The Town of Marana established Marana Animal Services in 2017 to provide dedicated animal services and programs to the Marana community. Providing responsive customer service and invaluable medical resources at low or no cost for our four-legged residents are essential goals for town staff, and I’m very pleased to report that we not only have excellent return rates for stray cats and dogs, but our opportunity for increasing our services is growing.
In the past two-and-a-half years, our three dedicated animal control officers have handled countless calls for service, contacting over 700 stray dogs and cats and returning 56 percent of those animals back to their owners without having to go to the shelter. This is an impressive number, and when you also account for the animals that are returned to their owners from the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, our shelter partner, that percentage goes up to 58 percent. We pride ourselves on a very fast response time, and Marana Police Department serves as a valuable resource on overnight calls when the need arises.
We love spending time with your furry family members, but we would much prefer that they were home with their loved ones. Microchipping and licensing your dog are the best ways to ensure a safe return home, but in the event that Lassie accidentally embarks on a solo tour through Marana, the whole community can help bring her home by using the free Marana Pets App.
The health and safety of Marana residents and visitors is a top priority of Marana Animal Services. All domestic animal bite calls are responded to very quickly, almost always the same day after being advised of the bite or attack. Staff work very hard to educate the public on the importance of having their dogs and cats properly vaccinated. Many people are unaware that if a dog or cat bites a human and does not have a current rabies vaccination, that animal is required to be quarantined at a vet or shelter for ten days. That cost is typically $350 and is paid for by the owner. If a dog or cat has been exposed to a potentially rabid animal (typically a wild animal), and is not current on their rabies vaccination, they are then required to be quarantined at a vet or shelter for 120 days. The owner’s cost for the quarantine can be over $4,000.
Having a current rabies vaccination will prevent shelter costs. Marana Animal Services, in partnership with the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, provides biannual vaccination clinics offering the rabies vaccination free to Marana residents and only $6 for non-residents. Every weekend, there are other clinics offered with reduced vaccination costs.
It is very important to the Town of Marana that staff provides other animal-related programs to our residents with pets. This past year, we hosted doggy ice cream socials, a doggy paddle pool party, and multiple microchipping opportunities. Marana Animal Services also partners with ASAVET charities to offer two low-cost spay and neuter clinics each year. We are very fortunate this year to receive a $4,000 grant from the Arizona Companion Animal Spay and Neuter Committee to assist with spay and neuter clinics in Marana. These funds are made available through the proceeds they receive when Arizona residents purchase a Pet Friendly License Plate. Marana was also awarded $1,500 from the Arizona Companion Animal Spay and Neuter Committee for the trap/neuter/release of feral cats in our jurisdiction.
Marana Animal Services is currently scheduling the next low cost spay & neuter and vaccination clinics for this March. Please visit our webpage at maranaaz.gov/animal-services for more information on events, licensing, animal laws and pictures of found pets. You can also reach Marana Animal Services at 382-8020.
Lisa Shafer is the Town of Marana Community and Neighborhood Services Director.