When the Pima County Animal Care Center was built in Tucson in 1968, the region’s population was around 300,000. The county has since climbed to more than a million residents and accompanying that growth has been a dire need for a larger center for stray and abandoned pets.
The original center was built to accommodate 300 dogs and 100 cats at a time. Staff takes in about 400 animals a week and has around 800 on site at any time. In 2016, staff at the center provided care for more than 24,000 animals.
Recent demand for services caused Pima County to put up a temporary tent shelter adjacent to the animal care center but stopgap measures are about to change. Last month, Sundt started work on a new larger Pima County Animal Care Center that will meet the region’s needs and provide the best possible care for its occupants.
“Our team is pleased to help PACC in modernizing and improving its facilities. PACC will be able to give the animals the space they need to thrive while waiting for permanent homes,” said Sundt Project Director David Ollanik.
Early work includes installing utility trenches and constructing the new facility’s foundation.
When completed, the shelter will more than double the size of the existing facility; the cat area will grow to three times the space set aside in the current building. The new facility will also have improved natural light and ventilation.
The first phase of the project, which will open in December, includes a larger veterinary clinic, a recovery area for pets that receive medical treatment, and administrative offices. During the second phase, which should be complete in fall 2018, the existing building will be partially razed and remodeled.