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We’ve been listening to you, from your comments at public board meetings to your work with the task force that gave us actionable ways we could improve. You’ve told us how much you care about the well-being of animals and we’ve seen first-hand how the east shelter is falling short of our high standards for animal care and customer service.
While a final decision has not been made, the current plan involves closing the east shelter and providing all county animal care services at one central location at 27th Avenue and Durango.
No earlier than summer of 2019, but the schedule has not been determined.
Yes. The project, as currently imagined, will have two phases. Phase 1 will be an expansion of the existing site. Phase 2 will be a remodel of the existing facility.
The county is currently reviewing options. No decision has been made.
It is important to us that people in the East Valley are able to provide for animals in need. We will work with our community partners to ensure there are East Valley locations for people to adopt homeless dogs and cats, including the possibility of more adoption events. Animal Care and Control is also considering an increased presence in the East Valley during the transitional period. They will respond to and serve both residents and homeless animals.
We will have a clearer idea about the cost after completing the design phase of the project.
Expansion of the central shelter would occur on undeveloped land already owned by the county. We will save money on overall operating costs because we can consolidate staff, technology, maintenance, and storage.
We are always open to exploring alternative funding sources that can bring down direct costs to taxpayers. Animal Care and Control’s operations have always benefitted greatly from public-private partnerships, the work of non-profits, and the generosity of philanthropists. We expect that to continue and look forward to working with those who care about animals as much as we do.
Animal intake in Maricopa County has declined 13% every year for the last five years, creating the possibility for a different approach to animal welfare that emphasizes service and prevention, not just sheltering. A center designed with residents and their pets in mind will: increase the quality of care we provide; reduce the length of stay for animals; improve the experience for customers who want to adopt; provide more resources to reunite people with their pets; and, address the challenges that lead people to give up their pets in the first place.
We envision the following additions or enhancements to aid with the transition and ensure exceptional customer service at a renovated central shelter:
Saving lives has been, and will continue to be, the primary mission of Maricopa County Animal Care and Control. In 2017, 94% of the animals that came into our shelters were adopted or relocated, up from 84% in 2016. A single, state-of-the-art animal resource center will bring people together to resolve animal welfare issues; allow us to expand and enhance partnerships with animal rescue groups and individuals; and, provide services to underserved areas through outreach programs and additional patrols. All of these steps will better enable us to save lives and serve the community.
One location means one place to look for a lost pet, which will ultimately save time and energy for customers. Right now, an animal picked up in the East Valley may not end up at the east shelter, depending on capacity. This confusion will be eliminated with a single, centrally located shelter.
We realize that those staff and volunteers who use the east facility on a regular basis will be inconvenienced. However, the Durango facility is easily accessible via highway and centrally located for all of Maricopa County. Consolidating into one location will allow us to reallocate staff to services that reunite people with their pets and prevent the break-up of families in the first place. We believe the overall impact for animals will be a positive one.
We expect an expanded central shelter to have more space for volunteers. That includes break rooms and lockers on site, in addition to more wide-open spaces to play with and train animals. We believe the overall environment at a renovated central shelter will be an improvement for all volunteers, whose contribution and dedication to the well-being of homeless pets in Maricopa County is so valuable.
The only option would be a vertical expansion (building up instead of out). This option is too costly, especially considering the other structural and design challenges at the site.
The east facility has many flaws and is at the end of its useful life. There is very little room to expand operations or partner with other agencies or organizations. There is not sufficient space to provide adequate medical care to animals. The play-yard is too small for the animals to get proper exercise. The design of the building makes it inefficient for staff, volunteers, and visitors. In short, we have to think about the future, and a poorly designed building with an environment that is stressful for animals and customers does not meet our standards nor fit into a humane, long-term strategy for animal care.
As mentioned above, animal intake in Maricopa County has declined 13% every year for the past five years, and the county is meticulous in tracking intake and adoption rates. We are also listening to experts in the field who will evaluate current trends and data and consider the specific needs of our community to help us plan accordingly. The renovated central shelter will be designed to handle current and projected animal populations.