Category: “About Us”

3rd Annual Celebration of Animals March 24

Saturday March 24TH


Veterans Memorial Park

Sierra Vista

It’s a time for animal welfare organizations in Cochise County
to come together as one group to celebrate animals. The
Greater Sierra Vista Kennel Club will be hosting an AKC sanctioned
breed obedience and rally match. Please bring
donations and come enjoy adoptions, educational booths,
rides on a horse wagon, alpacas, reptiles, a petting zoo,
demos, raffles, food trucks, and much

Save the Date AZ GIVES April 3

We are excited to announce that Tombstone Small Animal Shelter is joining this year’s Arizona Gives Day, a statewide, 24-hour online giving campaign. Please consider giving on April 3, or scheduling your gift in advance at  click on non- profits and Tombstone Small Animal Shelter #AZGivesDay

2018 Annual Fundraiser Newsletter

Tombstone Small Animal Shelter

2018 Annual Fundraiser  Newsletter

 Send a Donation Today!        “Non-profit, no-kill”*       email:

Open Saturday 2-4pm or by appointment 7 days a week – call 520-457-2545

1037 S. Landin Park Way;     Mailing Address: PO Box 1085, Tombstone, AZ 85638  


                                                         A True Survivor  

My name is Daisy I was born in a small down in Mexico about 4 years ago.  I have no idea what I was called or even if I had a name.  I lived near a gas station in this small town.  Patrons and owners of the station would give me food sometimes and other times I had to scrounge food from where ever I could find it.  It was a scary life but I survived! One day I wasn’t fast enough and I got hit by a car.  It was so painful but there was no one to care for me as I did not belong to any one.  I was a “street dog”.  Eventually my wounds  healed but my back foot  was never the same and I walked with a limp.  I survived!. Another time I got mixed up with other dogs and had a littler of pups, at least once.  I don’t remember and have no idea what happened to them.  The people at the station were kind but I was a “street dog”.  I survived! One day a kind stranger decided I had had enough of being a street dog and she took me to a rescue in this small town.  I was taken to the Dr. who did surgery on me so I wouldn’t have any more pups, got me proper vaccinations and then I was brought to Tombstone.  The volunteers cared for me and I had a warm bed and did not have to worry about when I would get food. But no one wanted to adopt a dog with a limp. I was shy and because of my former street life I was afraid of larger dogs.  It was discovered that my surgery had not been complete and I needed another surgery.  I survived!  In February after 95 days a wonderful family came to the shelter and decided I was exactly what they wanted and I got to go to a home where love abounds. I go for walks and even have a new best friend with the neighbor’s dog.  I am a true survivor!

TSAS would like to thank all our supporters for their generous donations!


My name is Miha, I am about 6 years old when I came to shelter along with another of my housemates.  Our special  human had passed away and there was no family that wanted us. Coming to the shelter was a pretty scary event.  We had no idea what to expect.  A few days later we went to an outdoor event in a crate.  It was sunny and warm, lots of people, and dogs.  Kids came up to us and we loved being touched, but were pretty shy.  My best friend went home with a sweet family and now I was all alone.  So back to the shelter I went.  Days went by and the shelter volunteers were worried no one would come for me.  Then one day about a month after I first got here the phone rang.  The lady answering the phone said “hello, yes she’s still here. Yes I think that’s a Great Idea. How soon can you come?”  Hmmm wonder what that is all about?  You see I had to hear this through the walls.  The caller was Dr. Ellen at Benson Animal Hospital.  She wanted to know if I would make a good Clinic Cat.  Well everyone thought that was great.  But I had no idea what “Clinic Cat” meant.  The first night I was there I was put to work over seeing some of the tests in one of the rooms.  After that it was a “piece of cake” or maybe kibble? Now I have the whole place to roam, I get to greet people and everyone is soooo happy to see me.  I have a job and I love it!!  Stop in sometime and say “Hi!”



Social Media aka FaceBook has been instrumental in helping us with a great majority of adoptions, including sending 17 dogs and 2 cats back to their grateful owners.  For those of you that have a FaceBook account please “like” our page.  “Follow” our page for up to date information regarding available pets, adoptions, lost/found pets and Happy Tail stories from adopters.  “Share” our page so that the information we have is out to more people.  We strive to keep this a positive and informative page.  This page is “public” so those of you that do not have FaceBook can also see all the comings and goings. If you find something you would like more information on CALL, do not text.  We answer all voice messages. Do not wait to see if a pet is “still there tomorrow” as most likely the answer will be “no”. Thank you to all of you that “like, follow and share” our pets and information.

The Tombstone Small Animal Shelter is a non-profit, no-kill shelter dedicated to finding homes for unwanted and abandoned animals in the Tombstone area, and educating the public in the benefits of spaying and neutering. We proudly comply with national no-kill standards. We don’t euthanize except when injury, disease or temperament makes other options impossible. All animals are spayed or neutered and vaccinated before leaving the shelter. Animals are never given or sold for research.


  • Volunteers participated in 9 Special weekend events in Tombstone, + Tombstone at Twilight
  • Participated in the 2nd Annual Celebration of Animals, Veterans Park, Sierra Vista
  • Hosted an Open House/ribbon cutting ceremony showcasing the new kitten room addition          (made possible by a 2016 Ryan Miele Grant), and honoring long time volunteers
  • Awarded the Official Best Small Animal Rescue in Arizona in 2017 by the Official Best of         AZ 2017 TV Show –to view –
  • Teamed with Best Friends Animal Society on several occasions for Adoption Promotions
  • We are one of over 4439 shelters nationwide participating in Shelter Animals Count a                   National Database for Animal Shelter Statistics
  • Placed 137 Dogs and 114 cats in new loving homes for a Grand total of 251
  • Adopted pets to 17 different cities/towns in Cochise County; 14 different cities in the rest of           Arizona; 9 additional states incl: Alabama, California, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico,               North Carolina, Oregon, Texas and Washington
  • Spayed or neutered 160 pets including community assist
  • Received $ 10,000 Ryan Miele Grant for Medical and Veterinarian Use in 2018 ( in 2017 45%       of all expenditures was for medical incl spay and neuter)
  • Elected a new Board of Directors for 2018

                                                                 ZARA’S STORY

They call me Zara, my owner couldn’t keep me and I came to the shelter in January. I was about 9 months old and looked like a Carolina Dog.  Because I was a puppy I had LOTS of puppy traits.  I was at the shelter for about 10 days when I had my first adoption. But being a puppy it did not go well and I came back to the shelter.  After a month a wonderful  gentle man came to see me.  He sat outside in the play yard with me for a long time.  His  calm gentleness caused me to calm down and we got a long really well.  I was sad when he went home.  A few days later he came to an offsite adoption and took me home.  Now I have a wonderful life.  I am still stubborn but I get to go camping all the time and live a quiet simple life.  My new “daddy” is the perfect human for me.  He never gave up!


A donation to the Tombstone Small Animal Shelter is a wonderful gift for many special  occasions: in memory of a loved one, a birthday gift for a pet lover, to recognize an accomplishment, for any reason really – or “just because.” The “Honored Someone”  or their family, will be sent a note notifying him or her of your gift. They will be happy knowing the gift will provide a homeless pet a second chance at a wonderful life or medical treatment for a pet in need. 

Thank you to all of you that sent donations in honor of a loved one, their pet or even their birthday! 


TSAS has signed up with Fry’s Rewards and Amazon Smiles. Just go to their websites and select the shelter as your charity of choice and a percentage of your purchases will be sent quarterly to the shelter. For those of you that like to walk, Wolf Trax walking App is available on your phone to track your walks and  it too will send a check to benefit the shelter.


Sweet George came to be a guest at the shelter in August.  He is a beautiful big cat that no one paid much attention to.  His first adoption failed  because he wasn’t interested in sharing and back he came.   At this time he started acting out a little and the volunteers were a little fearful that he would be with us for a longer period of time. After a couple of weeks he found his forever home.  He is the love of their lives.  He behaves himself and is a super great cat. Sometimes it just takes finding that perfect place.  If you stop into IKES Mini-Market in Tombstone just ask and they will be happy to share stories of George!!!

We need your donations. Please make out a check today! 

We also accept, Mastercard, American Express and Visa Too!

 Also, T-shirts are available with our logo for a $16 donation at  the Rose Tree Museum, Ike’s Mini-Market, Boothill Cemetery Gift Shop, and sidewalk venues.

Donate Today!

2017 End of Year Thank You

It has been an amazing year.  We have found forever homes for  251 cats and dogs. We have managed to reunite 17 dogs and 2 cats with their owners.  This was mainly due to Social Media.  We have over 2200 followers on FaceBook and they are a huge help in finding owners and sharing our pets for adoption.

This year has brought many changes to the shelter, thanks to a grant received in the Fall of 2016 from the Ryan Miele Endowment for Animal Welfare we were able to build a new much needed kitten room and re-organize the main room of the shelter,  We also were able to upgrade all the electrical and can now use two washers and two dryers at the same time.  We added wall heaters to the cat and kitten rooms  and did away with the space heaters and electrical cords. We worked with Sit Means Sit dog trainers for evaluating and helping our volunteers with issues that may arise. We also received grants for spay/neuter and medical for the shelter and for community assist.  The shelter is committed to helping the local community keep their pets whether it be medical or food assistance. All animals coming to the shelter receive medical treatment,  vaccinations, spay neuter,  de worming even dental if needed.  Cats are tested for feline leukemia/aids.They also receive flea/tick treatment upon entering the facility.  Dogs are micro chipped.

This year also saw more collaboration with other Cochise County Shelters and Rescues. We participated in the 2nd Annual Celebration of Animals at Veterans Memorial Park in Sierra Vista and look forward to next years event.

We continually search for ways to raise money as we are not funded by any city or government agency.  Our funds come from donations.  We appreciate all those that host fund raisers in our honor.  We are run by about 25 volunteers and sometimes spread pretty thin.  We participate in all Special week-end events in Tombstone with a donation table, accepting cash donations and sharing information about the shelter. In February  we send  out our annual Newsletter.

Every Saturday except the first Saturday of the month you will find us at PetSmart or CAL Ranch in Sierra with pets for adoption. Getting our pets out in an area where they can be seen is crucial. We are open 7 days a week BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.  We are open to the public without an appointment EVERY SATURDAY INCLUDING HOLIDAYS from 2-4 PM. By making an appointment adopters can come and get a one on one with a volunteer at a more convenient time in their busy schedules. This year 55% of our adoptions were done by appointment.

We thank each and everyone of you that share our story, our pets, post alumni pictures on Facebook and send donations.  We have a fabulous group of volunteers who are all dedicated to the animals they interact with.  We look forward to even bigger and better things in 2018!

2017 Annual Pot Luck and Election of Officers

What a great time we had at the Annual Volunteer/Family Potluck Dec 12, 2017

Great food,  fun and fellowship.  This is the time when new volunteers can meet others and   learn about the shelter, and long time volunteers  can learn of upcoming events and hear about all the wonderful things they have been a part of.  During the awards part of the evening Chris Townsend presented out going President Elaine Perry with a Certificate of Achievement and a gift certificate. Chris shared how  with Elaine’s Leadership and commitment to the shelter we have become quite successful.   It was also the time for  the election of next years Board of Directors.

The 2018 Board will be:

President: Tonyia Hallen

Vice President: Elaine Perry

Treasurer: Marcia Spitler

Secretary: Vanessa Burelli

Member at Large: Chris Townsend


THANK-YOU to the Benson Pony Express

The Tombstone Small Animal Shelter would like to give a big THANK-YOU to the Benson Pony Express. On Saturday, November 18th, they held a benefit trail ride to raise funds for the shelter. Their effort brought in $70 which is greatly appreciated by the shelter volunteer staff.
The trail ride began at 10:00 a.m. from the Tombstone Monument Ranch. The trail was new to the riders and they discovered some interesting old rock walls. The weather was perfect and everyone had a great time. Upon their return, a delicious lunch was provided at the ranch restaurant.
The Benson Pony Express is hoping to make this a yearly event.

THANK YOU for Ryan Meile Grant

TSAS would like to thank the Ryan Meile Endowment for Animal Welfare administered by the Arizona Community Foundation of Cochise for the $10,000 grant received for veterinary/medical use. TSAS is a non- profit, no-kill shelter and is funded by donations and grants like this. In 2016 52% of our budget was spent on medical bills for the dogs and cats in order to get them ready for adoption. We thank you so much for your generosity.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony May 6, 2017

The Ceremony was a wonderful time to greet old and new friends to the shelter.  It was a beautiful Saturday in May.   About 40+ people attended including many volunteers. Volunteers of the shelter took this time to not only celebrate the opening of the new kitten room but to honor long time volunteers, Tonyia Hallen and Chris & Paulette Townsend for their dedication to the shelter and all their hard work..  All three started in 1997.

Tonyia Hallen moved to Tombstone in 1996 after her husband Rodger retired from the Foreign Service. She started volunteering at the shelter in 1997, two years after the current building was built. At that time there were no accommodations for cats. Until 2014 Tonyia held several positions on the Board of Directors the last one being Secretary. Tonyia was passionate about seeing to the welfare of the animals and helped find good loving, forever homes for hundreds of abandoned pets. Her volunteer years included doing just about anything that needed doing at the shelter.  She currently lives in Sidney, Australia.

Chris and Paulette Townsend made Tombstone their home in 1997 after retirement.  Like Tonyia both Chris and Paulette have held different positions on the Board of Directors over the years.  Chris is currently the Vice President.

In 1997 Chris and Rodger Hallen built six cat kennels in the main room of the shelter.  Three upper and three lower.  Due to water leakage and dampness the three lower ones were removed about a year later.

About 2007 the large cat room, on the East side of the building,  with four cat kennels was built.  Money for all projects,  including building the shelter, was raised by donations. Many, many bake sales were held over the years and Paulette, along with other volunteers baked dozens of goodies for the sales.

In 2011 Tonyia over saw the installation of  windows put into the four cat kennels in the “cat room”.  This room also housed the washing machine, hot water tank,  toilet and utility sink. It currently does double duty as the rest room.

Tombstone Small Animal Shelter is a successful shelter due to the many dedicated volunteers like Tonyia, Chris and Paulette and generous donors and supporters.

Volunteers do everything from taking care of the cats and dogs, transporting to veterinarians, taking pets to off-site adoptions, writing grants, doing laundry, walking dogs, cleaning up the yards and pulling weeds, picking up the mail and entering everything into an online data base.  Posting on Social Media and many adoption sites. Sitting at  donation tables at all Special Week-end Events in Tombstone, once a month at Tombstone at Twilight  and at Staples in Sierra Vista.

Over the years the shelter has seen many changes. A new laundry building was built in 2014 and the washing machine was removed from the existing cat room.  This allowed the use of two washers and two dryers. In 2015, 2/3 of the  dog kennels were re-framed thanks to a Grant received from the Ryan Miele Endowment for Animal Welfare. Over the years large play yards have been divided and more added.  Currently there are 8 large yards and two smaller enclosed puppy yards. Most of the funds for this has come from Grants received over the years from the Ryan Miele Endowment For Animal Welfare.

This new addition will allow better organization and storage in the main room of the shelter and a safer environment for the cats/kittens that will be housed in the new room. It also will be easier/safer for the volunteers working with these cats/kittens. This project was accomplished by a Grant from the Ryan Miele Endowment For Animal Welfare  and distributed by the Arizona Community Foundation of Cochise.

The shelter was also able to work with the City of Tombstone to upgrade the electrical to the site, allowing for better heating and cooling and the use of two dryers simultaneously.   Construction on both projects was done by Bob Radcliff and his crew at  Eco Strada Construction.

The shelter currently has seven cat kennels and ten dog kennels plus two dog kennels kept available for the Tombstone Marshall’s when they bring in  dogs.

Tombstone Small Animal Shelter is a 501c3 non-profit, no-kill  animal shelter run by volunteers and supported by donations with the added support of grants received.






How to help the future of TSAS

Would you like to help now and give later?

Please consider giving to the Tombstone Small Animal Shelter when you are creating or updating your Will. It is as easy as speaking with your professional advisor, including your CPA, Estate Attorney, or Insurance Advisor. With their help, and the assistance of Arizona Community Foundation, you can leave behind a gift that will create a lifetime of funds to allow the Tombstone Small Animal Shelter to continue doing the work of saving at-risk dogs and cats, and finding them forever homes. 

For more information, please contact TSAS, or Becky Pickett at 520-505-3678, or


On Sunday October  4th the Tombstone Small Animal Shelter held its First Annual 5K Run 1 mile Fun Run/Walk at the shelter.  The EPG Team from Ft. Huachuca coordinated this fundraiser for the shelter.  Many of this team  and their spouses volunteer regularly at the shelter as needed. We had kids, dogs, alumni dogs, runners and walkers of all ages.  There were items for sale, gift bags and t-shirts. It was a beautiful morning and everyone had a great time.   The race course was a challenge for the runners but the top runner was able to do it in 17 minutes 19 seconds.

Former Tombstone Marshall Bobbie Gerencser was in attendance.  Mr. Gerencsner was instrumental 20 years ago in getting the current building up and running.

The following businesses donated items for a great raffle: Cafe Margarita, The Longhorn Restaurant, Tombstone Harley-Davidson, The Shady Lady’s Closet, J.L. Silver Co., Outlaw Tees, Books & More, Big Iron Shooting Gallery, Bird Cage Theatre, Tombstone Real Estate, Superstition Sue Gifts and Red Buffalo Trading. THANK YOU!

Special thanks to Linda and Sam Weber owners of Outlaw Tees, Books & More who printed our beautiful t-shirts designed by Julianne Panico.

We are indebted to the Tombstone Fire Department for providing emergency stand by and E.M.T. Service, to the best of our knowledge their services were not needed – thank goodness.  We also want to thank the Arizona Rangers Tombstone Company, especially Sgt. Mike Gross, Ranger Carol Gross, Lt. Steve Lant and Lt. Linda Lant who helped with traffic control, direction, parking and security.

Thanks to Ike’s Mini Market for ice donated for the runners and Morena Cherry for not only helping with registration but introducing her business Cherry’s Advocare (with the help of her coach Rachael Tibesar) to those in attendance.

Metals to the race winners were presented along with  Certificates of Appreciation to EPG Team members that helped make this event a HUGE SUCCESS raising $1385.00 for the shelter. Plans are already under way for  next year.

You can see all the pictures  under “About Us” – Shelter Gallery Pictures – 1st Annual Fun/Run Walk 2015.