SCU: Where Miracles Happen

Christophe Valton

The Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA) is a favorite go-to destination to find a wonderful new family member. We all delight in seeing beautiful, healthy dogs and cats adopted and given a second chance. When prospective adopters line up for a chance to pick a new addition to their family, and then leave thrilled with their perfect pet, this is a good day for everybody!

Often, these happy moments are the result of the miracles that happen at a magical place behind the scenes. At HSSA, this place is called the Second Chance Unit (SCU). There, a dedicated medical team works hard to provide critical care to injured animals. Nobody gets turned away. Everybody is special, regardless of age, injury, or how they came to arrive at such a sad state. While we all feel compassion and pity and, yes, often anger, nothing is more important than focusing on how to save lives, provide help, heal, and ultimately restore the animal back to health. Emergency care, critical care, chemotherapy, dental work, and so much more—the team does it all! We have a laser machine and a water treadmill to stimulate muscles and jumpstart sluggish nervous systems. The staff keeps track of myriad medication requirements—who needs what and when and for how long. Each patient is treated with love and respect, and little by little we witness miracles happen. Dogs, who were shut down and in pain, are excited to go for a walk; others, who arrived paralyzed, are now running and pulling at their leash, eager to experience the movement of their legs again. Cats and kittens are nursed back to health. When our patients are healed and healthy, they move to the adoption floor, ready to be discovered by their new family. The medical team stands ready to provide life-saving care, love, and compassion to another group of patients. Visit for more information.