Dogs, cats want to be home for the holidays

Courtesy photo<br>Tiny Tim is a one-year-old Australian Shepherd/Chihuahua mix who is a bit timid at first but will make a wonderful lap dog for a loving senior or responsible family with older children.

Courtesy photo<br>Tiny Tim is a one-year-old Australian Shepherd/Chihuahua mix who is a bit timid at first but will make a wonderful lap dog for a loving senior or responsible family with older children.

Imagine waking up every morning thinking about 3,500 homeless animals. That is approximately the number of animals the Yavapai Humane Society (YHS) will rescue this year. Gratefully, there are many of us who wake up determined to save as many pets as possible each day.

YHS is the largest animal rescue organization in the quad-city area, rescuing and caring for significantly more animals than all other local animal welfare organizations combined. YHS' mission is to promote and protect the health, safety and welfare of our community's homeless animals.

YHS is committed to solving the problems associated with pet overpopulation, cruelty and neglect in our community and will to not contribute to these problems by importing animals from other communities. If you share this commitment, then YHS is the organization you will support with your time and treasure. An important difference between YHS and other local animal rescue organizations is that YHS does not import homeless animals from outside our community just to bolster donations and adoptions; and when you support YHS your donations go directly to solving our community's pet overpopulation problems.

With your help, YHS has achieved remarkable success; reducing pet euthanasia by 95 percent and maintaining a 97 percent live release rate. Together we have transformed our community into the safest in the nation for pets.

This is a tribute to YHS employees and volunteers, who wake up every day to work with, train and socialize homeless animals in preparation for adoption.

To help maintain our community's "most humane" "no-kill" status, YHS is launching its 3rd annual Home for the Holidays Adopt-a-thon. There is no better time of year to teach children and grandchildren about compassion; and there are few acts more kindhearted than adopting a homeless pet and saving a life.

To help encourage you to give the gift of life to a deserving pet, YHS is reducing dog and cat adoption fees in December to $30. Adoption fees for animals over five years of age or in the shelter over 30 days will be completely waived. (Adoption screening is required). Adoptions include spay/neuter surgery, microchip and vaccinations - over a $400 value - not including the unconditional love that comes with each pet.

Enhancing the value of each YHS Home for the Holidays Adoption, Prescott's Whiskers Barkery (located at 225 West Gurley Street) is offering a special 15 percent discount on a purchase and a pet-friendly holiday treat bag to all YHS adopters this month. Treats and coupons will be included with each YHS Home for the Holidays pet adoption package today through December.

In addition to adopting a pet, there are many other ways you can help end killing as a way to control pet overpopulation. If you are a local business owner consider becoming a YHS corporate sponsor like Whiskers Barkery and so many others.

If you find you have time to spare, YHS has many volunteer opportunities from dog walking and cat cuddling to helping with special events. YHS has a dog-handling program that will teach you how to train shelter dogs, making them more adoptable. We also need Foster Caregivers for orphaned neonates and animals recuperating from an illness or injury.

If adopting or volunteering is not for you, there is still time to make a life-saving, tax-deductible donation this year. And while you are at it, talk to your financial planner about the many ways you can establish a compassionate legacy by including YHS in your will.

Together we can continue to maintain central and western Yavapai County as the first "no-kill" community in Arizona; something we can't do without your help.

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