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HSSA Adoptable Pets of the Week

Meet Luciano and Biggie, and learn more about HSSA upcoming events

Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

This week, meet adoptables, Biggie and Luciano, and learn more about how HSSA has partnered with Cathy's Sewing and Vac's Not-so-traditional Christmas in July event.

HSSA Adoptable Pet of the Week

Meet Ruby Jean

Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

“ Hi friends! My name is Ruby Jean and I am a 5 year old Australian Cattle Dog mix with a gentle soul and a lot of love to give! When you first meet me I can be a bit shy because I’ve spent a lot of time living in and out of shelters, but, don’t worry, that hasn’t snuffed my spirit! All it takes is a little lovin’ and I will become a fun-loving, affectionate girl who will brighten all your darkest days. My favorite thing in the whole world is curling up on the couch squished in between my family and demanding LOTS of belly rubs. If you enjoy being loved as much as giving it, then I am your girl! Come meet me at HSSA's Main Campus at 635 W. Roger Rd. or call an adoption counselor today to learn more about me! Call 520-327-6088, ext. 173."

HSSA Thrift Store has found its forever home

HSSA Thrift Store kicks off its inaugural day with a Grand Opening celebration event on July 17, 2021.

Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

Tucson, AZ (July 13, 2021) - The Humane Society of Southern Arizona Thrift Store has found its new, forever, home and will be opening its doors to the public for the first time on July 17, 2021 with a Grand Opening celebration event beginning at 10:00am. 


The grandiose event will take place at the newly renovated HSSA Thrift Store located at 1010 S. Wilmot Rd., just north of 22nd Street, and will feature fun games and activities for the whole family to enjoy, amazing giveaways, a live mariachi band to kick off the event with an authentic Southwest bang, and, the topper of it all, a chance to shop in the brand new store. 


The shopping experience in this new store will be unlike anything our shoppers have experienced with us before. The enormous 16,000 square foot space has been thoughtfully designed with our thrifters in mind, and will feature all of the elements our patrons have missed since moving from our original location as well as all of the aspects they have loved since moving into our previous location at Park Place Mall. It will have everything from the bargain bins to the high-quality Sam Levitz furniture overstock selections, and will bring back the “thrift store” atmosphere that has been greatly missed. This space will also house our donations center, so everything will conveniently be in one place.


With a new, larger space, the new Humane Society of Southern Arizona Thrift Store will be able to expand its efforts in helping homeless and at-risk pets in our community and the people who love them through hosting vaccination clinics and on-site adoption events. Additionally, the proceeds from the store will continue to flow directly back into the organization to provide support for the programs and services of HSSA that save thousands of pet’s lives every year. 

Newly Named Petco Love Invests in Lifesaving Work of the Humane Society of Southern Arizona

Grant of $10,000 will help save more pet lives in Southern Arizona

Monday, July 5th, 2021

Humane Society of Southern Arizona announced today a $10,000 grant investment from the newly named, Petco Love, to support their lifesaving work for animals in Southern Arizona.

Petco Love is a nonprofit leading change for pets nationally by harnessing the power of love to make communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier. Since their founding in 1999 as the Petco Foundation, they’ve empowered organizations with $300 million invested to date in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. And, they’ve helped find loving homes for more than 6.5 million pets in partnership with Petco and more than 4,000 organizations, like ours, nationwide.

“Today Petco Love announces an investment in the Humane Society of Southern Arizona and hundreds of other organizations as part of our commitment to create a future in which no pet is unnecessarily euthanized,” said Susanne Kogut, President of Petco Love. “Our local investments are only one component. Last month, we also launched the first of our national tools to empower all animal lovers to drive lifesaving change right alongside us.”

“The Petco Love grant investment supports our efforts to provide lifesaving care for the cats, dogs, and other furry friends that come through our doors,” said Dave Eshbaugh, Director of Donor Relations at Humane Society of Southern Arizona.

The Humane Society of Southern Arizona is a nonprofit organization that compassionately serves pets and the people who love them. It is a full-service animal welfare organization, assisting surrounding shelters by taking in hard-to-place pets and those with extreme medical conditions, providing space for pets in overcrowded shelters, and putting in extraordinary efforts to ensure all the pets that come through it’s doors get the care and love they deserve. Since 1944, the Humane Society of Southern Arizona has served over 1 million pets and has become a leader in animal welfare; achieving an average rescue-rate of 90% for the pets in its care. For more information about the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, visit To learn more about Petco Love, visit

For additional information contact:

Dave Eshbaugh, Humane Society of Southern Arizona,

520-327-6088 ext. 116,

Jennifer Perez, Petco Love,

Fourth of July Pet Safety Tips

How you can protect your pets this Independence Day.

Wednesday, June 30th, 2021

Fireworks and the Fourth of July have been synonymous with each other since the very first Independence Day celebration in 1777. Their boisterous booms and bright colors reflect the pride and elation our nation’s citizens feel as we commemorate another year as a free, independent, nation, and honor the bravery it took for our founding citizens to lay the groundwork for the nation we call home today. While this tradition is a valuable one for us humans, this celebration boasts several celebratory activities that cause nothing but stress, anxiety, and fear for our pets, and the ramifications of that can end in tragedy.

More pets run away from their homes on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year, so having a plan to ensure your pets are safe and protected during the commotions of the day could be life-saving for them. In addition to fireworks, many of the activities on this day can be harmful to your pet. Here are some pet safety tips to help you keep your pet safe this Independence Day.

Keep your pet indoors at all times.
While it may seem like a fun idea to include your beloved pets in the festivities of the day, this will more than likely put unnecessary stress on them, and could end with them getting loose in a frightened effort to find safety. Even the most relaxed pets can be affected by the unusual sights and sounds of the Fourth of July, and the heightened stress can cause them to behave in an uncharacteristic manner - such as attempting to escape the household. The heat is also a major factor and keeping your pets indoors will also protect them from the deadly dangers of the heat.

Make sure your pet has proper and current identification.
Preparing ahead of time for a possible scenario in which your pet runs away from home is crucial. This includes, ensuring your pet has up-to-date ID tags securely fastened on their collar, getting them microchipped if you haven't already, and confirming with the microchip company that all of your contact information is accurate.

Make sure their environment is safe and secure.
If you are leaving your home to celebrate, make sure your pet’s area is secure and safe for them. Keeping your pet in a crate or escape-proof room will ensure their safety is helpful in reducing their anxiety levels throughout the evening. If you are hosting guests, ask them to help you with monitoring your pet’s anxiety levels, and place signs on all entrance and exit locations to remind guests to secure them as they come and go.

Keep common festivity items out of reach and away from pets.
Remember that many foods intended for human consumption can be harmful to your pet’s health. Refrain from giving them table scraps, and ensure all alcoholic drinks are out of reach. Don’t place glow jewelry on your pet, or allow them to play with them as the contents inside are toxic to pets.

NEVER set off fireworks near your pet.
Exposure to lit fireworks can increase the likelihood of your pet enduring severe burns, and the unfamiliar sounds, sights, and smells of fireworks can cause extreme anxiety in your pet causing them to bolt and potentially hurt themselves in search of safety.

The Humane Society of Southern Arizona is dedicated to arming pet parents with valuable knowledge and safety tips to best protect their pets in any situation. It aims to remain a constant reliable resource and place of information for members of the community who have questions and strive to be the best pet owners they can be. HSSA is a proud member of the community here in Southern Arizona and is hopeful these tips will reduce the number of lost or injured pets in Tucson this coming Fourth of July.

In the event you do lose your pet, or find a runaway pet, this weekend we are here to help! By visiting our Lost and Found Page, you will find the resources you need to reunite with your pet, or help a pet reunite with their family, faster.

HSSA Adoptable Pet of the Week

Meet Buster

Monday, June 28th, 2021

“Hiya, friends! My name is Buster and I am an 8 year old Pit Bull Terrier Mix. My age may make you think I am a “senior”, but my spirit proves that is far from the truth. I am one-of-a-kind. Truly! Just look at my video, here, you’ll see. I’ve been told I have the best smile, and I must because every time HSSA volunteers or staff see me smile they light up. I’m quite beloved around here, and they are always telling me what a good boy I am. I love to play and get out my energy, but nothing beats quality relaxation time with my favorite people. Add some string cheese and I’m in heaven. I am just one big loveable pup looking for my very own family who will love and care for me forever. Won’t you give me a chance to be your best friend? Come meet me at HSSA's Main Campus at 635 W. Roger Rd. or call an adoption counselor today to learn more about me! Call 520-327-6088, ext. 173."

HSSA Adoptable Pet of the Week

Meet Nizhoni

Monday, June 21st, 2021

“Hi, friends! My name is Nizhoni, and just like my name I am a rare find. I am a 2 year old Shepherd mix and have been looking for my forever family for quite some time, but I won’t lose hope! I know my perfect family is out there and I can’t wait to meet you. I had a rough start in life, but HSSA has helped me so much and now I just love to take things easy and really smell the roses, you know? What can I say, I’m a sensitive soul! In my down time, I enjoy getting soft pets from my people and relaxing. I know I may look a little different, but that’s my favorite thing about me! I'm unique and proud of it. I’m gentle and sweet and LOVE playing with my doggy and human friends. I have so much love to give, and I just know that when my family finds me they will look at me and know that I am the one. I’m ready to light up your life! Come meet me at HSSA's Main Campus at 635 W. Roger Rd. or call an adoption counselor today to learn more about me! Call 520-327-6088, ext. 173."

HSSA Adoptable Pet of the Week

Meet Elfie

Monday, June 14th, 2021

“Hi there! My name is Elfie. I am a 10 year old persian cat aged to perfection with stunning soft and silky silver fur and electric eyes. While at the shelter, the staff has really helped me gain my confidence back, and now I am more than ready to show it off and find my forever family. As you can see from my video, I am very stylish with my new lion-styled haircut. It really brings out my eyes, don't you think? 😻 My favorite pastime is cuddling with my person. The moment I get into your arms I never want to leave. In those moments we will have great conversations and I will share all my love with you. I can’t wait! Come meet me at HSSA's Main Campus at 635 W. Roger Rd. or call an adoption counselor today to learn more about me! Call 520-327-6088, ext. 173."

The Colorado River Toad season is upon us, and these seemingly harmless amphibians pack a dangerous punch of toxicity that can immensely harm your dog. What to know and how to keep your dog safe.

Monday, June 14th, 2021

Here in the great Southwest we have the honor of sharing a home with some incredible, but deadly, wild animals. What almost immediately comes to mind are scorpions and rattlesnakes, right? You’re not wrong, however, there is a sneaky amphibian that is almost always forgotten, but has the ability to be fatal to your dog just as easily as a rattlesnake; the Colorado River Toad (also known as the Sonoran Desert Toad). 

Dawning from the Sonoran Desert, found from Central Arizona to southwestern New Mexico  and even down in Mexico, this impressive amphibian holds the accolade as one of the largest toads native to North America. Sporting an all-over greenish-gray coloring with a cream colored belly, the Colorado River Toad is most active from the end of May into September, and is nocturnal during the hotter summer months. You can be sure of one thing when the presence of the Colorado River Toad is made known... Summer monsoons are rolling in. 

In addition to its impressive size, this monsoon mainstay also packs quite a punch of tremendously potent toxins. This toxin is their best line of defense against predators, and is expelled from numerous glands within the skin. Whether it’s an innocently curious dog or a predator looking for its next meal, the moment these toads feel threatened this toxin is released, and when I say it packs a punch, it is not an exaggeration. The toxin is more than potent enough to be fatal to even a fully grown dog. 

As we approach the summer rainy season, and the most active time for the Colorado River Toad, we encourage dog owners to be extra cautious in their outings with their dog and offer an opportunity to further protect them with the HSSA Colorado River Toad Avoidance Training classes. In these classes dogs and their owners will acquire valuable and potentially life-saving training in Colorado River Toad avoidance. Each class lasts only 15-minutes, and has the potential to prevent an expensive, painful, and potentially fatal encounter with a Colorado River Toad. 

Being proactive in protecting our dogs through training classes and understanding the dangers of the Colorado River Toad, we are enabled with the ability to respect these impressive amphibians; providing them the space they deserve in their home, and keeping our beloved dogs safe from harm. 


Information Sources

Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum |


HSSA Adoptable Pet of the Week

Meet Diesel

Monday, June 7th, 2021

"Hi friends! My name is Diesel and I am a 3 year old lab mix that acts like a small lap dog trapped in a large dog’s body. I will do anything and everything that I can to make it onto your lap and into your heart. At 65lbs it can be a very uncomfortable situation for my owners, but when I gaze into your eyes, I like to think it makes me feel lighter in your lap. I live for attention and affection and I will work hard to prove to you how good of a dog that I am. I will take some patience and some consistent training, but the energy you put into me will result in the best friend you can have!"

If you are interested in meeting Diesel, please contact HSSA at 520 327 6088 ext.173.

A community unified by science and a passion for pets

University of Arizona and the Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA) come together to form a powerful partnership that will create change in animal welfare

Thursday, June 3rd, 2021

Our ancestral bonds with other species had humble beginnings as our ancient relatives came to understand the profound connection humans and animals share. This connection has not only evolved into something more beautiful, it has also injected our lives with rich purpose. Throughout our history, animals often served humans in a myriad of ways, including hunting, protection, and companionship. Over time we’ve grown to understand that we must also serve and protect our animals because their presence in our lives is vital, and we are obligated to return the favor. Education and research are key components in achieving that reality.

Your Humane Society of Southern Arizona has made a promise to our community to enrich the lives of pets and the people who love them. We are holding true to that promise in the expansion of our education program in our new Education and Behavioral Center. Soaring forward into a brighter future for pets and a currently underserved community, this building will breathe new life into our mission by reinforcing our focus on providing pet families with the tools they need to find solutions to pet behavioral issues while strengthening the bond they share with their pets. This building will be the epicenter of our youth-centered humane education program, inspiring young minds while educating the powerful animal advocates of tomorrow, as well as a state-of-the-art behavioral research space designed to support our instrumental partnership with the University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine and Arizona Canine Cognition Center as they pursue a deeper understanding of the human-animal bond.

Establishing a partnership with the University of Arizona is perhaps one of the most monumental strides in our journey thus far. Steve Farley, CEO of HSSA, explains that, “our collaboration with the University of Arizona marks an important step forward for HSSA as we assist in new discoveries on how dogs and cats think, and what they think about us.” He continues, “These breakthroughs will deepen our relationships with our pets and help us understand how we can better communicate with one another.”

Evan MacLean, Director of the Arizona Canine Cognition Center at the University of Arizona, is one of the researchers who will be utilizing the new center to further his groundbreaking research, published in the leading scientific journal, Current Biology, that will provide unprecedented insight into just how deeply embedded in a dog’s biology is their understanding of human body language. In observing what are sure to be the most adorable research subjects, puppies, MacLean and his colleagues are documenting their responses to human gestures, such as hand pointing. Puppies are important in this research because if, in fact, dogs do have an innate understanding of the reasoning behind complex human gestures, they will exhibit this understanding at a very young age, prior to being extensively socialized. That is what MacLean and his colleagues have uncovered.

Studying dogs is far from just a job for MacLean. There is a great deal of heart behind his work. “If we do things well, we not only produce new knowledge, but we gain insights into how that knowledge can be translated meaningfully for dogs and the people who care for them.” MacLean says, “Working together with HSSA presents an amazing opportunity to collaborate with a team who understands the challenges and opportunities in our local community, and who is committed to developing innovative solutions in this space.”

There is an immense range of research yet to be conducted in order to gain a full understanding of the science behind how dogs became the perfect candidate for human companionship. Do they understand us so intrinsically because it’s encoded in their DNA, or is it a learned trait through simply interacting with us? These are the questions that MacLean and his team are aiming to answer at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona’s new Education and Behavior Center, which will not only have a positive impact on the scientific community, but the lives of our shelter pets as well. MacLean emphasizes that, “another major benefit of working with HSSA is that our research can provide enrichment opportunities for the dogs. All of our studies are designed as games for the pups, who enjoy the opportunity to interact with people and solve puzzles.” MacLean concludes humbly, “if we can be the bright spot in a dog’s day, while also answering scientific questions about dog minds, that’s a total win-win situation.”

HSSA's new Behavior and Education Center is being built on the west side of the Main Campus, 635 W. Roger Rd., and is expected to be open to the public in Spring 2022. To learn more about this innovative project and to get involved please contact HSSA's Chief Development Officer, Diana Cannon, at 520-327-6088, ext. 117.


Check out the University of Arizona's UANews story on the study to learn more!

Humane Society of Southern Arizona Thrift Store moves to new location with Grand Opening event on July 17, 2021

A new, forever, home

Tuesday, June 1st, 2021

Saturday, July 17, 2021, the Humane Society of Southern Arizona Thrift Store will launch the opening of its new, forever, home with a public Grand Opening event from 10:00am to 6:00pm. The Grand Opening event will boast fun games and giveaways, Pet VIP therapy teams, a live mariachi band, and a chance for guests to be the very first to experience shopping in the new space. 

The new building, located at 1010 S. Wilmot Rd., will house a myriad of items ranging from books and homeware to high quality Sam Levitz furniture at low prices. The goal in the design and structure of this new store is to marry the elements of its current store with the fan-favorite aspects of its previous store and create a space that is fitted to every thirfter’s style, needs, and wants. 

With a new, larger space, the new Humane Society of Southern Arizona Thrift Store will be able to expand its efforts in helping homeless and at-risk pets in our community and the people who love them through hosting vaccination clinics and on-site adoption events. Additionally, the proceeds from the store will continue to flow directly back into the organization to provide support for the programs and services of HSSA that save thousands of lives every year. 

To successfully move inventory and prepare for the Grand Opening, the current store, located inside Park Place Mall, will be officially closing on June 30th - including the donation center. 

Learn more at

A life-changing and life-saving opportunity for the pets of Cochise County

Monday, May 24th, 2021

Tuesday, May 18, Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA) CEO, Steve Farley, traveled to Bisbee, AZ to present a proposal of a $2 million project that will transform what was previously a juvenile detention center into a cutting-edge veterinary clinic and animal shelter with 20 dog kennels and 30 cat kennels. The proposal was a preliminary step in what will hopefully become a valuable partnership between HSSA and Cochise County. 

Working with diminutive funding and space, the animal care shelters of Cochise County have long been attempting to save as many pets as they can in cramped, small spaces; inadequate for the sheer number of pets they serve. With a yearly intake of over 1,000 animals, this lack of space and resources has forced these shelters to implement very high euthanasia rates, but the prospect of a county partnership with HSSA offers a new hope for the large community of supporters and animal care workers within the county. If brought to life, this endeavor is slated with the potential to save 10,000 animals from euthanasia in its first five years of operation. 

Project coordinators are optimistic funding will come through the state and county levels, and there is also an effort to seek funding on a federal level. There is hope for support in these avenues, however, in the event that these options fail to gain traction, Farley is still confident in the donor base and volunteer program HSSA has cultivated to help push the project forward. 

Through this partnership, HSSA is hoping to honor its mission and name by authentically becoming the Humane Society of Southern Arizona. “By expanding comprehensive animal services to southern Arizona beyond Tucson, HSSA saves hundreds of lives each year while living up to its name in every way,” said Farley. This is a monumental movement for homeless and at-risk pets in Southern Arizona, and Farley is hopeful the idea will become an inspiration and guide to those in similar situations across the country stating that, “this could be a model template for other rural areas of the country.” 

For more details, read the full article here.

M*A*S*H Clinic for Community Cats

For the Love of Cats

Monday, April 12th, 2021

IN JANUARY, the Humane Society of Southern Arizona’s Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program hosted its first M.A.S.H. (Multiple Animal Surgical Hospital) clinic. Cats from communities across Southern Arizona and tribal lands received spay or neuter surgeries during the clinic. The Trap-Neuter-Return program serves community cat colonies by providing these surgeries to help stem the tide of homeless pet populations. Under the direction of Clara Lee Arnold, the Community Cat Coordinator, HSSA’s TNR program is now able to provide these services to neighboring shelters and animal rescue groups.

When asked what prompted the ambitious goal of holding this M.A.S.H. clinic, Clara Lee explains, “Cochise County Humane Society (CCHS) had discovered a large cat colony of fifty or more cats and had been requesting help. I reached out to transport these cats to HSSA’s Spay & Neuter Clinic in order to handle that number all at once. They said ‘yes’.” Soon after, two more organizations, the San Carlos Apache-run Geronimo Animal Rescue Group (GART), and Border Animal Rescue (BAR) signed-on as well.

It’s hard to catch Clara Lee standing still. During the hectic 4-hour surgery session she could be found carrying cats in pet carriers — one in each hand — to and from the surgical bays, changing out the laundry to ensure there were plenty of clean towels and blankets for all the cats, or quickly answering questions coming from several people at once.

The entire Spay & Neuter Clinic was abuzz during the event. Each participating shelter and organization were scheduled in waves to allow for the clinic to adequately provide for the number of cats attending the clinic. HSSA and volunteer veterinarians, led by HSSA Medical Director Dr. Kathryn Halstead, each worked at a surgical table accompanied by veterinary students while clinic staff prepped and moved each cat in and out of the surgical bays. Other staff, including Angeline Fahey, HSSA’s Community Cat Specialist, massaged and soothed cats post-surgery. At first glance the hum of activity from the nearly two-dozen people appeared chaotic. In reality, the whole affair was a well-oiled machine with each person involved expertly performing their roles.

“We provided spay and neuter surgeries to 73 cats. The surgery time was only four hours, but it took literally days of coordinating and many hours the weekend before to prepare the clinic, obtain supplies, schedule volunteers, and many more things,” Clara Lee explains regarding the incredible work involved, “The surgery gets all the glory, and they deserve it for what they accomplished, but there are always many, many hours of non-glory!”

Providing surgical sterilization services for large numbers of community cats in a single session is an essential approach to reducing the number of cats in colonies before they have the opportunity to reproduce. For the shelters that participated in the M.A.S.H. clinic, being able to provide the cats in their care with these crucial services relieves the financial and emotional burdens these organizations face.

This project is a perfect example of what we can achieve as a region if we work together, and HSSA is committed to collaborating with other rescues and shelters to compassionately serve pets and the people who love them.

Asked if the success of the M.A.S.H. clinic means there will be more opportunities to serve the cats in these communities, Clara Lee beams, “If we can get enough sponsorships and volunteers, we would ideally love to be able to do four or five of these a year."

Through collaborative efforts, HSSA and other Arizona shelters help give Mazatlan shelter pets a second chance at life.

Monday, May 17th, 2021

On the afternoon of Friday, May 14th, over 60 shelter pets, 59 dogs and 6 cats, from Mazatlan Animal Rescue (MAR) arrived at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA) after an over 13 hour drive from Mazatlan, Mexico to begin their new journey in finding their forever home. HSSA's Admissions team carefully escorted the dogs from the transport bus and promptly performed health exams on the traveled pets. They were then given any needed vaccinations and microchips before being led to their safe and calm kennels.

Through an amazing collaborative effort between MAR and several Arizona shelters, these dogs and cats now have a second chance at life. Alongside HSSA, Tucson Rescue Now (TRN), Arizona Humane Society (AHS), Pet Knot, and Never Forgotten, provided MAR with the space they needed to transport these deserving animals from their shelter in Sinaloa, MX to Arizona. 

Among the over 60 animals, HSSA took in 35 dogs, TRN took in 5 of the more elderly and medically dependent dogs, AHS took in the 6 cats, and the remaining dogs were taken in by Never Forgotten and Pet Knot. 

This was an incredible team effort by all of the shelters involved, and HSSA is proud to be among them. Collaboration is the key to making a real difference in the lives of shelter pets and pets in need in our communities, and HSSA is dedicated to continuing this work with fellow animal shelters, whether they are our direct neighbors or across a border line. 

Dog's Day Out

Volunteers take dogs out on the town

Monday, May 17th, 2021

Our wonderful volunteers really go above and beyond when it comes to socializing HSSA shelter dogs. As part of our FAST (Foster Adoptions on the Streets of Tucson) program, this compassionate group of dog walker volunteers commit their time to dogs in need of connection, enrichment, excitement and fun! The weather couldn’t be more perfect for a day outing with our dogs’ favorite volunteers.

In order to give our long-time shelter residents a break from the shelter, and increase their visibility to a broader range of possible adopters, our most dedicated volunteers pick up shelter dogs and take them on special hikes, or even just hang out on the patio of a coffee shop.

The dogs featured in these photos got to visit Catalina State Park for a day of new smells, new friends, sunshine and exercise. These outings are planned and executed by HSSA’s Canine Enrichment Specialist but are only possible thanks to the volunteers that make that promise to the dogs.

This is just one way that HSSA goes above and beyond for the pets we look after. If you’d like to join us and become an HSSA volunteer please learn more at To make a donation and help us continue this enrichment work please give now by visiting the link below.

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 |