$1 million gift gives Humane Society huge boost - KCTV5

$1 million gift gives Humane Society huge boost toward new shelter goal

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The pets at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona shelter just got closer to getting a new home, thanks to a generous gift from a local family trust.

The Ruth M. Tankersley Trust is giving the Humane Society one million dollars in memory of Ruth "Bazy" Tankersley and her daughter, Tiffany Tankersley.

The women loved animals and each contributed greatly to the Tucson community.

Now the donation will help the Humane Society build a new, state-of-the-art animal shelter and clinic on 5.2 acres on Roger Road, west of Oracle.

The Humane Society has already purchased the one-million-dollar lot.

If you've ever been to the current humane society shelter you know how cramped it is.

It's a cramped old collection of small buildings on 1.3 acres, and it can be hard to find.

Incredibly, in that cramped space, the Humane Society takes in 10,000 pets a year and spays or neuters 12,000.

The Tankersley Trust gift will go a long way toward the ultimate goal of building the new shelter and allowing the Humane Society to move out of the current facility and double the number of animals it can help.

"We're moving from this location where we are now. We are going to double our size, double our capacity and we're building a new campus that will have state-of-the-art technology. We'll have a new clinic for our spay and neuter services. We'll have a much more welcoming environment," says Hilary Van Alsburg, Humane Society of Southern Arizona Chief Development Officer.

"We've been in this building, in this facility, for 70 years. We're celebrating our 70th anniversary this summer. So what we're excited about really is the opportunity to have a state-of-the-art facility. It cuts down on disease spread for the animals. It allows them to have a much more enriching environment and they are happier, and then they get out in the world much more quickly and find homes," Van Alsburg says.

She says the Tankersley donation is an amazing and welcome gift and all involved with the Humane Society are grateful.

It will take $10 million to build the new shelter.

Van Alsburg says, with the gift, major donations have reached $4.2 million.

She says once the halfway point is reached, the public fundraising portion of the capital campaign will begin.

Van Alsburg says to expect public fundraising to begin in August.

The Humane Society plans to name the new shelter Intake Center "the Bazy and Tiffany Tankersley Welcome Center."

Van Alsburg says the Human Society has not yet decided what it will do with the current facility and land.

For more information on the capital campaign, call 520-321-3704, Ext. 117.

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