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headline circle gifAbout Us > Frequently Asked Questions


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The HSSA receives many inquiries from the community relating to pets, adoption, safety, legal issues, etc. If your question is not listed among those below, please feel free to contact us.

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Blue Circle jpgWhat dogs are best with children?

There are many breeds of dogs that are great with children. Almost all dogs that grow up as puppies with children do great with kids. Breeds such retrievers frequently make wonderful companions for families with small children. Mixed breed dogs also have many wonderful family traits that would make them excellent family dogs. Please visit your local library and read all you can about the breed(s) you are interested in. You can also research online about dog breeds at sites like Dog Owner's Guide.

Blue Circle jpgWho is the CEO?

Our CEO is Maureen O'Nell. You can reach her at 520.321.3704, ext. 135.

Blue Circle jpgWhy should I keep my cat indoors?

There are many reasons to keep your cat indoors. In our desert terrain it is not uncommon to find native predators such as coyotes wandering our city. Coyotes are opportunists that will readily prey on cats. Indoor cats tend to live longer since they are not exposed to diseases that occur in outdoor felines. In addition, outdoor cats also can be hit by cars, breed uncontrollably, ingest poisonous plants or fall prey to individuals in our society that would wish to do them harm.

Blue Circle jpgHow do you keep a cat indoors?

Don't open the door. Spay or neuter your pet to help control their natural instincts to go outside to breed. Also create for your cat(s) an interesting and stimulating inside environment using toys that will keep them happy and playful.

Blue Circle jpgHow do I stop a dog from jumping over or digging under a fence?

Please call us at 520.327.6088 for information on this or other challenging types of behavior problems. Click here to go to our behavior advice page>

Blue Circle jpgHow long do you keep animals before you euthanize them?

We have no set time limit at HSSA. We make every effort to find a suitable home for each animal in our care. However, if absolutely necessary, animals in poor health or with severe temperament issues will be humanely euthanized.

Blue Circle jpgWhen animals are brought in together, can you guarantee that they will be placed together?

We will try our best to find a home where both animals can be adopted together, this is not always possible. We will always try to place animals in the best available home.

Blue Circle jpgDo you provide medical advice for animals?

We cannot provide veterinary advice over the phone or in person. However, we can provide you with basic pet care advice and instructions over the phone and are more than happy to take the time to help you in caring for your pet.

Blue Circle jpg Do I have to spay or neuter a pet I adopt from HSSA?
Yes, all animals adopted from our facility are spayed or neutered before they are released to their new owners. The cost of the surgery is included in the adoption fee. Pet overpopulation is a serious problem in Tucson and the United States. We believe that the best solution to the pet overpopulation problem is to spay or neuter your pet.

Blue Circle jpgCan I place my name on your wish list (Companion Connection) for a specific breed or type of pet?

Yes. Although we have no way of knowing exactly what animals will be released to us, we do maintain a waiting list for people interested in specific breeds or types of animals. Of course, some breeds are in great demand and may be available only rarely. We make every effort to place each animal into the most appropriate home so we do ask that you come to our facility or download and complete an adoption profile before you are placed on the list. For more information please call 520.327.6088, ext. 173.

Blue Circle jpgWill you come and pick up my animal?

No. We do not offer pet pick up service when you find an animal, or wish to relinquish your animal to us. You must bring the animal to us. Click here for our location and hours of operation. For a stray or injured animal please phone Pima County Animal Care at 520.243.5900.

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Blue Circle jpgDo you have Poodles/Chihuahuas/Other specific breeds?

We receive and adopt out many dogs and cats each day. We feel we have the best selection of dogs and cats in Southern Arizona. Although we have no way of knowing exactly what animals will be released to us, we do get a wide selection of purebreds and mix breed dogs. Feel free to view our adoptable animals.

Blue Circle jpgCan you hold an animal for me?

We cannot hold animals without the adoption process being completed first. Our pets are available on a first come basis. All adoption fees are nonrefundable.

Blue Circle jpgCan I bring in my dog to meet the dog I want to adopt?

Yes, you can. We can hold a "Meet and Greet" session with your current family pet and the new pet you wish to adopt. No scheduling is necessary, just bring in your pet when you come.

Blue Circle jpgWhat is the difference between HSSA and national organizations like PETA or HSUS?

National pet humane and protection societies work on a national level to support the humane treatment of animals. HSSA is your local animal adoption organization and works without support from national organizations. Unlike national pet protection agencies, we do house animals for adoption.

Blue Circle jpgIf I give to a national organization, will you receive any of the funds?

No we will not receive any of the funds you contribute to national organizations. It is great that you wish to support the humane treatment of animals. We hope you find it in your heart to help the homeless animals in your own community by donating to The Humane Society of Southern Arizona.

Blue Circle jpgWhere does the money come from to support HSSA?

The Humane Society of Southern Arizona is a private nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization funded by donations from concerned and caring citizens of our community and grant funding. We do not receive any monies from national humane associations nor are we a United Way Agency.

Blue Circle jpgDoes HSSA sell animals for use in scientific experiments?

No, absolutely not. All individuals who wish to adopt from us fill out a adoption profile and are interviewed by an adoption counselor. We do not knowingly adopt animals to anyone who would in any way mistreat the animal.

Blue Circle jpgIs there really a pet overpopulation problem in Tucson?

Yes, like the rest of the United States we have an overpopulation of unwanted and homeless animals right here in Tucson, Arizona. Two uncontrolled dogs or cats and their offspring who have not been spayed or neutered can produce up to 12,680 offspring in 5 years. If you are looking for a companion animal for your family please think of adopting from The Humane Society of Southern Arizona first.

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Blue Circle jpgCan I adopt a pet that I found and brought to the HSSA?

Yes. If you have found a pet and brought it to us, the animal will be available for adoption 3 days after we receive it. First, every effort will be made to contact the pet's owner. If the owner does not claim the animal, then you will be eligible to adopt the animal. You must complete an adoption profile and speak to an adoption counselor at the time you release the animal to us.

Blue Circle jpgWhat other services do you provide besides adopting and receiving pets?

The Humane Society of Southern Arizona also provides pet vaccinations and spay and neuter services to all pets in southern Arizona. We also can license your pet with Pima Animal Care Center and microchip your pet to increase your chances of reuniting if it is lost. There are minimal fees involved in the above services. We also have a community outreach department, lost and found department, grief support, training advice and cremation and euthanasia services.

Blue Circle jpgHow much does it cost to spay or neuter my pet?

We offer low-cost spay and neuter services to the public. Please visit our Spay & Neuter page for pricing and information.

Blue Circle jpgI lost my dog or cat, what should I do next?

Act immediately. Download a lost pet packet. It will give you all the information you will need to start the search for your lost Fluffy or Fido. Go to Pima Animal Care and the HSSA shelter at least every other day to see if your pet has been found.

Blue Circle jpgWould you recommend declawing an indoors-only cat?

No. We do not recommend declawing cats. Please read our declawing F.A.Q. for more in-depth information.


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