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Our Advocacy For Animals

We are a voice for the voiceless

Animals don’t have a voice, but they rely on us for so much. That includes keeping them safe. The Humane Society of Southern Arizona is a founding member of the Animal Cruelty Taskforce of Southern Arizona, and we have always taken a leadership role in combating violence toward animals.

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Legislative Initiatives

The Humane Society of Southern Arizona has supported laws that protect the rights and welfare of animals in Pima County and across the state. We are proud to be at the forefront of promoting the passage of these legislative initiatives.

SB1271 Enacted and Funded as Part of Next Year’s State Budget;

Incentivizes Veterinarians to Stay and Work in Arizona

Contact Information: Hannah Terpening, Communications Director,

Humane Society of Southern Arizona, Cell: 520.906.9484

Bretta Nelson, PR Manager, Arizona Humane Society, Cell: 480.748.8640

HSSA CEO Steve Farley with Veterinarian Dr. Heather Cornell at HSSA Low-Cost Clinic

TUCSON, AZ (WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29) – SB1271, a bill sponsored by Senator T.J. Shope and put forward by the Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA) and Arizona Humane Society (AHS) to help address a severe shortage of veterinarians in our state, has been signed into law as part of next year’s state budget.

For years, animal lives have been at risk because Arizona doesn’t have enough veterinarians to provide lifesaving services at public shelters and private clinics -- in both urban and rural areas. This has negatively affected pet owners, ranchers, private veterinary practices, and animal shelters and rescues across the state, but now help is on the way.

This legislative action creates a new Arizona Veterinary Loan Assistance Program which will provide student loan reimbursement to new veterinarians — who obtain a veterinary degree after Jan. 1, 2023 — of up to $100,000 for veterinarians who work in Arizona for at least four years. As part of that four-year agreement, vets will be required to work at least two years at a municipal, county, or nonprofit shelter like HSSA or in an agricultural practice designated by the USDA as having a shortage.

Steve Farley, CEO of the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, said, “Shelters, pet families, and ranchers everywhere are grateful to sponsor Sen. T.J. Shope, Appropriations Chairs Sen. David Gowan and Rep. Regina Cobb, Senate President Karen Fann, House Speaker Rusty Bowers, Minority Leaders Sen. Rebecca Rios and Rep. Reginald Bolding, and Governor Doug Ducey for their hard work pushing forward this vital tool to address the dire veterinary shortage here in Arizona.

“Thanks to this budget appropriation, at least 58 new veterinarians will come to work in Arizona by the end of 2023, and each one of them will spend at least two years working at a public shelter or in an agricultural practice in a rural area over the next four years. Moving forward, making this appropriation annual will save countless lives while growing our economy, a win-win solution to an intractable problem. This is a victory for animal lovers across the state, and is a great example of the benefits that accrue to our residents when our leaders work together for the common good.”

Dr. Steven Hansen, Arizona Humane Society President and CEO, said, “The passing of SB1271 in the budget is a significant win for animals in Arizona as it is a step towards attracting and retaining talent that will provide vital animal health services making Arizona a better place for animals and people.”

To learn more about the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, visit www.hssaz.org For information on the Arizona Humane Society, visit www.azhumane.org.

For additional information contact:

Hannah Terpening, Humane Society of Southern Arizona,

520-906-9484, Hterpening@hssaz.org

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Humane Society vet bill one pager SB1271