The Pima County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a nearly $1.5 million partnership that will allow Pima Animal Care Center, Best Friends Animal Society, and PetSmart Charities to bring a lifesaving Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) project to Pima County.
The intention of the project is for Best Friends and PACC to trap free-roaming community cats (sometimes called “feral” cats) in nine central Pima County ZIP codes, spay/neuter them, provide treatment if needed, and then return them to their outdoor homes.
The project will sterilize 5,000 community cats per year over the 3-year grant period and will decrease the euthanasia of cats at Pima Animal Care Center by nearly 30 percent. “This program will be an absolute game-changer for homeless cats in our community,” Kim Janes, PACC’s Chief of External Affairs, said. “We are incredibly proud that Best Friends has chosen to partner with us.”
The effects of this work in the community cat population could put PACC closer to being a “no kill” shelter than ever before, as approximately 45 percent of PACC’s current cat-euthanasia cases are feral cats found on the streets. As Pima County’s only open-admission shelter, PACC is the community’s only shelter that never turns away a pet in need, and last year, PACC took in more than 24,000 pets.
Best Friends will be investing nearly $1 million in Pima County for the three years of the program. The most notable of Best Friends’ contributions will be three full-time staff members based at PACC; two vehicles; $50,000 worth of TNR program supplies; and an approximate $25,000 investment in training for PACC and program staff. The County will earmark $600,000 to fund the spay/neuter surgeries performed by local partners. Among some of these spay/neuter partners are Santa Cruz Veterinary Clinic and the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.
PACC was one of just three shelters chosen this year by Best Friends and their partner PetSmart Charities for this nearly $1.5 million partnership opportunity. For more information about the program visit www.pima.gov/animalcare.