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Huachuca City hopes to open new animal shelter this year

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TUCSON - In December 2018, the Cochise County Animal Shelter had to shut its doors due to an electrical fire.

Since then, areas like Douglas, Willcox and Sierra Vista have had to take in strays found across the area.

Mary Moran was a volunteer for six months at the old animal shelter before it closed down. During her time there, she fell in love with one of the dogs named Brownie.

"We decided to adopt her when the animals were transferred from this shelter after the electrical fire to Sierra Vista animal shelter," Moran said.

The animal lover has not been a volunteer at any other shelter mainly because the others are too far away. She is not alone.

Rose Phillips was a volunteer from 2014 until its closing.

"Right now, I think a lot of volunteers are not volunteering anymore because the county shelter is considered 60 miles away," Phillips said. "Sierra Vista shelter does an amazing job, but it's not the same."

The county, however, is not fully on board just yet. The released the following statement in regards to the shelter.

Following the fire at the Huachuca City Animal Shelter, the County determined the building could not to be repaired or remodeled to meet acceptable standards, and would have provided no cost benefits.

After conducting a tour of the Sierra Vista animal shelter, it was clear they had the capacity to meet the required needs and that the facility is run extraordinarily well by the City of Sierra Vista, its staff, and volunteers.

The County has made no decisions on whether to build a centralized animal shelter. We continue to work with our municipal partners in Sierra Vista, Douglas and Willcox to provide current services and we are exploring a number of options with regards to potential future solutions to the current animal shelter challenges.

However, the final decision on if and how we proceed will be made by the Board of Supervisors. A work session will be held on March 24 to provide the Board with an update on this matter.

Supervisor Peggy Judd will be attending the meeting. However, she will not be representing the Board of Supervisors. She is attending as the representative of District 3, which includes Huachuca City.

Cochise County Board of Supervisors

If the board of Supervisors does come to an agreement, dogs like Brownie will be able to find a forever home here where they were found.

Daniel McFarland

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