The Arizona Humane Society (AHS) and its Campaign Cabinet and Board of Directors, along with construction partner, Ryan Companies US, Inc., and architectural partner, Animal Arts, broke ground on the Arizona Humane Society’s Rob and Melani Walton Papago Park Campus.

Scheduled to open early 2023, the 72,000 square-foot Rob and Melani Walton Papago Park Campus will be located at the juncture of the 202 and 143 freeways in the Papago Park Buttes. It will feature two main buildings: the Nina Mason Pulliam P.E.T. Center and the Watts Family Medical Complex. Together, they will offer medical and behavioral interventions, treatment and care at a level not yet seen in the United States.

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“This gift builds upon our over 24-year focus on improving the lives of our community’s dogs and cats, which always had a special place in Nina’s heart. We are proud to be a part of this evolution in animal welfare,” said Lisa Shover-Kackley, trustee of the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, “Congratulations to Arizona Humane Society and all who are bringing this campus to life.”

The state-of-the-art Watts Family Medical Complex, anchored by the Lazin Animal Foundation Trauma Hospital, will include intensive care units and a full teaching hospital for emerging veterinary students at a time when the veterinary profession is experiencing an extreme shortage. Additionally, the trauma hospital’s expanded triage area will enable AHS to treat thousands more homeless pet patients than AHS’ current Sunnyslope Campus.

“So many homeless animals suffer unnecessarily or lose their lives due to injury or disease that can be treated,” stated Susana Della Maddalena, Chairman of the Lazin Animal Foundation Board, “Through our partnership with AHS, we find great comfort and joy knowing that thousands of lives will be honored and saved. LAF’s board is excited and pleased that with our gift, Arizona’s homeless animals will be touched by Terry Lazin’s fighting spirit, unwavering compassion and dedication for so many years to come.”

The new campus, along with AHS’ Nina Mason Pulliam South Mountain Campus and mobile veterinary clinics, will allow AHS to expand its lifesaving services to meet the region’s rapidly growing population—a population that is currently experiencing the highest growth rate in the country.

For many, this groundbreaking moment for pets signifies the culmination of years’ worth of transformation for homeless animals in our community.

“Breaking ground on AHS’ Rob and Melani Walton Papago Park Campus signifies a critical turning point for homeless animals in Maricopa County,” said Dr. Steven Hansen, Arizona Humane Society President and CEO, “Over the last seven years, the Arizona Humane Society has led the single largest transformation for homeless animals of any community in the U.S., which has led to an 84 percent reduction in euthanasia and an additional 115,000 pets being saved. All of this would not have been possible without transformational gifts from the Rob & Melani Walton Foundation, Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, Lazin Animal Foundation, and the tremendously generous individual donations made by animal lovers in our community. Paired with AHS’ visionary team and the philanthropic leaders who serve on our Campaign Cabinet and Board of Directors, this marks a new era for animal welfare in Arizona.”


“We are proud to partner with the incredible staff and volunteers at the Arizona Humane Society as they modernize their facilities and develop a new gathering place for people and the animals they love. This new space—and the ongoing commitment of this extraordinary team—will make a real and transformational impact for years to come. We could not be more proud to support their tireless work to bring life to possibility and make it matter by making this project a reality,” said Rob and Melani Walton.

To learn more about the Campaign to Transform Animal Welfare, contact Nancy Mitchell at 602.323.8834 or visit