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Keep Your Pet Safe in an Emergency

Protect your pet. Be prepared.

Thursday, May 13th, 2021

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that disaster can strike at any moment, without warning and without mercy. It’s hard enough to keep your human family members safe, and when you add pets into the mix, there is an entirely new level of preparedness that needs to happen. It’s a lot to think about, but pets are family and should never be left behind in an emergency situation. Having an emergency plan and being prepared gives you and your whole family the best chance of protection and safety during these unprecedented events. Be proactive and be prepared. Here is your pet preparedness checklist! 

Proactive Prep

The first part of the checklist helps ensure you are covered in case the worst case scenario happens and you do get separated from your pet. 

🔲     Make sure your pet is wearing a collar and tags at all times with up-to-date information.

🔲     Microchip your pet and/or ensure all information is accurate.

🔲     Prepare and keep accessible a pet disaster kit for easy grabbing in an emergency. (We will get back to this in a minute 👍).

🔲     Get a pet alert window sticker and place it in a prominent window of your home.

🔲     Get trained in pet first aid - it could save your, or someone else’s, pet’s life. 

Learn about HSSA’s Pet First Aid and Safety Training classes!

Put a Plan in Place

Organizing an evacuation plan is key in keeping you and your pets together and safe. 

🔲     Find a pet-friendly place where you and your pet can stay. Plan that none of the emergency shelters in your area will be accepting pets, that’s usually the case. Find a pet-friendly hotel, out-of-town shelter or boarding facility, and identify family or friends outside of your area who would be willing to take you and your pet in. 

🔲     Partner up with neighbors or friends nearby who are willing to help you evacuate your pet if you aren’t home, or able to get home, in an emergency. 

Pack a Pet Supply Kit for Every Pet in the Home

This should be easy to find and grab in any emergency and contain everything your pet needs for as comfortable of an evacuation as possible. It should contain:

🔲     Photocopies of important veterinary records; vaccinations, prescriptions, medical history, etc.

🔲     Important pet documents; photocopied registration, ID information, your contact information, and current photos of each pet (try to find a waterproof container for these and the veterinary records).

🔲     Your veterinarian’s contact information 

🔲     Food and water bowls

🔲     Water, food, and medications; a two week supply for each is recommended.

🔲     Proper pet carrier equipped with bedding/blanket and toys.

🔲     Proper pet elimination care; a litter box for cats, poop bags for dogs, towels, and cleaning products.

🔲     Leash, collar with ID tags, and a harness.

🔲     Pet first aid kit.

Knowing what to do to protect your pet and how to do it is essential in keeping your pet safe and healthy. Here, at HSSA, we want to make sure every pet parent has the tools they need to be prepared and help their pet in any situation. Our Pet First Aid and Safety Training Classes give pet parents valuable knowledge and hands-on learning in emergency training like CPR and treating medical emergencies, but that’s not all we do. In these classes participants also learn a lot about prevention and identifying warning signs in their pet that might be telling them something isn’t right. You’ll gain important knowledge and valuable skills to help you best care for your pet.

There is no way to predict when a disaster will occur and what the ramifications of it will be, but by following this checklist and being proactive you are giving yourself and your furry family the best chance of getting through it unscathed. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” He may not have been referring to disaster preparedness, but the statement still rings true. Be prepared. Be ready. Be safe. 

Information Sources



It's Puppy and Kitten Season

What it means and how you can help

Monday, May 10th, 2021

Our work at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona often changes with the seasons. During monsoon, we educate people and pets on the dangers posed by river toads. In May and June, it’s so hot that only the early risers can make it to the shelter in time to exercise our pets, while at other times everyone wants to be a volunteer dog-walker at all times of the day because the weather is so nice. One of the toughest times of the year for any animal shelter is mating season for cats and dogs. In early spring and continuing throughout the summer, litters of puppies and kindles of kittens, born to homeless pets, are brought to animal shelters across the country in huge numbers.

This influx of thousands of newborn animals can quickly overwhelm shelters and foster care resources. Well-intentioned concerned citizens who find newborn kittens or puppies hidden away under their porch or in their backyard often fear that, without intervention, these young animals are in danger. Many people who bring these litters to HSSA are surprised to learn that the best option is usually to not disturb them at all.

While many assume these newborns have been abandoned by their mother and are in need of rescuing, mother cats and dogs tend to stay with their litters most of the time. Jay Carmona, HSSA’s Foster Care Coordinator is quick to point out that when kittens and puppies are very young, their best chance of survival is to remain with their mother. “If you find a litter of kittens or puppies out in the elements, leave them be. Keep an eye on them from afar, make sure they are safe and not in danger from the elements or other animals.”

Often the mother cat or dog is nearby, searching for food, or has been momentarily startled away by the people approaching the area. “Keep an eye on them for 24 hours. If after that you do not see a mother, then you should safely take them in.”

After taking in an abandoned litter it can be critical to care for them as long as possible before bringing them to a shelter. “The biggest help during kitten season is for people who have taken in litters to care for them as long as they can before bringing them into a shelter. If people can do that, we provide them with instructions and bottles and formula to help. This prevents our bottle-baby fosters from becoming overwhelmed with the numbers of pets who need nursing and care.”

In many cases the person who has taken in a litter is not capable of the time or space commitment required to adequately care for these animals. This is where HSSA’s Foster Care volunteers step in — experienced caregivers who are trained specifically in the care of neonates (very young kittens and puppies).

Kitten and puppy season require additional foster care volunteers and supplies. Many people who would like to help these precious, tiny pets but cannot directly care for them still support HSSA’s Foster Care programs by donating items and supplies found on the Foster Care Amazon wish list. This list is updated with the most currently needed supplies by the Foster Care office and has an immediate, positive impact on the lives of the most vulnerable animals being cared for by HSSA. You can view the wish list and learn more about HSSA’s Foster Care program by visiting the link below.

What to do if you lose your pet

Bring your pet home faster with these 5 tips!

Thursday, May 6th, 2021

Losing a pet. It’s a fear that rests, not so subtly, in the back of every pet parent’s mind, and, unfortunately, it does happen a lot more often than we’d like to believe. According to the American Humane Association (AHA), an estimated 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen from their homes each year here in the U.S., and many end up in our shelters. Of those pets, only 22% of dogs and less than 2% of cats were able to be reunited with their families without the help of microchips or ID tags. It’s a heartbreaking statistic. 

We do our very best as pet parent’s to keep our beloved furry family members safe at all times, but there are situations that even we can’t prepare for. Thinking about the safety of our pets can sometimes become overwhelming, especially when we aren’t sure what we would do in that situation. Here are 5 things you should do if you lose your pet:

Ditch the guilt

When a pet gets out or becomes lost, often the first emotion that floods in is guilt. It’s inevitable and nearly impossible to shake. This is why, the number one, most important, step to overcome when losing a pet is the guilt. Let me be very clear. Losing your beloved pet does not, in any way, make you a bad or irresponsible pet owner. So, kick that thought to the curb because this can happen to anyone. 

Check in with your local animal shelters

One of the first things you should do is file a lost pet report with every animal shelter within 60 mile radius of your home. This allows you to cover more ground should your pet happen to wander a farther distance than you can physically search. Visiting and/or calling the shelters daily to check if your pet has been brought in gives you a better chance of finding your pet sooner and reducing their stay period within the shelter; a very stressful environment for any pet. Another crucial aspect of this step is to call the microchip company your pet’s chip is from and double check that all of your information is accurate and up-to-date. These companies also often provide additional tools and resources for you to find your pet. *If you believe your pet may have stolen, also be sure to alert your local police department! 

Recruit some friends and search the neighborhood

It seems incredibly daunting to attempt to search on foot for your lost pet, but it really is effective. Ask for help, the animal-lovers of your community can’t say no when a pet is in trouble, and they will come. In troves! Make sure everyone has treats and some sort of leash or carrier and take the search to the streets. An added boost to this method is to hang up flyers as you go around the neighborhoods and in as many local establishments as you can. They should have a current photo of your pet, their name, and your contact information. Simple, but really gets the word out. 

Check the internet

One of the greatest tools at your disposal in this day and age is the internet. Social media channels have the capability to disseminate information not only at rapid speeds, but also to a much larger group of people. Post your lost pet on any social media platform and it will be shared and more people will be looking out for your pet. There are also a lot of websites to look into such as Pawboost, Petco Love Lost, Pet FBI, Center for Lost Pets, Nextdoor lost and found pages and posts, and even Craigslist. The internet is an invaluable tool in finding lost pets, use it!

Never stop looking

No matter how long it takes, how fatigued you become, hold onto your hope and keep searching. There is no one else your pet would rather be than with you, and vice versa. You hold so much power to reunite with your lost pet, and it’s important to never give that up. They are counting on you. We’ve all seen the stories of pets who have been lost for years reuniting with their families and that moment is worth every ounce of heartache. Never. Give. Up. 

HSSA is determined to keep pets out of the shelters and safe in their homes. With our newest lost pet initiative, Volunteer Pet Detectives, we are putting our volunteers in the mix to help support pet parents in the community who may have lost a pet. Through research and monitoring various tools, our volunteers are matching lost pet information with found pet information and helping to reunite families with their lost pet whether they have come to the shelter or not. Join the mission and become a Volunteer Pet Detective!



Information Sources

Pet Finder |

Humane Society of the United States |

HSSA Adoptable Pet of the Week

Meet Comet

Monday, May 3rd, 2021

Comet is a stunning and petite young cat who enjoys the company of people and other pets! Comet is 2 years old and loves to play with anything that has strings or feathers on it. He likes to perch himself on a nice window sill and watch the world go by. Comet is social and affectionate and would love to meet you today! You can see Comet in action right here!

Come say hello to Comet at HSSA’s Main Campus at 635 W. Roger Rd. or give us a call at (520) 327-6088 ext 173.

Preparing for flea and tick season

These pesky parasites are ready to pounce and your pet may be their next target

Friday, April 30th, 2021

It’s that blissful time of year again here in the Southwest where temperatures begin to heat up astronomically, cultivating an ideal playground for pesky pests like fleas and ticks. As two of the most common concerns for pet-parents, we want to be sure you are equipped with the tools and information you need to keep your pet safe from these parasites. 

So, what exactly are fleas and ticks?

Let’s talk about ‘em! Fleas. These wingless nuisances plague an enormous number of companion pets each year. The most common type of fleas found on dogs and cats are known as “cat fleas” and are only able to survive and reproduce by living off the blood of their animal host. Fleas can look very similar to other small insects, and one simple way of identifying them is by seeing if they jump. Yes, really. Fleas may be wingless, but they are skilled jumpers, able to jump 100 to 200 times their size.

Similar to fleas, ticks are also parasites that feed on the blood of a host animal, however, they differ in that they don’t need to make their animal host home base. These parasites are arachnids and can carry and transmit many diseases to their host through their bite. Ticks prefer a humid and warm environment which is why you typically find them in the ears, underarms, between the toes, and other commonly warm areas of an animal. 

Know the signs.

One of the first signs that your pet may have fleas is that they are constantly scratching or chewing at their fur. Your pet reacts this way because not only do fleas produce a sharp pain when they bite, but they also have an ingredient in their salivary glands that irritates the skin. In addition, you can often see fleas or ticks on your pet in areas where fur is less prominent. Fleas are small and copper-colored and can be identified by their jumping nature. Oftentimes, you will also be able to notice what is called “flea dirt”, these are deposits from the fleas that show up as small dark dots, but turn red when rehydrated. When looking for ticks, feel for uneven areas on your pet. If you feel a bump that shouldn’t be there, it could be a tick, and the quicker you remove it the less likely it is that your pet will contract an illness from the tick bite. 

How to keep your pet safe.

When it comes to keeping your pet safe and healthy from these parasites, the best method of defense is prevention. Administering a year-round flea and tick preventative medication to your pet is an excellent option, and by consulting with your veterinarian you can easily determine which option will be most effective and safest for your pet. It’s also important to regularly inspect your pets and your home for signs that fleas and/or ticks may be present. If either are detected, be sure to treat ALL pets in the home as well as the surrounding environment. 

These warmer, summer months are the most common times of the year for flea and tick season, and for most states that is true, in our wonderfully warm state of Arizona, however, flea and tick season really does last on a year-round basis. This is why it is so important to be vigilant in inspecting your pets and your home for these pests as well as taking advantage of preventative medication for your pet. Keeping them healthy and happy is the only goal! 

Here at HSSA we care deeply about the health and wellbeing of every pet in our community and the HSSA Clinic is here to serve you and yours. We offer walk-in, low-cost vaccinations two times a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays where you are also able to purchase preventative medication like Heartguard and flea and tick prevention.



Information Sources

American Kennel Club |


Pets Web MD |

HSSA Adoptable Pet of the Week

Meet Gabriel

Monday, April 26th, 2021

7 year old Gabriel is a cuddly little lovebug who wants nothing more than special person of his own to love and adore. Gabriel wears booties on his paws to protect his sensitive skin. He loves to play, sniff, and lounge around outside in the sun. Gabriel will do anything for a tasty treat, and walks great on a leash! He has lived with other dogs before and would do best in a low-key and laid back household.

Meet Gabriel at HSSA’s Main Campus at 635 W. Roger Rd. or call (520) 327-6088 ext 173 for more information.

Join our Adopters Facebook Group

We Love to Keep in Touch!

Monday, April 26th, 2021

When you adopt from the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, you’re not just adding a furry four-legged friend to your family, you’re joining HSSA’s forever family as well. We compassionately support pets and the people who love them, and one of the ways we do that is by staying in touch with families who adopt from our shelter.

Everyone who adopts from HSSA is invited to join the “HSSA Adopters Group” on Facebook where adopters can share stories, photos, and advice with other adopters, shelter staff, and volunteers. Social media is an important tool for staying connected, especially during the times we’re living in right now. Whether supporting a person who has already adopted a pet or finding a very special home for a pet in need, social media helps us connect with pet lovers in our community.

The 50,000 followers on the Humane Society of Southern Arizona’s Facebook page make it one of the most effective forms of communication we have to find forever families. Through likes, shares, and comments, one photo of a dog or cat is able to reach thousands of potential adopters and hopefully make its way to that one special person who can give that pet the loving forever home they deserve.

How thrifting save lives and the planet

It turns out thrifting isn't just good for your wallet, it's good for the planet too.

Thursday, April 22nd, 2021

While the practice of repurposing a household or clothing item until it truly becomes unusable is not anything new, in fact people have been doing that for centuries, the establishment of thrift stores is a relatively new aspect of human life. Lately, they have begun to take on a much greater purpose.

To understand what that is, let’s take a few steps back in history to see where it all began. Now, like I said before, people have been repurposing their belongings such as clothing since its very existence. Back then, nothing went to waste. A dress would turn into a jumper, which would turn into a rag, which would then be shredded and used to stuff a cushion. It was cost-effective and good for the environment. That all changed when the industrial revolution took center stage bringing industry and machine manufacturing with it. A turning point for civilization, and the health of our planet.

During this time it became more affordable to buy new things more often, giving most items a more disposable appearance. This effect has snowballed relentlessly into the mass-production, wasteful life we know today, and our planet is paying the ultimate price for it. How so? You may be wondering. Well, let’s dive in.

One of the most common thrifted items is clothing. No surprise there. But, did you know that the production of clothing in the fashion industry takes a major toll on the environment? According to the World Economic Forum, the fashion industry makes up 10% of all humanity’s carbon emissions and is the second-largest consumer of earth’s water supply. 🤯 Yikes. Seems daunting, we know, but this is where thrifting comes in to help save the day (and planet 🌎)!

According to the Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC) at UC Berkeley, thrifting means less clothing ends up in landfills, less resources are being used and wasted, and less pollution. It gives us the chance to sustain our environment for future generations.

Here at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, we are proud to do our part in protecting the planet and its furry creatures. At our Thrift Store, the proceeds go directly towards funding the many programs and services we offer that save the lives of shelter pets in our community. So, when you shop at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona Thrift Store, you not only are helping save the planet, but you also have a hand in helping save lives.

University of Arizona students assist Pet Detectives program

Lost. Found. Shelter. Home.

Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

It’s a sad but well-known fact that millions of pets are lost in the United States each year, and the majority of them end up in the nation’s animal shelters. Here, at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA), we strive to keep pets out of the shelters as much as possible by finding new and innovative ways to end pet homelessness. 

Volunteer Pet Detectives assembles volunteers to help reunite lost pets with their families, all from the comfort of their homes. As an extension of HSSA’s Lost and Found Department, this remote volunteer service utilizes the magic of social media and the internet to find potential lost and found matches. By comparing shelter reports filed by owners and social media posts about lost pets to shelter intake and found reports across various platforms, volunteers are able to cross-reference a pet’s characteristics and determine if there is a match. Finding a match means finding a lost pet and identifying their family; reuniting them faster and significantly reducing the stress level of the pet. 

Our new program is the brainchild of our very own, Jennifer Stones, an HSSA Lost and Found Technician, who founded it out of an understanding of the need to keep pets out of shelters and in their homes. She believes this program is important in helping lost pets because it is “taking us [HSSA] out of the equation.” She explains that, “it gets pets home faster and is going to keep them out of the shelter setting entirely, which is less traumatizing for the animal.” When lost pets enter the shelter they are already scared, confused, and stressed, and as hard as we work to keep our shelter calm and comfortable for all of our pets, it’s still a shelter and will never be as comforting as a home. “Keeping them out of here is the goal of what we do”, says Jennifer. 

In an effort to jumpstart this enterprise our team has partnered with students at the University of Arizona who are working on a few different projects that will lay the groundwork for an effective and sustainable program. One of the groups, Blue Chip, is working on a two-part project that could transform this fledgling lost pet initiative into something huge. Part one is networking. By connecting with various clubs on campus, their first goal is to establish partnerships and build a permanent volunteer base. Acquiring volunteers is the only way we can really have an impact, and this group of students is on its way to that. Part two is a coding element. The students will be utilizing their skillset to create easily accessible information web pages that will assist in maximizing the effectiveness of the initiative. The final group is working as volunteers, experiencing Pet Detectives first-hand and providing valuable feedback that will help us create a strong, robust, community-serving program. 

The impact these students have on the longevity of this program is incomparable. Having support from the University of Arizona students who can provide fresh ideas and a diverse pool of insight to help construct Pet Detectives into a strong service, provides us with a greater chance at really having a positive effect on the number of lost pets entering the shelter. When asked what her goal is for this program in working with the students, Jennifer said she hopes to, “successfully lay the foundation of a program that is able to grow and become long-lasting.” 

GET INVOLVED! For this program to truly create change in our community, we need volunteers. This work is so important in ensuring lost pets make it home quicker and in the least stressful way possible; foregoing the shelter. The more eyes we have out there, the better chance we have to get more pets home safely. It’s a tough task, the effort you put in won’t always match the output, there is no guarantee you’ll find a match every time, but, by being proactive, every second you spend looking to find a match is one less second a scared, confused, lost pet has to spend away from their safe space, their family, their home. 

Geronimo Animal Rescue Team

Where Passion Meets Purpose

Monday, April 19th, 2021

Geronimo Animal Rescue Team brought more than forty cats to the TNR M.A.S.H. clinic in January. Working to help the pets and pet owners who reside within the San Carlos Apache Nation. What started five years ago with Dorothea Stevens transporting sick, injured, and abandoned pets to receive medical care has grown into a team of passionate animal lovers doing this important work regularly.

Since the start of the pandemic, the San Carlos Apache Nation has been without veterinary services. Dorothea and her team are working to change this. Filing for 501c status, the rescue team wants to establish animal welfare and veterinarian services full-time for the tribe. “We work along with animal control. We just don’t have the vets that we need and we don’t have the enforcement as far as animal abuse,” Dorothea explains, “that’s something we will be working on.”

Another goal of the group is to provide education and outreach to help teach children basic humane principles. “As Apaches we respect all animals and we were raised that way a long time ago but we don’t see this happening anymore. We want to start with the little ones so they can teach the adults.”

Regarding the impact services like the M.A.S.H. provide to the people and pets in her community, Dorothea can’t hide her excitement. “This is so important! It’s already having an impact on Facebook with people requesting help with community cats in their area, so this is a really good start. Even just the little steps of getting your cat fixed and ending family in-breeding - that’s just one step but that goes a long way!”

If you would like to help support the Geronimo Animal Rescue Team’s efforts, visit the link below!

HSSA Adoptable Pet of the Week

Meet Truffle

Monday, April 19th, 2021

Truffle is THE BEST. Whether he's playing with other dogs, tennis balls, stuffed toys, or the agility course, Truffle is the best at whatever he sets his mind to! This 1 year old speckled heeler boy is SO much fun and is always ready to party. Truffle has boundless energy and would love to find a home where he can be busy and active!

Meet Truffle at HSSA Main Campus at 635 W. Roger Rd or give us a call at (520) 327-6088 ext 173 for more information.

Stuff the Ambulance 2021

HSSA to hold "Stuff the Ambulance" Pet Food Donation Drive

Friday, April 16th, 2021

This past year has left a lot of families in our community struggling to keep and care for their pets. The Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA) is calling on the community's help to assist pets and their families in need.

Join HSSA on April 17th from 10:00am-12:00pm at Thoroughbred Nissan located 5140 E. 22nd Street, Tucson, AZ 85711 as they collect donated pet food to fill up an entire ambulance. HSSA is encouraging people to stop by to donate wet or dry pet food, and is also accepting monetary donations.

Donated food will be used for HSSA's Monthly Pet Food Distribution, in which families that are struggling to feed their pets can stop by to receive free pet food. The distribution happens the first Sunday of every month from 8am-10am at HSSA's Main Campus, 635 W. Roger Rd.

"We know that times are tough right now, and some people may be forced to make difficult choices in regards to feeding their pet" says Hannah Carl, HSSA Public Relations Lead. "No person or pet should go hungry, and it is our hope that this monthly distribution will offer a little bit of help to those families in need."

If you are unable to attend the event in person and still want to help out, please make a donation online at the link below and help HSSA purchase wholesale pet food for families in need.

Rattlesnakes: They are more like us than you think

Respect the Rattle

Thursday, April 15th, 2021

Snakes. The very word alone can send some people into an instant panic. A reaction that humans seemingly have exhibited since the dawn of our existence. Why is that? Well, you see, humans and snakes have coevolved for quite a significant length of time, nearly 40 to 60 millions years to be exact, and it is likely that our early ancestors had unpleasant interactions with snakes that created an evolutionary change in our reaction to these animals. As we’ve evolved, the threat of snakes has subsided substantially, however, our threat to them has increased insurmountably. It’s important to understand how our relationship with snakes began, so we can better overcome this fear, and more importantly, combat the misconceptions surrounding snakes that are costing them their lives. Read on to learn more about the training we offer to keep your pet and your family safe from rattlesnakes! 

Our own backyard is home to one of the most identifiable snakes in the Western United States, the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake. A heavy-statured reptile known for its triangular-shaped head and the beautiful diamond-shaped patterns that cascade down its back, the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake has quite a reputation in these parts, but the last thing we should be of these unique creatures is afraid. So, how can we help stop this? Well, Steve Irwin said it best when he said, “If we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched. Share my wildlife with me. Because humans want to save things that they love.” 

Let’s share and learn about our wildlife! The Western Diamondback Rattlesnake can be found in a variety of different environments from the sandy, dry desert to the more humid and lush hillsides of the coast throughout the Southwestern United States and Northern half of Mexico. One fun fact about these reptiles is that they have an adaptation called a heat sensing pit, allowing them to sense variances in temperature, that is so accurate it can detect variances as minute as a fraction of a degree of difference. How cool is that!? Although, probably the most intriguing fact about rattlesnakes is that they are more like us than we think. A recent study revealed that they actually have friends. Just like you and me! In an article for National Geographic, Founder of Advocates for Snake Preservation and herpetologist, Melissa Amarello expanded on that notion stating that, “they’re shy, gentle creatures with rich family lives. They can have friends. They take care of their kids.” It’s fun to discover that our wild neighbors aren’t so different from us after all, don’t you think?

So, how is the Humane Society of Southern Arizona doing its part? Well, we offer Rattlesnake Avoidance Training throughout the spring to the fall that helps to protect your dog and your family from rattlesnakes. In these classes, piloted by local animal experts from Arizona Animal Experts, Inc. and Adobe Dog Training, your dog will learn how to recognize the presence of a rattlesnake, avoid it, and warn you in time to prevent an expensive and potentially deadly encounter. Minimizing our encounters with rattlesnakes saves their lives and ours. Learn more here! 

Snakes are vital to the balance of the ecosystem here. We must respect them and their right to exist. We don’t expect everyone to fall in love with these reptiles, but, we hope that what you take away from this is a newfound respect for these complex creatures and that you think twice about taking their life the next time you encounter one. Remember, this was their land first.  

Information Sources

National Geographic |

Arizona Sonora Desert Museum |

HSSA Adoptable Pet of the Week

Meet Fluffy

Monday, April 12th, 2021

“Woof! That’s dog-speak for ‘Adopt me!’ My name is Fluffy and I am a 7 year old boy. I was found as a stray wandering around an outlet mall shopping for a new family, and a kind human brought me to HSSA to find a family here instead. I am goofy and affectionate! I love to lean on people and I expect nothing in return. I get along with other dogs and I am very playful!"

Meet me at HSSA Main Campus at 635 W. Roger Rd. or call (520) 327-6088 ext 173 for more information.

Your HSSA Spring Event Guide

Mark your calendars!

Monday, April 12th, 2021
🌼 All April

Coffee X-Change Percentage Month

Bring in an HSSA flyer and 20% of your purchases made at all Coffee X-Change locations will be donated back to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona! Flyers will be available digitally or you can pick up flyers from PAWSH Park Place or HSSA Thrift Store. Valid at both Coffee X-Change locations.

🌼 April 17th

Stuff the Ambulance

10am to 12pm at Thoroughbred Nissan (5140 E 22nd St.)

Join HSSA and Thoroughbred Nissan as we stuff the ambulance with pet food donations for struggling families in our community. Dry and wet pet food donations will be accepted as well as monetary donations. To top it off, Thoroughbred Nissan will be matching the first $500 donated in support of this cause.

🌻 April 24th

HIP Ice Cream Social

2pm to 4pm at HSSA Main Campus 635 W. Roger Rd.

Join the Hand in Paw Kid’s Club for a FREE open-house family event including making dog ice cream, learning to identify household pet hazards, shelter tours and more!

🌺 May 7th

Movie and a Cuddle with Bedtime Stories

5pm to 9pm at HSSA Main Campus 635 W. Roger Rd.

Kids will read bedtime stories to our shelter pets, create a unique craft, enjoy a pizza dinner, snack on popcorn, love on therapy dogs and watch a favorite children’s movie! Learn more at

*Due to the COVID-19 outbreak all event information is subject to change. For the most up-to-date information visit the link below.

Cat training? Oh yeah, its a thing!

You may be training your cat wrong… without knowing it

Thursday, April 8th, 2021

Typically when you hear of training a pet, your immediate thought goes to dogs. Cats hardly ever seem to enter into that conversation, but that is all about to change. Cats are perceived to be highly independent, stubborn, and bursting of free will, and, while that is true, those attributes have led humans to assume training their cat is unnecessary and impossible. This is the first mistake many cat-owners make and nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, a cat can be taught certain behaviors that benefit both it and its human companion. 

The fact of the matter is, by not actively training your cat, you are in fact training your cat. This often ends up with the cat learning the exact behaviors you don’t want them to learn. It’s a confusing and vicious circle. Let me try to explain. Have you ever yelled “stop!” at your cat for doing something like clawing at the furniture and then picked them up to move them away from said furniture? While it may feel like you’re correcting the bad behavior, instead you are inadvertently rewarding it by offering attention. Therefore, the cat will continue the behavior that is getting them the reaction that they like. Not good. So, how do you fix it? It’s simple really. Just reverse what you were doing before. Reward the good behavior and pay no attention to the bad behavior. 

It’s all about the power of positivity and patience. Trust us, you’ll need it. Attempting to unlearn a behavior is a very difficult thing to do for an animal. It’s also a difficult time for the pet-parents who have to endure the “extinction burst”. This is the time where you have to stay strong and stick to your plan because your cat will begin trying everything and anything to get your attention doing the behavior you once unknowingly rewarded them for. Meowing ten times louder, scratching the furniture more, urinating more… you get the picture. It’s difficult and you may want to pull your hair out, but the reward is entirely worth it. Once this time is over, then you can really get into training your cat new, positive behaviors! 

As you begin training remember these important tips: (1) be sure to use food rewards your cat is excited about, (2) train in very short sessions, (3) don’t force them to progress too quickly, and (4), the most important of all, be loving and be positive. The effort to train your cat is worth it. It makes it easier for you to care for them and it allows you and your cat to bond and build a loving, trusting relationship. 




National Geographic |

HSSA Adoptable Pet of the Week

Meet Ceesa

Monday, April 5th, 2021

Ceesa is a gentle and talkative senior kitty with no plans to slow down any time soon. Ceesa may have short hair right now, but she’ll eventually grow a full, long, and fluffy coat. She’s 8 year old and loves nothing more than having her head scratched. She’s playful, social, and loves attention. Ceesa is looking for a laid-back home where she can relax and receive lots of love.

Meet Ceesa at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona at 635 W Roger Rd or call (520) 327-6088 ext 173 for more information.

Arizona Gives Day 2021

HSSA Aims to Raise $75,000 for Arizona Gives Day

Monday, April 5th, 2021

This Tuesday, April 6th is Arizona Gives Day and the Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA) is counting on the generosity of the Tucson community to help raise $75,000 for homeless pets in need.

Arizona Gives is a collaboration between the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and Arizona Grantmakers that raises awareness about Arizona nonprofits and the critical role they play in our communities and state. Arizona Gives Day inspires people to give generously to nonprofits making our state stronger, creating a thriving community for all.

HSSA is a private nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, It is not a department of the federal, state, county or city government, nor is it a branch of, or affiliated with, any other charitable organization. HSSA doesn't receiving any funding from the state or county, and relies completely on donations for support.

HSSA wants to share the heartfelt and inspiring stories of pets whose lives have been directly impacted by generous donors. Maggie, the 12 year old Shih Tzu, was abandoned outside the front gates of HSSA in a cardboard box, with severely dirty and matted fur, and covered in insects. Her life was saved by HSSA's Second Chance Fund. She is now healthy and eagerly awaiting adoption.

Charlotte, a 1 year old tortoiseshell cat was badly burned in a fire. She has been receiving treatment by HSSA's Medical Staff for several months, and will continue to recuperate until she is stable enough for adoption.

These stories and more are available to view online at

Hannah Carl, HSSA Public Relations Lead says, "It's so important to us that the community feel connected to the work we are doing, which is why we're showcasing these stories. We want our supporters to see all of the amazing things that we're able to do because of their donations."

In addition to helping stray and abandoned pets, HSSA also acts as a valuable partner to other local animal shelters. When Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) took in a large hoarding case of over 40 dogs last week, HSSA was on the scene to help ease the burden.

Steve Farley, HSSA CEO says, "As the leading independent community-supported animal welfare organization in Southern Arizona, HSSA is helping the Pima County shelter deal with this difficult situation by accepting some of the animals into our shelter and preparing them for adoption to loving homes. As has been our mission for the last 76 years, we always stand ready to save the lives of pets in trouble wherever they are found."

The dogs that were rescued from the hoarding situation and are now in HSSA's care are undergoing medical and will be available for adoption soon.

Your donation honors HSSA's 75+ year commitment to serving pets and the people who love them of all of Southern Arizona.

Rattlesnake Avoidance Training

One Deadly Bite

Monday, April 5th, 2021

How far would you go to keep your pet safe? If you are reading this blog, the answer is undoubtedly, “Whatever it takes.” That’s why HSSA offers Rattlesnake Avoidance Training. Although we might not always see them, in our part of the country rattlesnakes are all around us. Dogs can tell when a rattlesnake is near through smell, but that often makes them curious, drawing them closer to danger. They have to be taught that snakes are bad news.

By setting aside an hour to attend the Humane Society of Southern Arizona’s Rattlesnake Avoidance Training, you will help your dog learn how to use all of their senses to stay safe from rattlesnakes. Most importantly, you will learn how your best friend will react when a rattlesnake is near in a safe, controlled environment. Knowing how to spot cues from your canine when danger is near will keep you safe as well, and potentially save both of your lives! If your dog is at least 6 months of age with proof of vaccinations the time to register is NOW.

Training is conducted by the professionals from Animal Experts, Inc. and A-dobe Dog Training.

HSSA Adoptable Pet of the Week

Meet Gracie

Monday, March 29th, 2021

12 year old Gracie shouldn’t be in a shelter kennel. She came to HSSA when her owner passed away. She’s as sweet as can be and loves affection. She’ll give you a quiet little meow when she wants your attention, and would love nothing more than a nice home with some warm laps to rest in.

You can meet Gracie at HSSA Main Campus at 635 W. Roger Rd. or call (520) 327-6088 ext 173 for more information.