AZ Humane Society

Animal Experience Liaison Mik Moeller reads to a trauma patient with a broken leg as part of the Resting Rover program, which allows staff and volunteers to provide mental enrichment to hospital patients who are unable to leave their kennels.


Pets hoping to be adopted into forever homes will soon be welcome at the Arizona Humane Society’s Rob and Melani Walton Papago Park Campus, a new, state-of-the-art facility.

“We chose Papago Park for our latest center because we wanted a central location that was highly accessible,” CEO Steven Hansen said. “This site gives us great freeway access, but most importantly, we needed to operate in a safe neighborhood because our trauma hospital will run 24/7, so our volunteers and fosters must be able to come and go in the middle of the night safely.”

The Papago Park Campus project started in 2014 when the Arizona Humane Society began working with an architect. 

Due to labor and supply challenges, the first phase of this facility is set to open in January/February of 2023. The second phase of the project, which will launch in late 2023, will include an animal urgent care facility, which will be open to the public and offer pet owners affordable access to an evening clinic.

“We particularly love our proximity to the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Garden,” Hansen said. “We want this to be a place where people want to come and visit, see the good work that we’re doing, tour our facilities, volunteer or walk a dog. We have a great relationship with DBG; at least twice a year, they open the gardens and host the Dogs in the Park with all proceeds going to the Arizona Humane Society.”

Once complete, the Papago Park Campus will contain two two-story buildings situated on a 72,000 square foot campus with a total footprint of five acres.

“With this new campus, we’ll increase by the thousands the numbers of stray, homeless and abused animals that we can treat,” Hansen said. “We can take in a higher volume of animals, and we’ll have a positive impact far beyond Maricopa County.”

The hope is that an animal’s stay at Papago Park will be a short one, meaning that it will quickly be adopted into its forever home. According to Hansen, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and rats are the most common pets they rescue. Sometimes, they have smaller, unusual animals like hedgehogs, hamsters and gerbils.

Thursday through Sunday are their busiest adoption days, and before people come in, they can look at all the available animals on the Arizona Humane Society’s website.

“I’d like to acknowledge the Rob and Melani Walton Foundation, the Lazin Animal Foundation and the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust,” Hansen said. “All three of these entities were lead donors in this campaign, and without them and the rest of our donors, this brand new campus would not be possible. We’re so grateful for all of them.”