Category: “About Us”

Thank You Ryan Meile

As a volunteer for many years at the TSAS I have seen lots of physical changes to the shelter buildings.  I tend to get very excited when major changes occur, all due mainly  to Grants from the Ryan  Meile Endowment  for Animal Welfare. These grants  over the last several years have allowed the shelter to install large outside dog play yards and have them completely graveled. We currently have eight , along with two smaller enclosed puppy pens that were previously there.  They have improved the irrigation system to the trees in the play yards to allow for shade in the summer heat. Improve two thirds of the dog kennels, all the inside kennels and all on the west side due to deterioration of the previous product used and time, causing unsafe conditions for dogs and people. They have also provided the funding for the new kitten room which allowed us to now have  the original cat room with four kennels and the new kitten room with three larger kennels for litters.  This also opened up the main room for supplies, a desk and better and safer working conditions for the volunteers.

The largest part of this year’s grant was for pull down doors over the outside of the dog kennels. My husband and I used to do custodian duty every Sunday morning.  Driving from Sierra Vista to Tombstone to feed and clean the shelter.  That first winter we were shocked to see the temperatures sometimes in the low to below 20 degrees.  With winds blowing like crazy. We had a pretty full kennel that winter and some pretty active dogs.  The outside of the corner kennels were just chain link.  For those that remember Miss Ruby she was in kennel #1 and had decided to chew up her heavy dog flap.  Which meant it was open to her outside run. Someone before us had put up a tarp on the outside of the kennel I believe with clothes pins.  Anything to hold it in place.  Later each winter we would put up the tarps with zip ties. in 2014 we installed some old poly vinyl siding we had and recycled.

These outside walls were later replaced with a solid material when we renovated the dog kennels. The following year Mr. Jeremy did the same thing on the other side of the kennel . One of our volunteers brought a light weight  piece of   board and it was put over the door with clips so that he did not chew the blankets we had first tried.  Until today blankets were put up over the  outside doors.   NO MORE !!! Thanks to Bob Radcliff and his crew at Eco Strada Construction we now have pull down doors to protect the dogs from inclement weather.  When I saw this picture I was so excited! Not sure if it was for the current custodians (as we no longer live in the area) or the dogs!!!!

Tombstone Small Animal Shelter is a very small shelter.  All our donations go to keeping the dogs and cats in our care safe, and as healthy as we can.  We also need to keep good working conditions for our volunteers.  It is grants like this that make all the difference.  We still have other smaller projects to be completed with this grant, but this was a biggie!!  Thank you again Ryan  Meile Endowment  for Animal Welfare  and the Arizona Community Foundation, that manages this fund.

Ryan Meile Grant 2018 received

We are pleased to  announce that TSAS has received a grant from the Ryan Meile Animal Welfare Endowment Fund  of $14,080 to be used for the health and welfare of the pets.This grant is not for medical but for needed improvements to  the shelter to help protect the pets from heat, rain and cold. Grants like this  are essential to the well being of the pets in our care.  Thank you Ryan Meile and the Arizona Community Foundation for this much needed grant.

Shelter NEEDS Volunteers

Letter to the Editor

The Tombstone Small Animal Shelter which was started in 1977 and has served the community of Tombstone since that time, caring for stray and surrendered dogs and cats.

The Shelter is in trouble. Money keeps coming in thankfully, to care for the continuing revolving door for dogs and cats. Right now they are full to capacity for cats and are taking care of 8 puppies until they can be spayed and neutered and go to their homes. Another 8 puppies are coming in early October. This is not counting the adult dogs.

That’s not the problem. They are running out of volunteers! Several have been volunteering at the Shelter since the 1990’s, no disrespect but they are now senior citizens and have physical limitations. Without having exact statistics the largest number of the remaining volunteers, though they haven’t volunteered as long, are also getting older and many already have physical limitations. Some work with cats only and they seem to be able to manage scheduling for their care but dogs take more time, strength and energy. They currently have two volunteers that are paid a stipend and are doing the lions share of the work but that leaves no one if they are ill or need time off. In the past dog walkers have provided exercise for dogs twice a day. Currently there aren’t enough to cover once a day for all seven days a week.

For several years the Shelter has been open for adoptions on Saturday afternoons. All but one Saturday a month two volunteers go to Sierra Vista to PetSmart or Cal-Ranch for off-site adoptions. The rest of the time adoptions are done by appointment 6 days a week at the convenience of the adoption coordinator and the adopter, that actually accounts for the largest percentage of the adoptions, off-site adoptions account for the second highest percentage and the rest are adopted on Saturdays at the shelter. The volunteers for Saturday afternoons have dwindled to two. Each doing one Saturday a month. So guess what! The Shelter is closed for adoptions the rest of the Saturdays – but the dogs still need to be fed, exercised and kennels cleaned, so they are back to asking the two stipend paid volunteers to cover! Wonder how long that will last before they burn out working 6 or 7 days a week?

THE SHELTER NEEDS MORE VOLUNTEERS! Even if they have to pay the stipend (at least for now there is money but the more paid out the sooner money will be used up). Ads have been paid for in out of town newspapers and free ads have been placed in the two local newspapers. No one answered.

At this rate, as volunteers leave and no one takes their place, the Tombstone Small Animal Shelter will have to close their doors – at least to dogs for now, if it gets worse the Shelter won’t be able to take care of cats either.

September Calendar Changes

Due to unforeseen circumstances the shelter will be on limited hours during the month of September.

Saturday Sept 1 adoptions by appointment only call 520-457-2545

Open to the Public 2-4 pm  –  Saturday, Sept 15 ONLY

Closed to the Public – Saturdays, Sept 1,  8, 22 and 29

Off Site Adoptions will be held from 9:30-3pm at:

PetSmart, Sierra Visa, Saturday, September 8 and 22

CAL-Ranch , Sierra Vista, Saturday, September 15 and 29

Adoptions by appointment Sunday-Friday  520-457-2545


Thank you to all the wonderful donations of supplies we have been receiving.
If you are making a personal delivery please call for a appointment for a convenient time to deliver.  Our Open hours are limited.  520-457-2545.
If you are ordering online  PLEASE CALL FIRST FOR A  Different DELIVERY ADDRESS.
The shelter does not have staff on site available to accept a delivery and many times deliveries are returned to sender. 
Thank you for your understanding.

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