Wednesday, September 05, 2012

A Story of Hope

Anthony and Hope
found each other at YHS
The Yavapai Humane Society (YHS) motto is "We create happiness by bringing pets and people together."  It seems we  create our share of hope too.

In May 2012, YHS rescued a hopeless 11-month old pit bull from Los Angeles. The dog was found injured at a mega-adoption event. Although more than 200 "rescue" organizations were present, none could help and she was taken to one of the largest kill shelters in California. Upset by this, several individuals coordinated her rescue and transport to YHS. With her loving disposition, we were convinced she would be adopted quickly. However, she was with us over three months - hoping against hope she would be adopted by someone special. Her name is Hope.

Enter Anthony. In July 2011, Anthony drove up from Phoenix to visit family and attend the Prescott Rodeo. While at the rodeo, a fight broke out and although an innocent bystander, Anthony was seriously injured. He was rushed to the Yavapai Community Hospital where he was diagnosed with a subdermal hematoma resulting from a blow to the head, which required emergency brain surgery.

The incident changed Anthony's life forever. His plans to return to work and finish his college degree were stalled; crowds caused panic attacks; and migraines became commonplace. Anthony continues to undergo rehabilitation. Initially outraged by the unprovoked assault that derailed his life, Anthony has since forgiven his attacker.

Adding to Anthony's anguish, his 9-year old pit bull, Rocky, died three months after the attack. This was almost too much to bear. The family started visiting YHS regularly to find a new companion for Anthony - but each visit ended in tears. Rocky was irreplaceable; the best dog ever!

Still, Anthony persisted and he came to YHS again. This time he walked past Hope's kennel. He stopped to look at her and she wagged her tail and sat perfectly still. He hesitated; then, conflicted by his feelings, left. However, something told him to go back, which he did, wrestling with his feelings for Rocky the entire time.

Then he thought about her name. "Hope." It was hope that was getting him through his ordeal. And like him, Hope was recovering from an injury. Anthony stood frozen in time, pondering, when a lizard suddenly ran by and Hope ran playfully after it; just as Rocky would do. Anthony immediately texted his family that he was bringing Hope home, stating "She's perfect; we can go on long walks and rehabilitate together."

Today, Hope is crazy about Anthony. When he comes into the room, she runs to his side in adoring submission.

Anthony's story would have gone unknown except for a "chance" meeting between Anthony's parents and YHS volunteers at an adoption event in Phoenix. A beautiful YHS puppy named Nala brought the parties together and gave Anthony's parents time to share their son's story of Hope.

As they talked, they played with Nala. In the time it took to tell the story, they had fallen in love and adopted her. Anthony's younger brother, Derek, suggested a more appropriate name; they chose Faith. They brought Faith home and the two dogs immediately loved each other. Anthony's parents recently contacted YHS to tell us their home is again filled with joy and laughter; not to mention Faith, Hope and love!

If you are looking for that missing ingredient in your home, consider a pet from YHS. Through the end of September, all dogs and puppies are $25 and you can pick your price for any cat or kitten. Every adoption includes a spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations and a microchip - a value over $400.

Note: Tickets for the Reigning Cats & Dogs Gala this Saturday can still be purchased by calling YHS or on-line at

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