Wednesday, August 15, 2012


See Bossley and Kelly's story below.
This past weekend stargazers observed the peak of the spectacular Perseids falling star season. Named for the constellation Perseus, from which the falling stars appear to originate, the shower is actually the result of Earth crossing the debris trail of the Swift-Tuttle comet, discovered in 1862, whose trail of rock and dust still circle our sun.

Throughout August, weather permitting we will be treated to exquisite showers streaking through the velvety dark night. As we cross the comet trail falling stars with long shimmering tails hit the Earth's atmosphere at 140,000 miles per hour - inducing gasps of wonder as they blaze across the sky in less time than it takes to say "meteor."

The Perseids were particularly striking this past weekend in Prescott, AZ because they coincided with beautiful summer weather, weekend viewing opportunities, and a dark night sky inhibited only by a thin crescent moon that rose three hours before the Sun. At the shower’s peak as many as a dozen meteors might be seen every hour.

Each year at this time another, less pleasant, spectacle is forecast with the same astronomical certainty. I'm referring to the shower of lost and homeless dogs and cats rescued by the Yavapai Humane Society (YHS). Each summer YHS marks its calendar in reluctant anticipation of the hundreds of lost and homeless animals expected to fall into our atmosphere, tails tucked between their legs with fear and foreboding, unlike the flamboyant tails of the Perseids.

Many of these animals are injured, abused or ill and require special medical treatment. The trajectory for these animals was once tragically similar to the silent extinguishing of a shooting star in the black night sky. Without the needed resources to care for them, euthanasia was the only humane solution.

However, that all changed when YHS launched the STAR program during the Perseids one year ago. One year later the STAR (Special Treatment And Recovery) program has enabled YHS to better care for our community's neediest animals than ever before, nursing them back to healthy before placing them into loving homes.

The STAR program represents a community-wide commitment to help these animals. Your support of the STAR program allows YHS to swear off euthanasia as a solution and ensure no animal who comes through our doors is killed out of convenience or a lack of resources. For every one of them there is somewhere a kind and loving person or family and it is our mission to bring them together.

Today, rather than resembling falling stars snuffed out in the blink of an eye, these animals are transformed into bright and shining stars emblematic of our community's compassion. Visit our website to read the amazing testimonies of our STAR animals. Animals like Mimi, our very first STAR animal, and Trudy, Sunset, Hassy, Buddy, Waste Management, a personal favorite, Heather, Pancake, Thor and so many others. Each of whom is in a loving home today; had it not been for the STAR program each of them would be little more, or less, than a memory today.

These animals have a fighting chance at quality life today only because of your donations to the YHS STAR program; your gift directly saves lives.

Anyone wanting to make a donation to help the Yavapai Humane Society’s STAR animals can send a donation online ( or can mail a check to YHS at 1625 Sundog Ranch Road, Prescott, AZ 86301. Together we are turning our community into a truly humane society – and we can’t do it without you!

For information on donating, adopting, or fostering visit the YHS website or call 445-2666, ext. 20.

The two STAR Chihuahuas pictured above were rescued from an inexperienced backyard breeder unable to properly care for them. Bossley (left) is a 6-month-old male and Kelly (right) is a 6-year-old female. The dogs appear to be related. An abdominal midline scar on Kelly indicates a possible C-section. Each had a nonfunctional rear limb. Radiographs found that both dogs appeared to suffer from congenital anomalies and not fractures. The limbs appeared to have never been functional, with no chance they ever would be. They were amputated to enhance both dogs’ quality of life. Kelly has a heart murmur and cleft lip (another congenital anomaly). Both dogs are friendly and sweet and have been adopted; however, YHS needs your help to care for other animals in need like Bossley and Kelly. Please read the accompanying article for more information on the YHS STAR program and how you can help.

Ed Boks is the executive director of the Yavapai Humane Society. He can be reached at or by calling 445-2666, ext. 21.