Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Sustaining the no-kill vision

The Yavapai Humane Society has achieved
the no-kill dream.  Can it be sustained? 
Only in a community willing to help!
In July 2010, the Yavapai Humane Society (YHS) embraced a no-kill ethic. We defined that ethic as applying the same criteria when deciding a homeless animal's fate that a loving owner or conscientious veterinarian would apply to a beloved pet. That is, healthy and treatable animals would not be killed simply because we lack the room or resources to care for them.

With a 95 percent live release rate in 2012 and a 97 percent live release rate YTD for 2013, it could be argued that YHS has achieved its no-kill goal. The challenge now is sustaining it. Google dictionary defines "sustaining" as strengthening or supporting.

It is important to understand the life affirming momentum occurring at YHS. In nearly every community in every state in the Union, killing is the primary method employed to control pet overpopulation. In just three short years our community has become a national model for a better way, a way of compassion through strategic planning.

Last week I shared the news concerning the success of the recent Walk for the Animals. It is remarkable how our community came together, for one of the most fun family events of the year, and raised over $41,000 to help sustain YHS' many life saving no-kill programs.

This week YHS moved into a newly completed facility dedicated to sustaining quality medical care for our community's sick and injured homeless cats. The facility was made possible thanks to the generosity of the MCS Charitable Foundation, the PETCO Foundation, Pat and Nancy O'Brien, Yavapai County, the City of Prescott, the Town of Prescott Valley, Max Fogleman and Kathy Coleman, and the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe.

Also, this week, we are installing a climate controlled HVAC system throughout our Pet Adoption Center. This amazing enhancement was made possible thanks to the compassionate generosity of the Harold James Family Trust.

Next on the YHS drawing board is a canine hospital to care for our community's lost and homeless sick and injured dogs. We are in the design phase and should have a budget for this project within 30 days. It is my hope that there is the same public support for our canine friends as there is for our felines, so we have no delay in building this much-needed facility. Naming rights are available to anyone willing to fund a substantial portion of the construction cost.

These new facilities are designed to help ensure our community never returns to the barbaric practice of killing homeless animals simply because we lack the room or resources to care for them. Achieving no-kill is not an Olympic moment; it is an arduous marathon. We've proven it can be achieved, the question now is can it be sustained?

Imagine if everyone reading this article donated $1 a day or $30 a month to YHS. YHS could then sustain its many no-kill programs, each designed to save animals' lives, fight cruelty and rescue homeless animals.

It's easy to become a YHS sustaining partner when you join the PAWS (Planned Automatic Withdrawal Service) program. An automatic monthly donation of your choice comes to YHS and our secure system automatically processes it for you. You choose a tax deductible amount that is comfortable, and you can change or cancel your participation at any time.

Simply go to to designate your gift; check the box that says, "Repeat this donation every month" and enter how many months you want to repeat your tax deductible gift. If you have questions give us a call at 445-2666 ext. 21. Together we can sustain both our no-kill ethic and our place among the safest communities in the nation for our pets.

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