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Arizona Pets Win As Telemedicine Bill Is Signed Into Law

Written by: Arizona Humane Society
The Arizona Humane Society and Humane Society of Southern Arizona applaud state legislation and Governor Katie Hobbs for providing thousands of more pets with access to veterinary care.

PHOENIX (May 9, 2023) – In an effort to ensure equitable care for Arizona pets, Governor Katie Hobbs signed into law today Senate Bill 1053 which will allow veterinarians licensed in Arizona to establish a veterinary-client relationship through telemedicine.

Introduced by Senator T.J. Shope and put forward by the Arizona Humane Society (AHS) and the Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA), the legislation allows veterinarians to use technology to deliver virtual care to pets in need, bridging the gap between the state-wide veterinarian shortage with safe, effective and timely care.

“Today is a landmark day for Arizona’s most vulnerable pets and the owners who love them,” said Dr. Steven Hansen, AHS President and CEO. “Last year alone, we saw a 13 percent increase in the number of animals that were surrendered to our shelter by their owners for medical reasons. Today, if you call our hospitals, the first available appointment is six weeks out. This new legislation helps to keep pets in loving homes and alleviate undue suffering.”

Arizona is now just one of a handful of states in the country to implement this lifesaving legislative action. In addition to providing virtual care to thousands more companion animals throughout the state, the law will also allow veterinarians to provide short-term, non-controlled substance prescriptions.

“Arizona’s pets will greatly benefit from this important law,” said Steve Farley, CEO of HSSA. “Due to Arizona’s veterinarian shortage, many pet patients currently have no access to nearby care — their lives are at risk. Especially in rural Arizona, economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, and tribal lands, this legislation will allow veterinarians to virtually manage cases before they become severe, helping patients that need it the most.”

The veterinary telemedicine bill will build upon Senate Bill 1271 that was signed into law and funded in 2022 that specifically addresses the state’s veterinarian shortage. The Arizona Veterinary Loan Assistance Program, jointly envisioned and advocated by AHS and HSSA, provides student loan reimbursement of up to $100,000 to veterinarians who graduate and choose to work in Arizona for at least four years, with at least two of those years spent at a municipal, county, or nonprofit shelter or in an agricultural practice that the USDA designated as having a shortage.

To learn more about the Arizona Humane Society’s advocacy efforts, visit For information on the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, visit

Media Contact:
Jennifer Armbruster
Arizona Humane Society

Steve Farley
Humane Society of Southern Arizona



About the Arizona Humane Society
Since 1957, the Arizona Humane Society (AHS) has been saving the lives of the Valley’s most vulnerable pets. Guided by our Ethical No-Kill Philosophy™, we save thousands of pets every year through a system of care that includes AHS’ trauma hospital and intensive care units, comprehensive medical and foster programs and behavior intervention programs. Our community-based model comprised of a Pet Resource Center, affordable veterinary services, proactive outreach, community support and partner collaboration, keeps pets in loving homes where they belong. Our visionary approach to animal welfare has transformed the Valley from being the second-worst place to be a homeless pet to one of the best. And coming early 2023, our new Rob & Melani Walton Papago Park Campus will expand our lifesaving efforts by the thousands. Learn more at

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,

May 9, 2023