Maricopa County has decided to maintain an animal shelter in the East Valley, but intends to relocate it to the county's Mesa campus near Baseline Road and Mesa Drive, officials said.
The county has discarded a previous plan to consolidate the East Valley shelter currently located in Mesa, near Loop 101 and Rio Salado Parkway, with the Phoenix shelter at Interstate 17 and Durango Street, officials said in a statement Thursday.
The county says a new Animal Care and Control facility could more easily be built at the county-owned campus in Mesa.
On the county's website, a statement said, "During the design process, it became clear that trying to expand the existing facility would present too many obstacles to be a viable long-term solution."
“Maricopa County’s East Valley campus offers an ideal location because there’s no land cost and the infrastructure is already there,” Deputy County Manager Reid Spaulding said. “That means a greater percentage of our money can go toward our primary mission of caring for animals and finding more of them permanent homes.”The Maricopa County Animal Care and Control shelter held free adult dog and cat adoptions during a 'Clear the Shelter' event August 18, 2018. Carly Henry/The Arizona Republic.
The new shelter will offer the same services as the current location, including regular dog and cat adoption hours, county officials said in a press release Thursday.
In December of last year, the county announced it would be closing the Mesa shelter no earlier than 2019, once the Phoenix shelter's expansion was completed.
“Our goal has and will always be the care and comfort of our animals within our facility,” Maricopa County Animal Care and Control Executive Director Mary Martin said. “The current East shelter simply does not meet industry standards. A new facility will help keep animals there comfortable, healthy and adoptable and give ample coverage to that community as well.”
READ MORE: Doggy treadmills helping shelter pups find homes
The East Valley shelter was built in the 1980s and was never meant to serve as a shelter. In 2014, a task force formed to improve Maricopa County Animal Care and Control declared the Mesa shelter "inadequate and substandard."
County officials in 2017 also said the East Valley shelter was overcrowded and housed more than 100 animals beyond its 250 limit, among other issues.
After word of the closure was announced late last year, an online petition surfaced to stop the shelter from closing. It gathered more than 8,000 signatures in just one day. It now has more than 37,600 signatures out of its 50,000 goal.
Those who opposed the closing worried many people would be reluctant to adopt if they had to travel out of their way.
READ MORE: 8,000 oppose plan to close animal shelter
County officials said improvements to the Durango facility also are under consideration.
Operations at both animal shelters will continue as normal for the time being. The Rio Salado shelter will remain open until the new facility is built. No official timetable for that being completed was announced.
This news has been published by title East Valley Animal Shelter Will Relocate To Baseline Road Complex In Mesa
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