/ Modified sep 4, 2013 2:13 p.m.

Changes Proposed to Reduce Number of Euthanized Dogs

Advisory committee for Pima County Animal Care Center says better staffing, health protocol could help.

pacc mural 617x347 Mural outside of Pima Animal Care Center
Robert Rappaport



The Pima County Animal Care Center euthanized about 30 percent of the animals it took in last year, or about 7,000 of the 23,000 it cared for.

An advisory committee has recommended changes that could reduce the number.

PACC, as is the case of many county departments, has an advisory committee, which can oversee the department’s operations and plans. Such committees can make recommendations to departments, but they are non-binding.

dogs pacc overflow focus large Dogs at the Pima Animal Care Center
Fernanda Echavarri

One issue is staffing, said Jack Neuman, chairman of PACC's advisory committee.

The committee said it recommends more oversight for inmates working at the center, and a staffing survey to determine appropriate staffing levels.

Neuman said he predicted the survey is likely to show the center is understaffed, but in any case it will show what the center needs.

Another issue is the health of the animals, Neuman said. The sick bay for dogs is too close to the kennels with the healthy dogs. This helps the spread of kennel cough, a contagious canine illness.

“Right now there are 16 kennels in sick bay, and those 16 kennels will sometimes have to house up to 30 to 40 dogs," Neuman said. "Normally, one kennel would house one dog, but if you did that, when dogs are getting ill from kennel cough...there’d be no place to put them, and...that can lead to euthanasia just because of a kennel cough."

Moving the sick bay kennels farther away from the other kennels, or even to another building, could help prevent the spread of disease, Neuman said. Consequently, it could also help reduce the number of animals PACC euthanizes each year.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona