Auerbach said. "It's really a community pet resource center where families can come to teach their kids about pet ownership and homeless pets."
The project was approved by taxpayers back in 2014 through Prop 415. It allowed the county to borrow up to $22 million for the improvements. Led by Pima County Facilities Management, Phase 1 came in ahead of schedule and under budget.
Phase 2 includes demolishing the old shelter and re-purposing some of the old space. It should be completed by summer 2018.
"We are so excited to throw open the doors and invite the public to move in for many different reasons and to just increase and building our pet-loving community here in Tucson and Pima County," Auerbach said.