Ruth M. “Bazy” Tankersley had a deep love for dogs as well as horses and other animals.

Courtesy of Humane Society of Southern Arizona

The Humane Society of Southern Arizona's Samantha Esquivel was extremely happy to announce this bit of news:

The Ruth M. Tankersley Trust has awarded the Humane Society of Southern Arizona a leadership gift of $1 million.

This brings to $4.2 million that the nonprofit has raised so far towards its goal of  building a new facility. A $10 million capital campaign will be announced in a few months.

The new facility would be built on 5.2 acres the HSSA has bought on Roger Road west of Oracle Road. The current site is relatively hidden on 1.2 acres in a neighborhood just off Fort Lowell Road between Dodge Boulevard and Country Club Road.

More community support is still needed, says Esquivel. Anyone who wants to be part of this effort should contact Hilary Van Alsburg at 321-3704, Ext 117.

The newly announced $1 million gift was in memory of Ruth M. “Bazy” Tankersley and her daughter, Tiffany Tankersley, both of whom passed away in the past two years.

The Intake Center on the new campus, where animals in need are welcomed into care, will be called “The Bazy and Tiffany Tankersley Welcome Center” in their honor.

“Tiffany and Bazy were both dedicated supporters of the Tucson community,” Hanna Miller, Bazy’s granddaughter, said in the press release. “The HSSA positively impacts hundreds of thousands of lives, both two- and four-legged, through its community programs —pet visitation and community education, the Animal Cruelty Task Force and inmate integration, just to name a few. That’s something I know my aunt and grandmother would be thrilled to support.”

Bazy Tankersley, who owned Al-Marah Arabians, was known for her love of horses, but she loved her dogs just as much, her son, Mark Miller, says in the press release. “I know she would be proud of the trustees for making this decision to fund the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.”

Tiffany Tankersley graduated from St. Gregory College Preparatory School in Tucson and Trinity University in San Antonio. She was active with the Tucson Children’s Museum, Reid Park Zoo, Horse Tales Literacy Project, Casa de los Niños, Al-Marah Arabians and served as president of the board of St. Gregory.

Bazy founded St. Gregory College Preparatory School, served as president of the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, contributed to the founding of Therapeutic Riding of Tucson (TROT), and supported the Tucson Audubon Society. She received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Arizona in 2004 in recognition of her contributions.