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Meet Our Educators

Inge Koopman-Leyva
Director of Education & Community Outreach

Inge Koopman-Leyva is recognized throughout the region as an innovative, creative and organized leader in Humane Education serving Tucson, Arizona for almost two decades in Humane Education. She is an active member of the Association of Professional Humane Educators and the Animal Cruelty Taskforce of Southern Arizona. Inge moved to Tucson in 2003 from her birth state of New York where she lived in Brooklyn while working in New York City for many years as a Veterinary Technician and Membership Associate for the American Museum of Natural History. She has her B.A. in Anthropology, with a minor in Sustainable Development, from Hunter College in NYC.

Amy Faulk
Humane Education Manager

Amy has been with the organization since 2017 and currently holds the title of Humane Education Lead. She organizes and conducts many of the education programs for children at HSSA including the hand in Paw Kid's Club, Paws & Pages, Birthday PAW-ties, and Movie and Cuddle. She graduated from the University of Arizona in 2013 with BA in Psychology. Prior to working at HSSA she worked at the Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault doing crisis intervention as a crisis advocate. When she is not working at HSSA, she enjoys snuggling with her two dogs, Oak and Thor, and dancing for the Leaps for Lives Dance Company and holds the position of Secretary for the company.

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Veronica Zimmerman
Pet VIP Lead

Veronica has practiced her passion of helping people and animals through her work at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona for over 5 years. Veronica previously operated her own animal training business for over 8 years, providing certification for Trick Animals and Service Dogs. Veronica also conducted temperament assessments for service animals at Handi-Dogs Inc. for over 3 years. She currently trains, and evaluates therapy animal and crisis response dog team volunteers for animal assisted activities, animal assisted therapy, and crisis response program and organizes and instructs the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen classes. She is also the author of “Dog; A Diabetic’s Best Friend – Diabetic and Glycemic Alert Dog Training Guide”

Mike Duffey
Animal Cruelty Investigator

Mike Duffey is a nationally recognized authority on animal cruelty prevention and investigation. Mike brings his vast expertise to his work within the Community Outreach Department as the Animal Cruelty Investigator. He has served thirty-four years in the Pima County Sheriff’s Office, thirty-two years as a SWAT member and instructor, twelve years as a paramedic and eight years as a hostage negotiator. He also is a founding member of the Animal Cruelty Taskforce (ACT) – the state’s first and largest animal protection coalition. His duties within ACT sees Mike protecting animals in need by assisting law enforcement with their investigations, monitoring pet stores and animal breeders, providing public outreach on cruelty prevention and acting as an expert educator.

Monica Kothe
Childrens Programs Coordinator

Monica comes to HSSA with a love for teaching and a passion for animals. As the Children's Program Coordinator, she runs the Kids Club, leads children's activities, and hosts school visits. Before Monica joined in 2022, she served with FoodCorps and AmeriCorps in their school outreach program at TUSD, teaching kids about healthy foods, nourishment, and how to plant and harvest their own crops at school, later becoming Garden Lead at Manzo Elementary. She graduated from the University of Arizona with double degrees in Political Science and Public Management and Policy. At UA, she also completed an internship at Hearts that Purr Feline Guardians, where she continues to volunteer today. In her spare time, Monica can often be found spoiling and brokering peace between her two cats, Oz and Neptune.