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Construction set to begin on new PACC facility

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Rebecca Noble | The Daily Wildcat

Zoe Bobar walks Fireball, a Chinese sharpei mix, over to his new family on Aug. 25, 2015. Pima Animal Care Center will be expanding after the Tucson City Council awarded a $16 million contract to Sundt Construction.

The Pima County Board of Supervisors decided on Jan. 17 to approve a contract for $16 million to Sundt Construction to begin construction for a new Pima Animal Care Center facility, which will break ground as soon as February.

The current PACC facility will remain operational while the new one is being constructed. The approval of new facility was made possible by the voters of Pima County who supported and voted on Proposition 415 on Nov. 2014, which allocated bond funds for the new facility.

“This new facility gives us an opportunity to improve and enhance our care of the animals that are currently with us and those in the future,” said Justin Gallick, the executive director of community engagement at PACC.

The new PACC facility will be constructed just east of the existing facility on Silverbell. When construction on the new facility is completed, the animals and staff will be moved to the building.

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After finishing the new facility, Sundt will also begin working on the improvement, remodel and partial demolition of the old facility in an effort of improving what is already there. 

Construction of both phases of the shelter are expected to be completed in 2018.

“I think it’s great that there is a new PACC facility being built,” said Hana Ensley, a sociology senior and dog owner. “I know that dogs don’t have a long time at the shelter, before they’re put down.

Amber Ramirez | The Daily Wildcat

Keely, a 2-year-old Pitbull mix, is offered a treat at the Pima Animal Care Center. Construction on the new PACC facility is expected to begin in February.

The PACC houses thousands of canine friends, with a large portion of those being strays or animals who were relinquished by their owners. The facility also cares for a large number of cats, and many of the animals have special medical needs or conditions requiring extra attention.

“Sixteen million, wow, that’s a lot of money, but it’s a great idea for the animals,” said Yongliang Yang, a dog owner and a junior studying communications and The Pima County Board of Supervisors decided on Jan. 17 to approve a contract for $16 million to Sundt Construction to begin construction for a new Pima Animal Care Center facility, which will break ground as soon as February.

The current PACC facility will remain operational while the new one is being constructed. The approval of new facility was made possible by the voters of Pima County who supported and voted on Proposition 415 on Nov. 2014, which allocated bond funds for the new facility.

“This new facility gives us an opportunity to improve and enhance our care of the animals that are currently with us and those in the future,” said Justin Gallick, the executive director of community engagement at PACC.

The new PACC facility will be constructed just east of the existing facility on Silverbell. When construction on the new facility is completed, the animals and staff will be moved to the building.

After finishing the new facility, Sundt will also begin working on the improvement, remodel and partial demolition of the old facility in an effort of improving what is already there.

Construction of both phases of the shelter are expected to be completed in 2018.

“I think it’s great that there is a new PACC facility being built,” said Hana Ensley, a sociology senior and dog owner. “I know that dogs don’t have a long time at the shelter, before they’re put down.

The PACC houses thousands of canine friends, with a large portion of those being strays or animals who were relinquished by their owners. The facility also cares for a large number of cats, and many of the animals have special medical needs or conditions requiring extra attention.

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Amber Ramirez | The Daily Wildcat

Mason, a 2-year-old Chinese Sharpei, is ready to be adopted at the Pima Animal Care Center. Voters approved improvements to the PACC as part of a 2014 bond measure.

“Sixteen million, wow, that’s a lot of money, but it’s a great idea for the animals,” said Yongliang Yang, a dog owner and a junior studying communications and economics. “You need to put a lot of money and time into building it, but it makes me happy for the dogs.” 

Gallick said the old facility was outdated. “The current facility was built 60 years ago for rabies control, and we are operating a progressive animal shelter focused on meeting the mental and physical needs of our pets in our care, and this new shelter will be better equipped for the needs of the animals.” Gallick said.

With the construction of the new PACC facility, staff, animals and visitors can expect a variety of new features to build a better structure and environment for the residents of the center. 

Fresh air and natural lighting, a new plumbing and cleaning system for areas the pets occupy, including both indoor and outdoor areas to house the dogs.

“I think it would be really great if the homeless dogs in Tucson would have a longer period of time to find homes, ” said Ensley, who is also the owner of a German shepard/lab mix named Baku. “I hope that with the new facility that the dogs get second chances.”

Dogs aren’t the only ones getting an upgrade. The cat housing areas are expected to nearly triple in size in comparison to the housing area in the current PACC facility. Cats at the PACC facility take up a fair amount of occupancy at the facility.

“I’m happy to see that they’re getting an upgrade and that it’ll hopefully help these animals find new homes, ” said pet owner Jaeda Barbiche. “I love dogs, and I guess cats are cool, too. I’m just glad they can get a glow up.”

Artist renderings of the new facility depict some new areas like an expanded veterinary clinic, recovery areas for pets who receive medical care alongside new lobby and administration offices for PACC employees, staff and volunteers.

“With this new facility we hope to better showcase our pets, keep them in a positive state and healthy, amongst trying to raise adoption rates, and the new shelter overall gives us better abilities to treat and manage pets,” Gallick said.

Ensley was concerned with the number of animals in the shelter and how that can be reduced by education on spaying and neutering your pets. 

She wants there to be more literature and awareness programs available to the public at the new PACC facility.

“I would hope that there is just more encouragement and information available to help people understand the importance of spay and neutering, so we don’t have that many animals who find themselves in the shelter,” Ensley said.

Construction for the new PACC facility will soon be underway and hopefully operational by December.

“This new facility gives us the opportunity to highlight our programs and increase the number of adoptions while decreasing the pets’ stay,” Gallick said. “Meaning, they will come in and we’ll process then and then we’ll find homes in such a quicker pace.”


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