Phoenix Suns donate $500K to facility that connects inmates with animals

Nov 27, 2019, 9:00 AM

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns donated half a million dollars Tuesday to the construction of an animal safe haven.

The money will help build a Marciopa County Sheriff’s Office Animal Safe Haven facility at the Durango Jail.

The program pairs animals seized during investigations with inmates who are mothers, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, juveniles or addicts.

“It’s working together that we make this community stronger, safer and healthier for all of our citizens, including the four-legged ones,” Councilwoman Thelda Williams said at a press conference announcing the donation.

Our working inmates taking a minute to goof off after receiving 23 50-pound bags of dog food from a very generous donor today!

Posted by MCSO MASH UNIT on Saturday, November 16, 2019

The program has been around since 2000, but Sheriff Paul Penzone began pushing for a new facility in 2017.

According to its website, the new facility will house 100 dogs and 200 cats, as well as feature on-site veterinary care and an outdoor space for dog exercise.

The program is not paid for with any taxpayer money, according to the site. All funds come from public-private partnerships and individual donations.

Penzone said the office needs $10 million for construction of the facility, and they are about a third of the way to that goal.

He said he hopes to break ground by spring 2020.

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Phoenix Suns donate $500K to facility that connects inmates with animals