Category: “Shelter News”

Septic Repair

TSAS has been informed that the septic system is in need of a major repair. This system is part of the original building installed in 1995. The beginning estimate was $2000 but as worked progressed and more issues were discovered it has grown to $4800.  We currently have a fundraiser going on our Facebook page hoping to raise the funds

Thank you to all of you that have donated and shared this request. We appreciate any and all help as this unexpected expense has taken a toll on the limited finances of this small shelter.

We will be forever grateful to any amount you can donate to this unexpected expenditure. Remember we are a 501c3 non-profit and all money donated is tax deductible.

If you would prefer to send a check please send to

Tombstone Small Animal Shelter

P.O. Box 1085

Tombstone, AZ 85638

Annual Potluck and Election of Officers

Tuesday, December 11 the Tombstone Small Animal Shelter held their annual Volunteer and Family Potluck and Election of Officers. Everyone had a great time with good food, prizes and games and welcoming new volunteers.

The following  were elected to the 2019 Board:

President – Tonyia Hallen

Vice President – Elaine Perry

Treasurer – Marcia Spitler

Member at Large – Mary Ellen Atkins

Secretary – still to be filled


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.

Volunteers to help with dogs

We are in need of committed volunteers to help our dog custodians with cleaning and feeding the dogs.  If you have a few hours a week and can volunteer your time please call 520-457-2545.

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.


Thank you for all your wonderful donations for AZ Gives Day April 3rd.  This is our first year for this Great Event and we raised $670 in just 24 hours.  This is the amount we spent on this day for medical for several of our pets. Thank You!

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

Volunteers Needed

  1. The shelter is in need of a Sunday Afternoon Volunteer to do Dog Custodial Duties.  You will be trained, in feeding and cleaning dog kennels etc.
  2.  Someone to clean and feed cats on Sunday morning.  You will be trained
  3.   We need Dog Walkers on Thursday and Friday Mornings.

4.  Volunteers willing to sit at a donation table in Tombstone and share information regarding the shelter and collect cash donations during Special week-end events.  The shift can be mornings, afternoons or all day depending on how many volunteers we have.  The shelter is funded solely through donations and these Special week-ends are extremely important to the funding of the shelter.  All available dates can be found on this site under Special events Calendar 2018 at the top of the page.

You must be over 18 and dependable.  .  For more information call 520-457-2545.