This weekend, here is the press release:

April 28 Ribbon Cutting in Benson and Willcox for New Buildings That Will Increase Lifesaving

The Humane Society of Southern Arizona Teams Up with Rural Southern Arizona

Animal Shelters and Best Friends Animal Society to Save More Animals

[Cochise County, Arizona] — April 26, 2023 - The Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA) is partnering with the Willcox, Benson, Douglas, and Santa Cruz County (Nogales) shelters, as well as Best Friends Animal Society to increase lifesaving for dogs and cats entering these shelters. As part of Best Friends’ Prince and Paws Shelter Collaborative Program, HSSA and Best Friends provided funds to construct a new multipurpose shed at each of the Benson and Willcox shelters, which will be dedicated in a grand opening on Friday, April 28. Media are invited to attend a ribbon cutting featuring local officials and representatives from HSSA and Best Friends at the following locations:

• The Benson event will take place at 11am at 104 W Harvest Way, Benson, AZ 85602

• The Willcox event will take place at 2pm at 1525 E. Stewart Street, Willcox, AZ 85643

The Shelter Collaborative Program matches shelters that are leaders in animal welfare with shelters that are working to save more animals. Best Friends helps to facilitate these matches, works with peer mentors to create a contract that includes clear grant parameters, provides mentors with seed grants, and offers ongoing training and coaching to mentors and fellows. The goal of the partnership is to achieve a 90% save rate at the Willcox, Benson, Douglas, and Santa Cruz County animal shelters by the end of the granting year. This would mean that 90% of the dogs and cats entering their care leave alive, understanding that some animals will be too medically or behaviorally fragile to be released.

The Humane Society of Southern Arizona is a national leader in animal welfare who was chosen to partner with Willcox, Benson, Douglas, and Santa Cruz County shelters because they have experience overcoming many of the challenges faced by these shelters each day.

“We at HSSA are thrilled to partner with rural animal shelters and Best Friends Animal Society to save lives throughout Southern Arizona. The hardworking folks running these shelters and the local animal control officers are doing their best with scarce resources, and we are learning a lot from them as we work together to create sustainably better outcomes for all the pets in our care,” said Steve Farley, CEO of the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.

Through the Shelter Collaborative Program, Best Friends is providing grant funding to cover the expenses associated with achieving the partnership’s goals, including the two sheds being dedicated on April 28. Working with HSSA’s Rural Operations Manager Emily Magnuson, who makes on-site visits to each shelter weekly, the shelters are implementing nationally recognized proven strategies to decrease unnecessary intake and increase adoptions, community engagement and rescue partnerships. These proven strategies have been successful at saving dogs and cats at The Humane Society of Southern Arizona.

Together, HSSA and the Willcox, Benson, Douglas, and Santa Cruz County shelters expect these strategies to eliminate the need to euthanize adoptable animals at their locations.

"Creating and sustaining no-kill in communities across the country will only be possible if shelters, community members and other stakeholders work together,” Carrie Ducote, National Senior Strategist for the Shelter Collaborative Program said. “As more organizations collaborate to save the lives of homeless pets, we will achieve no-kill in every shelter and every community by 2025.”

About The Humane Society of Southern Arizona

The Humane Society of Southern Arizona has served over 1 million pets since 1944. We take in pets from all over Southern Arizona, assisting smaller shelters by taking in hard-to-place pets and pets with serious medical needs – pets who might not otherwise have a chance at life. We heal their bodies and their hearts, and help them find loving forever homes. We believe in the power of community. Find out all the ways we can help you at our website,

About Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to around 355,000. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 4,200 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. For more information, visit


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