On March 14, the Marana Town Council voted to begin the process of providing animal care and enforcement. As part of this new program, the Town will contract with the Humane Society of Southern Arizona to provide sheltering service, while the Town itself will hire two new animal control officers who will respond to resident calls. By adopting this new framework, the Town hopes to ensure the highest quality of support for all Marana residents.
The Town has decided to pursue this strategy after nearly a year of staff research, including site visits to nearby jurisdictions, interviews with support agencies like the Humane Society, and budget analyses of projected costs. This approach will allow Marana to provide a direct customer response to residents who request animal services. By adopting this model, the Town will be better able to achieve our community-wide vision of excellence. In the long term, Marana’s enforcement efforts will result in more animals returned quickly to their homes and fewer stray animals in need of rescue.
“Our top priority is to be responsive to resident requests,” says Town Manager Gilbert Davidson. “By managing our own animal control officers, the Town will be able to tailor animal care to the needs of our community. We will be able to respond promptly to all calls and meet the high expectations our residents have for their government.”
In addition to hiring two animal control officers and providing shelter services through the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, the Town also plans to partner with local veterinarians to provide emergency care for animals picked up by Town officers. Lisa Shafer, Marana’s director of community development and neighborhood services, will oversee the implementation and operation of this new program.
“One thing we want to emphasize is that from the public perspective, the list of services which residents currently enjoy will not change,” explains Shafer. “They will still be able to adopt pets, drop off strays, license their dogs, and so forth. The only difference is that now the Town will be able to enhance those offerings for everyone involved.”
Marana is already considering several potential enhancements which Town staff will continue to research and evaluate. For example, Marana’s Technology Services department will develop a mobile app for pet owners that will enhance the customer service experience. With projects like the MyMarana app, the Marana Events app, and the Project Ina app, the Town has demonstrated a success record in developing this type of tool.
“We’re very excited about the opportunity which this program affords,” says Shafer. “We feel very strongly that every animal in Marana deserves to be treated with care and compassion. This new program will help us achieve that vision.”