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Animal Control


This website is designed to assist law enforcement, criminal justice and animal protection professionals in the identification and successful prosecution of crimes against animals. It also contains information which may be valuable to the public in helping to prevent animal cruelty and other forms of violence. If you need additional information, you are always welcome to contact our webmaster or our officers listed below.
Thank you for visiting!

To increase awareness of animal cruelty laws in southern Arizona.

To enhance and coordinate enforcement of animal cruelty laws.

To educate law enforcement, animal care professionals and other interested agencies in aspects of animal cruelty and the relationship of animal cruelty to other forms
of assaulting behavior.

FOR 2013:

Mike Duffey,
Humane Society of Southern Arizona
3450 N. Kelvin Blvd.
Tucson, Arizona 85716
(520) 321-3704, X121
FAX: (520) 327-3347

Michael Lent DVM,
Pantano Animal Clinic
8333 E. 22nd St.
Tucson, Arizona 85710
(520) 885-3594

Pat Hubbard,
Financial Officer
Humane Society of
Southern Arizona
3450 N. Kelvin Blvd.
Tucson, Arizona 85716
(520) 321-3704,
Ext. 138
FAX: (520) 325-7190

Karen Heider,
Administrative Officer
Pima County
Sheriff's Department
1750 E. Benson Hwy.,
Tucson, Arizona 85714

(520) 520) 351-4784

Heather's $50K challenge
Heather Rowe

HSSAHelp Heather Rowe and the Animal Cruelty Taskforce build and maintain our cruelty prevention programs in southern Arizona by supporting this year's ACTION FOR ANIMALS fundraising campaign. Our goal is to raise at least $20,000 by year's end – which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by an anonymous donor! Donated funds are used to support animal cruelty investigations, public awareness campaigns, court-mandated education programs, community outreach and more. And your donation is 100% tax deductible!


BY PHONE: (520) 321-3704, Ext. 174 or 120, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

BY MAIL: Mail your donation check to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, Attention: Action for Animals, 3450 N. Kelvin Boulevard, Tucson, Arizona 85716. Be sure to make the check payable to “HSSA” but write “Action for Animals” in the memo area. Click here to download a donation form you can print at home!

ON THE INTERNET: Visit the HSSA website at and use the secure payment features to donate online. You can use Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express.

IN PERSON: Donors can drop off heir financial contribution at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, 3450 N. Kelvin Boulevard, Tucson. The society is located just north of Fort Lowell Road between Country Club and Dodge. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; and Sundays from 12 noon to 5:00 p.m. Closed on major holidays.

“Dine Out” events will help us raise our $20,000 in matching funds! Please join us at local fine establishments and help save animals from cruelty and neglect. Local restaurants that are interested in participating in our “Dine Out to Help Abused Animals” events to benefit this fundraiser are also encouraged to contact us at (520) 321-3704, Ext. 174 or 120.



Amendments to Arizona Revised Statutes will help animals who are victims of abuse or neglect. ARS 13-3601 now includes as crimes of domestic violence the commission of intentionally/knowingly cruel mistreatment and cruel neglect to animals, pursuant to ARS 13-2910 A (8) and (9). This means that individuals who are abusing their spouses, domestic partners, children, roommates, parents, etc. can now be charged with domestic violence if they include animals in the violence.

icon Since animals are frequently silent victims in domestic violence situations, this is an important step toward ensuring that all DV vicitims are protected. In addition, ARS 13-3602 now permits a Court to include animals in Orders of Protection and order the abuser to stay away from the animal and forbid them from taking, transferring, encumbering, concealing, committing an act or cruelty or neglect in violation of Section 13-2910 or otherwise disposing of the animal. Click here to access this law.

icon One final change to ARS 32-2239 will now require Veterinarians to report more quickly and provide more thorough records. Although vets have been mandated reports of suspected cruelty for many years, this change requires them to report their suspicions to law enforcement with forty-eight (48) hours instead of the previous thirty (30) days. Click here for more on this change.


The Animal Cruelty Taskforce of Southern Arizona [ACT] and its member agencies will be working hard in the coming weeks to raise awareness about the dangers of our summer heat on domesticated animals such as cats and dogs.

As with years past, ACT is issuing a warning about animals left in hot cars or on illegal tie-outs. This year, however, ACT is also encouraging the public to more actively report animals being sold on roadsides or abandoned in empty apartments, houses or in desert areas. Although the latter two issue are not specifically related to our high summer temperatures, both of these criminal activities increase during the summer months when residents relocate, go on vacation or are faced with unexpected litters produced by unaltered family pets.

dog in car HEAT ISSUES: State, county and city ordinances all prohibit the confinement of animals in vehicles when conditions exist that may threaten the animal’s life or well-being. Such conditions may include extremely hot temperatures like we are already experiencing in southern Arizona. Both natives and visitors will regularly make the mistake of leaving their animals to suffer under these dangerous conditions in public parking lots, at malls, movie theaters, supermarkets, etc.

Arizona Revised Statute 13-2910-A7 allows police and animal control officers to use reasonable means to remove the animal from the vehicle, including breaking out windows. Officers can take these steps and provide emergency medical care to the animal without the owner’s knowledge or consent. If the animal suffers any serious bodily damage or death, the owner could be arrested and charged with felony-level animal cruelty. Additional information.

Tie-outs are illegal in Pima County, the City of Tucson and most surrounding communities. Animals on tie-outs are under extreme risk during the summer heat. Often, dogs confined to ropes, tethers and chains have restricted access to shade, shelter, water and food. Some owners may increase the stress on the animal by applying heavy chains unsuitable for pets, or attaching a tether to a heavy object like cinder blocks, tires or weights. If left in the heat, animals living under these conditions are at extreme risk for illness or death. All animals are required to have access to appropriate shelter which will protect them from the elements, good ventilation and drinkable water under city, county and state laws.

ROADSIDE SALES: No animal (defined as a mammal, reptile, amphibian or bird) can be sold, given away or otherwise transferred in public areas such as on public street, roadway, right-of-way, sidewalk, park or swap meet in Pima County. In the city of Tucson, the law prohibits the sale or transfer of ownership of animals on or from any public street, roadway, right of way, sidewalk and park except as provided by the Tucson Code. Police, animal control and humane organizations see a marked increase in complaints about illegal animal vending during the hot summer months, when the animals may be confined to vehicles, boxes or cages; set on hot surfaces such as pavement or concrete; denied water; or exposed to direct sunlight for hours at a time. The summer months also mark the peak of puppy and kitten season, and many unwanted litters are disposed of in this manner. Additional information.

CRUEL ABANDONMENT: If an owner can no longer care for an animal, he/she has two legal options: surrender the animal to an animal shelter or re-home it with a responsible third party who is willing to assume the animal’s care. Unfortunately, cruel abandonment (when animals are dumped in desert areas, on roadside or left behind in empty residences) has increased dramatically over the last two years. Affected animals have included mostly dogs, cats and horses. ACT is encouraging the public to report cruelly abandoned animals to 911. Free educational posters on this topic, produced by ACT in cooperation with the Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, are available by calling (520) 321-3704, Ext. 101 or 121, Monday through Friday.

REPORTING AND RESOURCES: Contact 911 for animal-related emergencies such as confinement to hot cars and other heat-related issues.

88-CRIME (520-882-7463) will also accept anonymous reports dealing with these issues, but it should be noted that emergencies should always go to 911 first.

The Humane Society of Southern Arizona offers additional useful services, including free information on summer and home safety for pets; and low-cost spay / neuter services to help solve the overpopulation problem. HSSA can be contacted at (520) 327-6088 or online at


If you are a Twitter user, we invite you to join us by clicking here. Stay up to date on animal safety issues, legislative updates, news releases and information on how to protect both wild and domesticated animals.


Despite internet claims, public reporting about specific cruelty issues is non-existent in Old Vail Road Connection (“Dogpatch”) issue.

Animal Cruelty Taskforce (ACT) coalition agencies are making a public request that individuals with first-hand knowledge of suspected animal cruelty issues in the Old Vail Road Connection area (sometimes referred to as “Dogpatch”) contact authorities and make official reports.

Public concern about the area was raised in late December after local animal rescue activists found a stray horse in the area and posted information and photos on the internet. Since then, there have been multiple postings on chatrooms, Facebook, Craigslist, etc. Many self-described “animal rescuers” claim to have proof of large-scale animal cruelty, including dog- and cock-fighting and ritualistic cruelty. To date, however, not a single criminal complaint has been filed with any law enforcement agency. ACT attempts to directly solicit this information from those posting to the internet have not been successful. Many of the posts are anonymous and provide dramatic claims but not the evidence needed for investigation.

As a result, ACT is making a public request that individuals with first-hand information of cruelty issues contact the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, the Tucson Police Department or the Pima Animal Care Center and file official reports. Animal cruelty detectives are in need of specific dates, locations, photographs and the names of “rescuers” who may have witnessed events or removed animals from the area.

Additionally, “animal rescuers” who have removed live animals from the property need to report these animals to the Pima Animal Care Center as is required by Tucson City ordinance. Since there has been no official reporting, investigators have not been able to assess which animals may have been illegally dumped, which are strays belonging to local residents, and which may be victims of cruelty requiring of investigation.

Dogpatch tourLaw enforcement also cautions members of the public who may have been approached by anyone soliciting money for animals rescued from “Dogpatch.” Because none of the allegedly rescued animals have been properly reported, investigators have no way to track which animals have been rescued and where they are currently located. As such, requests for monetary assistance may be fraudulent. Individuals who have been so approached should contact the Pima County Sheriff’s Department or the Tucson Police Department if they have concerns or knowledge about who is in possession of these “rescued” animals.

Individuals who may have additional information the Old Vail Road Connection dump sites can contact 88-CRIME (882-7463), an anonymous tip-line run by the Pima County Attorney’s Office. Tipsters have three options for reporting information anonymously:

Talk: (520) 882-7463. (Collect calls accepted.)

Text: 274637, enter “Tip 259” plus text message


free posterTipsters need not identify themselves and no calls are recorded or traced. Tipsters should reference the “Old Vail Road Connection or Dogpatch dump site.” Any tipster who supplies information leading to the arrest and indictment in a criminal case may be eligible for up to $1000 in reward money. Information can also be left on the ACT automated reporting line at (520) 547-0260.

RECEIVE A FREE "ANIMALS ARE NOT GARBAGE" POSTER FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION, SCHOOL OR BUSINESS: These full-color posters measures 11 X 17 inches and are part of the Animal Cruelty Taskforce's ongoing efforts to stop the cruel abandonment of animals in empty homes, along roadsides, in desert areas and similar locations. The posters are available in both English and Spanish. Interested parties may pick up their copy of the poster at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona's Companions for Life Center, 3465 E. Kleindale Road, Tucson, during regular business hours of Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Please be aware that the Center is sometimes closed during these hours due to outreach or training purposes.) Sorry, we cannot mail or deliver these posters directly. Limit one of each poster per person please. Supplies are limited.

ACT thanks the Humane Society of the United States, the Humane Society of Southern Arizona and the 88-CRIME program for their financial and logistical support of this important project!


The Animal Cruelty Taskforce, acting on recent changes in Arizona State law, is beginning a communitywide public education and enforcement effort to halt the sale of animals on the side of streets, in medians, public parks, parking lots and other prohibited areas. Although this behavior may seem harmless to many, law enforcement, animal control and humane organizations regularly receive complaints concerning issues dealing with misrepresentation or outright fraud on the part of the sellers, or express concern over the safety and health of the animals in question.

For more information, visit our ROADSIDE ANIMAL SALES page or LAWS page.


As more and more Americans become concerned with the welfare of animals, there are more options than ever for a potential pet owner to find that perfect companion. However, as with any major decision, it is the responsibility of the consumer to ensure that he or she makes the best possible decision before adopting or purchasing. The animal industry has it’s fair share of fraud, cruelty and other illegal activities. Thinking carefully, doing proper research and asking tough questions will help ensure that you don’t get taken advantage of by someone who claims to love animals, but may really have less-honorable intentions.

For more information, visit our BUYER BEWARE page.

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Humane Society of Southern Arizona, Attention: ACT, 3450 N. Kelvin Boulevard, Tucson, Arizona 85716
Phone: (520) 321-3704, Ext. 121 | Fax: (520) 327-3347
Anonymous Reporting Line: (520) 547-0260
Copyright 2010 by the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, Inc. All Rights Reserved.