Arizona Humane Society breaks ground on new campus

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The Arizona Humane Society (AHS) will soon be able to help even more of the Valley’s sick and homeless animals in need. AHS has just broken ground on a brand-new campus in the Papago Park area.
The 72,000-square foot campus is set to open in 2023 and will be located off the 202 and 143 in Phoenix.
“It is absolutely going to be transformational in the way we’re able to help the Arizona Humane Society’s sick, injured and abused pets,” said Kelsey Dickerson, AHS spokesperson.
The Rob & Melani Walton Papago Park Campus will be a state-of-the-art facility, offering an adoption center, a new animal hospital with intensive care units, and a full teaching hospital for veterinary students. “This is something so vital,” said Dickerson. “Not just in Arizona, but the whole country is experiencing a veterinary shortage. As anyone probably knows who has pets out there, it’s really hard to get your pets in.”
AHS already cares for 16,000 animals each year. The new campus will mean even more animals can be given a new “leash on life.” “This is going to a huge way for AHS to help expand its reach,” said Dickerson. “These are animals who usually aren’t able to be helped anywhere else.”
“Maricopa County used to be one of the worst places in the country to be a homeless pet,” Dickerson said. But over last few years, AHS has been able to drastically reduce the number of pets who must be euthanized. “We’ve helped reduce the euthanasia rate by 84%, as well as reducing intake at shelters,” she said.
Right now, many animal shelters in Arizona are at capacity. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation. Dickerson said summer is usually the busiest time of year at AHS. But the pandemic has created an overflow of animals in need of new homes, as pet owners surrender their animals. “Economic insecurity, job insecurity, housing instability, medical problems,” Dickerson told us, explaining some of the problems many owners face.
The new campus will include the following things:
-Watts Family Medical Complex
-Lazin Animal Foundation Trauma Hospital
-BISSELL Pet Foundation Spay & Neuter Unit
-Parvo ICU
-Veterinarian Student Teaching Program and integrated tech for real-time surgery viewing
-Doris Norton Kitten Nursery Unit with Bottle Baby ICU
-Mutternity & Meowternity Suites
-Aambulance zone and dedicated triage area
-Flexible kennel space with maximum natural light to support circadian rhythms
-Ann Siner Foster Wing
-Kallie & Rohit Tripathi Animal Assistance Wing
-Dog park
-Outdoor Pappas Play Yard for dogs
-“Catios” for outdoor enrichments
-Adoptions with calming “meet and greet” spaces
-Retail store with gear-fitting areas for dogs
-Paw-cademy Classrooms and community spaces
-Suzanne Pearl Family Serenity Garden—a quiet, safe space for saying goodbye
-Jamie L. Middleton Lobby to warmly welcome adopters, children and more
-Cece Claudio Feline Critical Care Center
As the Papago Park Campus expands its capacity to serve Arizona pets, the Nina Mason Pulliam South Mountain Campus will become a safe haven for pets who need the most time, intensive recovery, and rehabilitation from situations like hoarding, disaster relief, and cruelty cases.
And while the Sunnyslope Campus will be stopping most of its services, it will continue to operate its Marge Wright Veterinary Clinic to provide affordable pet care to the Sunnyslope community.
Meantime, Pet Housing Help AZ is committed to helping both our four-legged friends who have been impacted by COVID-19. The top animal welfare organizations in the Valley have teamed up to provide information, resources, and a community rehoming/temporary foster network for struggling pet owners impacted by the COVID-19 housing crisis. If you’re a pet owner in need or a pet lover who wants to assist those in need, visit the website
If you’d like to learn more about the AHS or the new campus, visit

Kelsey Dickerson, Arizona Humane Society

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