The Pima County Bond Advisory Committee wants county voters to throw dogs a bone this fall.

The committee will ask the Board of Supervisors next month to put a $22 million bond to build a new animal shelter on this November’s ballot.

The request gives the effort to replace the 56-year-old Pima Animal Care Center special status over the more than 130 other bonds submitted by various agencies under active consideration by the advisory body. No vote on those other projects is expected before November 2015.

The effort to bond for a new shelter has the backing of the Pima Animal Care Center Advisory Board and the Board of Health.

The new facility will ease overcrowding and be more efficient than the aging facility, said Deputy County Administrator Jan Lesher. 

“Every day we keep the animals in the existing environment is costing us more money,” Lesher said. “It is not just unhealthy and unpleasant for the animals, but it is expensive as well.”

In November, the Pima County Board of Supervisors unanimously signed off on an emergency measure to erect a semipermanent 120-by-60-foot tent next to the current facility to ease chronic overcrowding.

Cathy Neuman, a volunteer at the shelter, told the bond advisory committee that overcrowding is still a major problem.

“There are not many bond projects that are a matter of life or death and this one is,” she said.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at or 573-4346. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFerguson


Reporter with the Arizona Daily Star. I cover politics as well as the city of Tucson and other municipalities in Southern Arizona.