Animal advocates held a protest Wednesday morning in downtown Tucson, demanding information about 250 small pets that the Humane Society of Southern Arizona says went to an anonymous rescue in Maricopa County.
About two dozen people chant “Farley must go” outside the law office of Robert Garcia, chairman of the Humane Society board.
CEO Steve Farley says the rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and rats were transferred from San Diego to Tucson in early August and adopted out to families in a short amount of time through the anonymous rescue.
Animal advocate Mary Moran says the group protesting wants more information.
“Where are they?” she said. “We want proof of life. We want accountability, and we want transparency. Almost everyone here donates to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona. The donors want to know before we give more money: Where are these animals?”
Moran says prominent rescues in Phoenix and Tucson have heard nothing about these animals being put up for adoption.
Another advocate, Kelly Galligan, says, “allowing Steve Farley to remain in his position without any accountability for this issue is just not an option.”
“I think the board needs to act,” she said.
Animal advocates say that it’s implausible for a rescue to find homes for so many small pets in a few weeks.
Farley says the Southern Arizona organization doesn’t have paperwork on the animals after they went to an anonymous rescue, which he is refusing to name.