Stop Animal Cruelty - Arizona Humane Society

Stop Animal Cruelty

EAMT holding small dog in blanket
EAMT carrying dog

Need Immediate Help?

Our Field Dispatch team is available every day 8 AM – 6 PM.

We pick up sick and injured stray pets in the cities of Buckeye, Chandler*, Fountain Hills, Gilbert*, Glendale*, Goodyear*, Guadalupe, Mesa (Sat/Sun only), Paradise Valley, Phoenix*, Scottsdale*, Tempe* and Tolleson. Cities with an asterisk (*) are ones where we also handle cruelty investigations.

Note for the city of Mesa:  Mesa handles their own cruelty investigations 7 days a week and picks up sick and injured pets Monday through Friday. We agreed to help the city of Mesa pick up sick and injured pets on Saturday and Sunday.

If you are in any Valley city that has not enlisted our services, please contact your city’s designated animal control department using the numbers here

Serving Animals and Saving Lives

At the Arizona Humane Society, saving lives is our top priority. That’s why we have our dedicated teams of Emergency Animal Medical Technicians (EAMTs™) and Animal Cruelty Investigators. Every year, we respond to over 9,000 animal rescues and investigations. Once on the scene, our EAMTs™ will provide lifesaving care and transport the distressed animals to our Second Chance Animal Trauma Hospital™ for veterinary care.

Stop Animal Cruelty in Your Community

Do you suspect an animal is being abused? Here are the answers to some of the most common questions.

  • What Are the Signs of Animal Cruelty?
    • Open sores or cuts on the animal’s body
    • Bruising, bleeding or other apparent injury to the animal’s anus and/or genital regions
    • Patches of missing fur
    • Tick or flea infestation
    • Extremely thin body
    • Limping/inability to walk
    • Witness an owner hitting or beating an animal
    • Dogs repeatedly left outside without food, water or shelter
    • Dogs kept outside during extreme heat, cold, rain, snow, etc. with no shelter
    • A house with an excessive amount of animals
    • Cowering in fear or acting aggressively (especially when approached by the owner)
    • Pets left in parked cars (during hot weather)
  • Can Dogs Be Chained or Tethered Outside?
  • According to state law (ARS 13-2910), people are required to provide their pets with adequate food, water, shelter and medical treatment. Pets who are chained or tethered will often get entangled, cutting off access to these basic needs. Some Arizona cities do have tethering ordinances, including:

    • Phoenix prohibits the tethering of pets in extreme weather conditions (below 32 degrees or above 100 degrees) and also prohibits restraints shorter than 10 feet in length.
    • Glendale prohibits tethering for the purpose of animal confinement, regardless of weather conditions.
    • Tempe prohibits tethering when the temperature is below 45 degrees or above 85 degrees, and pets must be supervised by somebody physically at the property.
    • Chandler prohibits the tethering of pets when the temperature is below 32 degrees or above 100 degrees or if a heat or extreme weather advisory has been issued.

    We also recommend these additional safety guidelines:

    • The dog should have a long tether and be free of obstacles that might get them tangled.
    • Collars should be fitted properly.
    • The water bowl should be secured so the dog cannot tip it over.
    • Metal heats up! Both food and water should be in plastic, not metal, bowls.
    • Dog should not be left unsupervised for long periods of time.
    • During excessive heat warnings, bring pets indoors.
  • Can I Break a Car Window If I See a Pet Inside?
  • We encourage people to never leave their pets unattended in a vehicle. Arizona’s Samaritan Hot Car Law allows people to take action should they see a child or pet in a hot car.

    Learn more about Hot Car Safety.

  • There Are Dozens of Outdoor Cats In My Neighborhood. Is That Allowed?
  • Unlike dogs, there are no leash laws for cats in Arizona. It is estimated that there are more than 200,000 outdoor cats in Maricopa County. Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the most humane and effective approach for controlling outdoor cat populations. Learn more at somanycats.org.

  • How Do I Know if a Boarding Facility Is Legitimate?
  • When researching where to board your pets, be sure to ask friends and family for recommendations, search online reviews and then visit the facility and ask for a tour. If they are unwilling to show you the facility, that could be a red flag. In addition, ask what their protocols are should your pet become sick or injured while in their care.

  • How Do I Know If a Breeder Is Running a Puppy Mill?
  • Puppy mills are dog breeding “factories” that put profits ahead of dog welfare. Unfortunately, while there are many responsible and professional breeders, the reality is that puppy mills are still very common. Even pet stores have long been one of the biggest sources of puppy mill puppies.

    Learn more about this topic on our Adopting vs. Buying page.

    If you notice any signs of animal cruelty taking place, please report it immediately.

Dog sitting in grass and smiling

Animal Cruelty Investigations

The most common animal cruelty investigations are for abandonment, welfare checks and lack of water. Our EAMTs™ work closely with local law enforcement and play a key role in the investigations of suspected cruelty and neglect, which frequently require their expert testimony.

Our EAMTs™ are not officers of the law. However, we are contracted to conduct animal cruelty investigations within certain cities. Our team is well-trained in state and local animal cruelty laws, crime scene investigations and photography, evidence collection, suspect/witness statements and on-scene medical evaluations.

We handle cruelty investigations in Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Goodyear, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe. For help in other cities, click here.

Meet the AHS Field Operations Team

Our first ambulance took to Valley streets in 1958. In 2002, we established our EAMT™ program—the first of its kind in Arizona. Today, AHS maintains the only radio-equipped emergency ambulance fleet for sick and injured stray animals in the Valley.
  • Image of Tracey Miiller
    Tracey Miiller
    Field Operations Manager
  • Tracey Miiller

    After spending more than two decades with the Phoenix Police Department, Tracey now oversees the EAMTs and Cruelty Investigators of AHS’ Field Department and ensures our community’s pets are well protected. Tracey has three dogs and a fish named Stormy.

    Why she wanted to work with animals
    After being in law enforcement for 21 years I wanted to use my experience to help animals by being their voice and working to prosecute their abusers.

  • Image of Ruthie Jesus
    Ruthie Jesus
    Field Operations Supervisor
  • Ruthie Jesus

    Ruthie started out as an adoption counselor at AHS before transferring to our Field Operations team, and wound up fostering her very first rescue – a dog suffering from a severely injured leg that would require amputation surgery. Ruthie shares her home with seven pets, ranging from dogs and cats to rabbits and turtles.

    Why she wanted to work with animals
    After years of cooking for the wealthy, I wanted to do something that was good for the soul. I wanted to make a difference in my community. I have also come to LOVE that moment when an animal trusts you for the first time…it is an adrenaline rush like no other.

  • Image of Julie Bolchalk
    Julie Bolchalk
    Animal Cruelty Investigator
  • Julie Bolchalk

    Julie has been with AHS since 2014, and started our Adoptions Department before transferring over to our Field Team. Julie has one very opinionated senior cat named Mit and has an open-door policy for foster pets.

    Why she wanted to work with animals
    Animals share such joy, encouragement, love and loyalty to us; I’ve always felt an innate responsibility to show them the same kindness, even if it’s just a brief encounter.

  • Image of Sydney DeJoy
    Sydney DeJoy
    Emergency Animal Medical Technician™
  • Sydney DeJoy

    Sydney has two rescue pets of her own including an 11-year-old German Shepherd named Gunnar and a 3-year-old guinea pig named Mac. Sydney is an Approved Veterinary Assistant and SSI Open Water Diver certified.

    Why she wanted to work with animals
    Ever since I could walk, I had always been drawn to animals. After having many hands-on experiences with animals and their amazing caretakers, I knew that I wanted to be the person that could change their lives for the better.

  • Image of Andy Gallo
    Andy Gallo
    Animal Cruelty Investigator
  • Andy Gallo

    Whether it’s rescuing a dog from a canal, newborn owls who had fallen out of a tree or baby ducklings from a drain, Andy, also known as “Captain Octane,” is always racing around the Valley to save lives. Andy, who has a Basic Wildland Firefighter Certification, is the owner of four pythons and a hedgehog.

    Why he wanted to work with animals
    Because they need a voice. Someone to help them, speak for them, be there for them. Because animals have an unconditional love for us that I don’t think people realize. They are always there for us so we need to be there for them! I’ve always been very passionate about all living things from insects to elephants, and I’ve always felt that they need just one person in a crowd to step up and keep them safe.

  • Image of Kaleema Hawkins
    Kaleema Hawkins
    Field Dispatcher
  • Kaleema Hawkins

    Kaleema grew up wanting to be a vet for most of her life and never grew out of wanting to work with animals in some way. She has a pair of cats, Lua and Pavel.

    Most memorable animal welfare moment
    On my first ambulance ride-along, we received a call about a dog experiencing a difficult birth. When we arrived at the home, we didn’t receive an answer at the door and had to leave. When we got back to Second Chance Animal Trauma Hospital, the dog had been dropped off and ended up having 13 puppies under one of our vet’s desks!

  • Image of Kiarra Johnson
    Kiarra Johnson
    Emergency Animal Medical Technician™
  • Kiarra Johnson

    Kiarra, nicknamed “Kiki” shares her home with three adorable pups, including a spunky senior Black Lab named Roxy, Pico the Chihuahua and goofy Honey the English Bulldog.

    Most memorable rescue
    My most memorable rescue would be a tree rescue I did with (fellow EAMT Andy Gallo). We spent about four hours trying to get a cat from a tree. We had to duct tape two brooms to our extension pole with our catch pole also duct taped just to reach the cat that was about 50 feet up in a tree. Andy was balancing the extension pole for about an hour trying to inch the cat closer to me, while I was on a ladder with a catch pole patiently waiting for the right moment to catch the cat. After hours of watching the cat climb down the tree, but get scared and climb back up the tree, Andy and I were exhausted, but after we thought our chances of catching the cat were slim, the cat came down closer to me and I was able to catch him! Andy quickly ran up the ladder to assist me in bringing the cat down and the cat was reunited with his owner! This rescue taught me to never give up and to just be patient.

  • Image of Dan McGrath
    Dan McGrath
    Field Associate
  • Dan McGrath

    Dan has three awesome pets including Finn, a 3-year-old pitbull terrier mix, a 2-year-old domestic shorthair kitty named Dex and foster fail Maggie, a 2-year-old shepherd mix born in AHS’ own Mutternity Suites!

    Most memorable rescue/case/animal welfare moment
    Very difficult to choose, as each case has a special place in my heart. If I have to pick one though, it’s really hard to beat going on a buried treasure hunt for some puppies – all of which have been adopted, including mama!

  • Image of Cynthia McGuire
    Cynthia McGuire
    Animal Cruelty Investigator
  • Cynthia McGuire

    With a veterinary technician background and more than 10 years of experience at AHS, Cynthia has seen it all – from helping kittens out of tight spaces to rescuing injured dogs trapped in canals.

    Why she wanted to work with animals
    I found that working with animals truly gives me joy, and helping them in order to make their lives better through second chances for adoption or education in the community is truly awesome. I find most times that they are sweet and know that you are there to help them.

  • Image of Mary Ellen Morales
    Mary Ellen Morales
    Field Dispatcher
  • Mary Ellen Morales

    Mary Ellen has been with AHS for 15 years, first working in our Admissions department before joining our Field team as a Dispatcher in 2011. Mary Ellen has been a foster failure several times, including her most recent adoptee – a Dachshund mix who had been abused.

    Most memorable animal welfare moment
    When I worked in Admissions, a very dear friend of mine named Lea, who also worked for AHS, had put her beloved Golden Retriever down a few weeks earlier. Someone had surrendered a young Golden to the shelter, and when I saw this dog, I knew I had her new forever mommy in mind. I immediately called Lea up to Admissions for her to meet her new daughter. Lea was a little upset at first with me (still feeling the pain) and didn’t want to look at the pup. Well, one hour later, Lea came back to find me, smiling from ear to ear. And nine years later, that same Golden Retriever, Dusty, was with my beloved Lea when she went to heaven.

  • Image of Valerie Newman
    Valerie Newman
    Animal Cruelty Investigator
  • Valerie Newman

    Valerie has been helping to save lives at AHS for nearly two decades, joining the organization in 1997. She has a veterinary technician background and has served in various departments, including the last 14 with our Field Operations team.

    Why she wanted to work with animals
    This job isn’t easy. My biggest realization, day in and day out, is remembering that even if the outcome for a pet who has been rescued isn’t positive due to medical reasons, that we still rescued them. I had to learn that. Every animal we encounter is a rescue. We are still able to be with them in their time of need so they aren’t left suffering alone on Valley streets and that is why I come back day after day, year after year.

  • Image of Casey Rau
    Casey Rau
    Animal Cruelty Investigator
  • Casey Rau

    Casey is fascinated by animal behavior and is always seeking ways to learn as much about it as she can. She shares her home with two cats, DaVinic and Kiz, and a horse named Player. 

    Most memorable rescue
    My first welfare seizure was a little Carin Terrier named Puppy whose owner was in the hospital. He was very shy, nervous and hiding under the bed. After sitting with him for a little while, I was able to coax him out and was able to carry him out of the apartment. It felt good to see and know that I was able to establish that trust.

  • Image of Samphyre Searle
    Samphyre Searle
    Field Operations Administration Assistant
  • Samphyre Searle

    Nicknamed “Pickle” by her friends, Samphyre is the proud momma to a 3-year-old Pittie/Boxer mix named Loco who was rescued by our Field team and fostered by Samphyre before she decided to give Loco a permanent home.

    Why she wanted to work with animals
    I’ve always loved animals and been interested in working in animal welfare. It breaks my heart knowing about all the homeless and abused animals out there. Since moving to Arizona, I decided to follow through and start volunteering somewhere with animals, and after reading up on all the great programs AHS has, I decided to volunteer here. Once I started, my passion just grew and so I was very excited to see the job opening in Field.

  • Image of Gracie Watts
    Gracie Watts
    Emergency Animal Medical Technician™
  • Gracie Watts

    With three big pups in the house, Gracie’s home is full of furry love, including Leo the Great Dane/Mastiff mix, an Australian Shepherd named Zappa and Dex the Red Hound mix!

    Most memorable rescue
    I responded to a call of a feral cat that was hanging upside down from his leg because his leg was impaled on a spiked fence that he tried jumping over. In order to release the cat, we had to saw the pole from the fence off and transport the cat with the pole still in his leg. Once he got to AHS’ Second Chance Animal Trauma Hospital™, he was immediately rushed into surgery, treated for his injuries over the course of a few weeks and then quickly found his forever home!

  • Image of Rob Grabowski
    Rob Grabowski
    Field Utility
  • Rob Grabowski

    Since his days as a child, catching reptiles and rehabbing them if they were injured, Rob has wanted to work with animals. He began at AHS was a member of our Behavior Team before transitioning to our Field Team. Rob has eight pets, including four dogs, a desert tortoise, a lizard and two snakes.

    Most memorable animal welfare moment
    Most memorable welfare moment was with my own dog, Roo. She came in as an abandonment case while I was with the Behavioral Department. She was very scared, displayed defensive/fearful behavior when approached. After two sessions, she trusted me to handle her, carry her, and begin behavioral modification. After a week of her failing behavioral evaluations with other staff members, and doing well with me, I behaviorally fostered her in hopes that I could rehab her enough to find an amazing family. After about four months of intense behavioral modification, she wasn’t making the progress needed to be adoptable with AHS. I ended up rescuing her, and she is the light of my world, even with her behavioral quirks.

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