Our History & Impact

The Pima Alliance for Animal Welfare (PAAW) was created in 2012 as an initiative to facilitate collaboration among local groups and animal enthusiasts to ensure that all Pima County companion animals have a loving home and humane care.

Early on PAAW became involved in efforts to reduce the number of animals euthanized in Southern Arizona. Through much hard work on the part of many community stakeholders, our municipal shelter went from euthanizing 15,000 animals each year to now saving almost 90 percent of the pets that come through its doors, making it one of the top public shelters in the country.

Over the past eight years, PAAW has supported Pima County’s animals by building voice and collaboration amongst stakeholders in the animal welfare world. PAAW brings together animal-loving representatives from nonprofits, county shelters, rescue groups, churches, businesses, and more and has hosted 15 community-wide gatherings with trainings and presentations by animal experts.

In 2014, PAAW members organized the first Adopt Love, Adopt Local adoption event for all the community’s rescue groups.

2018 saw an exciting development from PAAW’s Human Animal Bond subcommittee, which has been working to embed animal welfare into the assistance activities provided by local social service organizations. As a result of this work, Mobile Meals of Southern Arizona now brings pet food monthly to its clients, 60 percent of whom also need food for their companion animals. Lutheran Social Services also now provides pet food for its clients, in addition to helping them by walking dogs and cleaning up pet waste. PAAW is helping with programmatic questions and volunteer recruitment for both organizations.

2018 also saw 140 dogs and cats find their new forever homes through PAAW’s fourth-annual Adopt Love Adopt Local mega-adoption event at the Tucson Expo Center. Twenty-four rescue organizations participated — some for the first time — and more than 2,000 people attended.

2020 saw a shift in operations due to the pandemic, during which PAAW held a virtual PAAW Biannual Meeting. Attendees learned about the root causes of the global spread of animal origin (zoonotic) diseases, such as COVID-19, and the challenges surrounding them.