Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Yavapai Humane Society needs your help to sustain "No-Kill" status

In July 2010, the Yavapai Humane Society (YHS) embraced a principle called "no-kill."

More than a policy and statistical objective, no-kill is an ethic, and once applied the practical consequences immediately fell into place. In less than two years, YHS decreased killing by 88 percent and is maintaining a 95 percent live release rate. That means 95 percent of the animals rescued by YHS are ultimately placed into loving homes. This life affirming revolution has made our community the safest for pets in the entire Mountain Region, which includes Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah.

YHS defines no-kill as applying the same criteria for deciding a shelter animal's fate that a loving pet guardian or conscientious veterinarian would apply to an owned pet. That is, healthy and treatable animals are not killed simply because of a lack of room or resources to care for them.

The practice of killing animals has never been anyone's idea of a perfect solution - let alone anyone's idea of giving "shelter" to creatures in need. The willful elimination of healthy animals with good years left is enough to move the hardest heart. That is why YHS has made this commitment: No animal that comes through our doors will be killed out of convenience or a lack of space. For every one of them there is a kind and loving person or family - and it is our mission to bring them together.

Since swearing off euthanasia as a solution to pet overpopulation, YHS has received tremendous public support. This support made possible a $75,000 state of the art cattery, an $80,000 enrichment program which includes many facility and staff enhancements, a $45,000 X-ray machine, $20,000 in commercial laundry equipment, a $3,000 grooming station, $50,000 worth of solar energy equipment and many other amenities.

YHS is thankful to those who financially helped transform our agency into a modern, effective humane society through these purchases. But we also need help meeting the daily needs of our animals. These needs are more basic and more expensive; they include food, water, utilities, medicine and sufficient staff to care for the thousands of animals YHS rescues each year.

Many think local government helps pay for these services. In fact, the governments of Prescott, Prescott Valley and Yavapai County combined make up only 9 percent of the YHS budget. This means YHS depends on you to help us provide for the health, safety and welfare of homeless pets in our community.

How can you help? By becoming a monthly P.A.W.S. donor! When you join P.A.W.S. (Planned Automatic Withdrawal Service) an automatic monthly donation of your choice is sent to YHS without the hassle of writing and mailing in a check. Each month our secure system automatically processes your donation. You can sign up with Visa, MasterCard or Discover and choose the amount that feels comfortable to you. You can also change or cancel your participation at any time.

If everyone reading this article donated $1 a day - 30 bucks a month - YHS could confidently continue to save animals' lives, fight cruelty and rescue homeless animals in need. Participating in this program also entitles you to many YHS membership benefits.

Participation in P.A.W.S. is easy. Just go to and choose a pre-set amount or designate your own monthly gift. Then check the box that says, "Repeat this donation every month" and enter how many months you want to repeat your gift. If you have any questions about P.A.W.S., give us call at 445-2666 ext. 21.

Together we can continue to make our community the safest for pets in all the Mountain Region!

Patches, Buttons, Popper and Topper are 3-month-old female kittens ready for adoption for just $40 each. Adoption includes spay surgery, vaccinations and a microchip. This foursome is featured on the YHS Kitty Cam, which you can view 24 hours a day at
Ed Boks is the executive director of the Yavapai Humane Society. He can be reached at or by calling 445-2666, ext. 21.