When an animal control facility reaches a live-release rate (LRR) of 90 percent, that’s an achievement worthy of a pat on the back. Pinal County Animal Care and Control (PCACC) hit the mark recently when its release rate reached 92.7 percent.
It isn’t easy to reach a LRR — the total percentage of animals that leave through adoption or are transferred to rescue organizations — of 90 percent and above, and there are many factors involved to getting there, says Audra Michael, Director of PCACC.
“We work with over 50 different rescue organizations and send out pleas for animals in need of medical services or in need of foster,” Michael says. “We send out lists to rescue organizations as well as public network forums of animals in danger of being euthanized in an effort to get them out of the facility. Most of the time rescues or networkers have saved animals in danger and taken them to a better environment where they can thrive and be adopted.”
The facility has received grant funding from several organizations to implement spay and neuter surgeries, which has allowed it to offer reduced adoption fees.
“We do not have a veterinarian on staff, so we cannot always get animals the 0medical treatment they need,” Michael says. “But through donations, we are now looking for a part-time vet to work at our facility, which will help with medical needs as well as surgeries.”
Currently, when an injured animal comes in, staff takes it to Casa Grande Animal Hospital to be checked out.
“We let the rescue partners know that this animal is suffering, and they have until a certain time to come and get the animal or we will have to humanely euthanize it,” Michael explains. “Most of the time, they come and get them, even the pit bulls.”
Michael says this has all been years in the making. “Social media is a big help with getting our animals out, as it reaches a broader audience than just here in Pinal County. We also have transported dogs to other states that may have a shortage of animals due to weather or just not having enough small breeds.”
Last year 1,350 animals were adopted, which is 375 more than the previous year.
“The animal world is evolving all over the country into no-kill facilities, and if you don’t get on board the no-kill train you will get left behind at the station,” Michael says. We are very fortunate to have the support of our board of supervisors as well as the community. They all understand that no-kill is not a brief phenomenon but is the real deal and is not going away.”