Arizona pets win as telemedicine bill becomes law

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

PHOENIX, May 9, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — In an effort to ensure equitable care for Arizona’s pets, Governor Katie Hobbs today signed into law Senate Bill 1053 that will allow licensed veterinarians in Arizona establish a veterinarian-client relationship through telemedicine.

Introduced by Senator TJ Shope and introduced by the Arizona Humane Society (AHS) and the Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA), the legislation allows veterinarians to use technology to provide virtual care to pets in need, bridging the gap between the state – extensive shortage of veterinarians with safe, effective and timely care.


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“Today is a historic day for Arizona’s most vulnerable pets and the owners who love them,” said Dr. Steven Hansen, AHS President and CEO. “Just last year, we saw a 13 percent increase in the number of animals turned over to our shelter by their owners for medical reasons. Today, if you call our hospitals, the first available appointment is six weeks from now. This new legislation help keep pets in loving homes and alleviate undue suffering.

Arizona is now only one of the few states in the country that has implemented this life-saving legislative action. In addition to providing virtual care to thousands more companion animals across the state, the law will also allow veterinarians to provide short-term prescriptions for non-controlled substances.

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“Arizona’s pets will benefit greatly from this important law,” said Steve Farley, HSSA’s executive director. “Due to the shortage of veterinarians in Arizona, many pet patients currently do not have 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 drive virtually cases before they become serious, helping the patients who need it most.

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

For more information on the advocacy efforts of the Humane Society of Arizona, visit For information on the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, visit

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 each year through a system of care that includes AHS trauma hospital and intensive care units, foster and comprehensive medical programs, and behavioral intervention programs. . Comprised of a Pet Resource Center, affordable veterinary services, proactive outreach, community support and partner collaboration, our community-based model keeps pets in loving homes where they belong. Our visionary approach to animal welfare has transformed the Valley from the second worst place for a homeless pet to one of the best. And in early 2023, our new Rob & Melani Walton Papago Park campus will expand our life-saving efforts by the thousands. Learn more at

About the Humane Society of Southern Arizona

The Humane Society of Southern Arizona has cared for more than 1 million pets since 1944. We accept pets from all over Southern Arizona, helping smaller shelters take in hard-to-locate pets and pets with serious medical needs, pets that otherwise they would not have a chance in life. We heal their bodies and their hearts, and help them find loving forever homes. We believe in the power of the community. Find out all the ways we can help you on our website,

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“Today is a historic day for Arizona’s most vulnerable pets and the owners who love them.” – Dr. Steven Hansen, President and CEO of the Arizona Humane Society

Media Contact

Jennifer Armbruster, Humane Society of Arizona, 1 602.997.7585 1013, [email protected],

Steve Farley, Humane Society of Southern Arizona, 1 520.780.2238, [email protected],

SOURCE Humane Society of Arizona

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