Steve Farley is the Chief Executive Officer of The Humane Society of Southern Arizona. He was named CEO for his experience and service record, such as winning the Humane Society’s Humane Legislator of the Year multiple times. He spoke at the November 16, 2020, meeting of Democrats of Greater Tucson.

Most Tucsonans know him as the artist behind the popular tile murals along the Broadway Underpass (using a process he invented) or as a long-time Arizona legislator (elected six times to office and known for his dedication to healthcare and education funding).

The Humane Society has 100 employees and takes in 5,000 animals per year. Steve told the stories of Milo, the long-haired Chihuahua who was so sick from Valley Fever that he yelped when he was touched, and Lily who had untreated diabetes and “looked like a balloon stretched across a dog skeleton.” Both dogs are now recovering at the Humane Society.

Farley’s animal story goes back years to his time as a volunteer animal behaviorist at the San Francisco SPCA and also includes being honored as Humane Legislator of the Year several times for his efforts to ban greyhound racing and puppy mills in Arizona.

Steve’s work with animals began in the 1980s when he spent three years as a volunteer animal behaviorist at the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In that role, he worked to socialize and train hard-case shelter dogs to make them more adoptable, and worked SPCA’s national behavior hotline to help foster parents solve animals’ behavior problems.