TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Is your pet an escape artist? If they are and end up at Pima Animal Care Center, you may have soon have less time to rescue them from the shelter.
The City Manager's Office is recommending a change to the current city to reduce the hold time for any licensed animal that is impounded from seven to five days.
The Arizona Revised Statue requires animals without owner identification be impounded for three days and animals with owner identification be impounded for five days to allow for the owner to reclaim the animal prior to being offered for adoption.
Pima County Code complies with the State Statute.
The Tucson City Code diverges from the State and County and requires a seven day hold time for animals with owner identification.
"By decreasing it from seven days to five days, you are decreasing the base length of stay automatically," Jose Ocano. "So, that means animals don't have to wait to get adopted and go home."
Ocano is the Executive Director of Operations at PACC.
In 2015, the average was about 4 and a half days *if a pet found their home again.
"53 percent of the animals that come through here with identification never get redeemed," Ocano said. "That's thousands and thousands of animals that are being held an additional two days with no good outcome of them going to the owner, so those are animals that wait extra time to get adopted."
With the longer hold period, animals at greater risk of illness and injury directly related to being impounded in a shelter and increases costs at the PACC.
Amending the city code would bring the current code into alignment with the State Statute and Pima County Code.
Altering the code will allow Pima Animal Care Center to reduce the mandatory hold time for identified unclaimed animals and improve their chances for successful adoption or transfer to foster/rescue agencies. This could also potentially reduce the City’s sheltering costs.
The Tucson City Council is expected to vote during the June 21 meeting. If adopted by Mayor and Council, the amended code will take effect on July 1st.
Which, Ocano believes is the perfect time for it to happen.
"Especially with the monsoon seasons coming in - we always see an influx of animals because of the fireworks and the thunderstorms with Fourth of July, so we want to be able to reunite people and their pets."
The best protection to keep your pet out of the center is to have them licensed or, even better, micro-chipped.
On June 25th, The PACC is teaming up with the Humane Society of Southern Arizona and the city of Tucson to give away 500 free microchips. The HSSA will also be offering free rabies vaccines.
This will be at the Tucson Expo Center at 3750 E. Irvington Road, Tucson, Arizona 85714. For more information, call (520) 327-6088 or click here.