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Pima County proposes tent to ease animal crowding

TUCSON, Ariz. — Pima County leaders are considering using a large outdoor
tent to help ease crowding at the Pima Animal Care Center.

County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry is asking the Board of Supervisors to
sign off on more than $400,000 to build the temporary structure, the Arizona
Daily Star reported
Saturday. If approved, the funding
would allow the center to put up a 120- by 60-foot tent next to the facility and
hire more workers.

Plans also call for a concrete floor and heating and cooling of the structure.

The board is expected to make a decision next week.

The tent would hold 100 new modular kennels. It would be meant only as a
temporary measure as county officials look at building a new state-of-the-art
facility next door to the current center.

The $22 million proposal hinges on the postponed county bond package, which
would delay building of the facility until at least 2017.

Kim James, the center’s general manager, told the newspaper that, with the bond
election pushed back for another year, the county had to find an interim

James said the crowding is the price the county is paying for euthanizing fewer

The center, he said, has changed its mission over the nearly 45 years since
the facility was built, moving away from the public-safety aspect of keeping
rabid dogs off the street to something more humane.

The center receives roughly 60 dogs a day. Only 20 are adopted on most days.

Finite resources also mean the center hasn’t been able to treat all the
animals that come in, leading to some with serious medical issues being

James said he hopes hiring additional staffers will allow for more community
outreach and more adoptions, which will allow sick dogs to recover from their
injuries. The crowding has resulted in more dogs fighting with their kennel
mates, he said.


Information from: Arizona Daily Star,


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