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Lawmakers, experts approve 'aspirational goals' for care at Arizona animal shelters

On Monday, a joint committee of state lawmakers and animal care experts approved draft recommendations to improve care at animal shelters throughout Arizona.

The guidelines include using social media to help reunite pets with their owners, considering inmate labor at shelters, and prioritizing in-state over out-of-state transport.

Committee chair and House Republican John Kavanagh emphasized that these would be merely guidelines.

"We realize that one size does not fit all, and we realize that many shelters — especially rural shelters — lack the economic resources at this time to comply with all of these aspirational goals."

But Monica Dangler, who directs the Pima Animal Care Center in Tucson, expressed concerns.

"Putting everything on our website, would be — we would take staff away from saving animals’ lives and being webmasters."

Dangler questioned the need for the state’s action, citing national guidelines already established by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians.

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News director Chad Snow joined the KJZZ newsroom in 2016.