The Marana Animal Services Division rounded out its inaugural year of operation on July 1, 2018. The program was implemented to provide top tier customer service to Marana residents, while trying to curtail skyrocketing costs. The data is in, and the first year of the program has been a success.
Town of Marana Community & Neighborhood Services Director Lisa Shafer, who oversees the Animal Services Division, gave an update to the Marana Town Council at their October 16 meeting.
“We had a very successful first year,” Shafer said.
The primary goal in creating the Animal Services Division was to provide a better level of service to the Marana Community. By having Animal Control Officers dedicated to the Town, response times are quicker based on their more intimate knowledge of the area. One immediate advantage to the Animal Services Division is their success rate in reuniting families with their pets. In the first year of the service, Town staff picked up 263 stray dogs and cats, and 133 were taken directly back to their owners. Another 38 strays were returned to their owners by the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, who the Town has contracted with for kenneling services.
The return rate for all Marana strays was 49.6 percent, with Marana Animal Control officers able to return more than half of the strays they encountered. The numbers are already showing an increase in performance this year, with over 72 percent of strays returned over the past three months.
“We are having a fabulous first three months,” said Shafer.
According to Shafer, the fast response by the Town’s Animal Control Officers has also reduced the burden on the Marana police officers. She explained that many residents had to rely on Marana Police Department for calls due to the long response times from the previous animal control services.
“[residents] were giving up and just calling 911,” Shafer said. “Our PD in years past were taking a lot of barking dog complaints, as well as vicious dogs.”
The Town of Marana Animal Services Division has also proven to be cost effective for the Town. The first year of the new division saw expenditures reduced by $9,635 or four percent from Fiscal Year 2017, while revenues were up by $12,069 (14 percent) from dog licensing and donations.
The Town issued over 4,400 Marana Dog Licenses in that first year.