Pima Animal Care Center Names New Director

Monica Dangler, who has served as Pima Animal Care Center’s interim director of animal services since October and led the shelter during the worst public health crisis in a century, has been named the facility’s permanent director. 

“Pima Animal Care Center is the leading large volume municipal shelter in the country,” Dangler said. “I am so pleased to be leading this lifesaving team.”

Dangler came to the shelter in July 2019 as one of three team members chosen for the Maddie’s Fund Executive Leader Fellowship Grant. She has spent 11 years working in animal welfare. Prior to her role at PACC, she was the volunteer manager at Austin Pets Alive!, and she served as a shelter director at PAWS Shelter of Central Texas. During her time at PACC, Dangler came up with innovative ways to help pet owners facing job losses, health crises and potential evictions brought on by the pandemic. Those life-saving strategies helped the shelter maintain a 91 percent Live Release Rate, which counts every animal entering PACC and every animal leaving.

“This year has been more than difficult, but those challenges have given us the opportunity to re-think the root cause of homeless pets,” Dangler said. “PACC wants to be a place for the pets that need us and be a resource to people who need some help in order to keep their pet. We are keeping pets with the people who love them.”

The Safety Net Foster Program, for example, connected pets whose owners were temporarily unable to care for them, with short-term foster families. The Human Animal Support Services Program provided struggling families with resources to enable them to keep the pets in their homes.

“Programs like these help us create a shelter without walls that serves as a true Pet Support Center for the community,” Dangler said.

Dangler has an Executive Leadership Certification from Southern Utah University, which was part of a leadership class offered through the Best Friends Animal Society. She has participated in multiple national conferences, presenting the many lifesaving ideas and programs PACC has adopted.

Kristen Hassen, PACC’s former director, had hired Dangler as her deputy in 2019. Hassen then strongly recommended to County leadership that they choose Dangler as the director. Hassen left PACC in October 2020 to head to American Pets Alive where she now serves as the director.

“From the moment she arrived at PACC, Monica made a significant lifesaving impact on animals,” Hassen said. “She brought her proven leadership and a passion for helping pets and people. Since then, she has already proven to be an incredible leader who is dedicated to helping the pets and people of Pima County. PACC is lucky to have her.”

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