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Tue, Nov. 12

Consider adopting an older dog or cat

The population of unwanted companion animals continues its relentless climb in the Quad-Cities area putting a severe strain on the existing resources of the Yavapai Humane Society and those of other animal welfare agencies in our community.

Quite simply, we must increase the number of adoptions, while decreasing the number of unwanted animals being surrendered. Realizing this objective, however, can be a daunting task. One factor we often find ourselves trying to overcome is the age of some of our animals. As we've stated in the past, a perception by the public that older animals are not a good choice for adoption continues to prevail.

We recently came across a heartwarming story by Deborah Wilson, MD about a senior dog named Damascus. And with her permission, we'd like to share it with you today.

Damascus, a loveable senior black Lab, was plucked from the "turn in" line at a public animal control agency about a year ago by Lisa, an animal welfare volunteer. The man who was surrendering this 10-year-old dog explained that it was necessary for him to move into an apartment where he could no longer care for Damascus. Lisa's heart broke as she watched the dog eagerly wagging his tail thinking he was going someplace exciting. She knew from experience the chances of a dog his age being adopted were just about zero. She didn't wait long to place Damascus in her car, and to drive away with him. He never saw the inside of that shelter. Instead, he was taken to his temporary home at Circle L Ranch, an animal welfare organization located in Prescott Valley where Dr. Wilson is the director. Her organization is devoted primarily to rescuing horses that would otherwise go to slaughter. Circle L also administers an adoption program for these needy horses. In addition, they foster dogs for other animal rescue agencies until permanent homes can be found. For more information, you can visit their website at www.circlel.org.

For the first few weeks at Circle L, Damascus was anxious and needy. He couldn't seem to understand what had happened. He whimpered when left alone, and was restless at night. However, he soon calmed down and accepted his new home. He became happy and enthusiastic, but in spite of his good nature, potential adopters left with younger dogs, and after a year, the folks at Circle L began to think he would become a permanent resident.

Then one day, an older couple came to the ranch and announced they were there to adopt a dog. These fine people had recently lost their 15-year-old dog. They missed their canine walking partner. Mostly, they missed having a dog to love. Well, after they met all the dogs available for adoption, they chose Damascus as he was deemed to be a perfect match. Damascus left the sanctuary with a bit of trepidation, but he wagged his tail to say goodbye when he proudly sat in the back seat of his new family's car as they all drove off to his loving, and forever home.

Please, please consider adopting an older dog or cat, and enjoy the rich, sweet experience of having such a gentle being in your life for a time. YHS and other agencies have many such animals waiting to be rescued. You will not regret it.

We'd like to take this opportunity to remind you the Yavapai Humane Society will host its 35th annual pre-Easter bake sale, this coming Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Wal-Mart on Highway 69 at Prescott Lakes Parkway, and at Petco in the Frontier Village. Our volunteers have been baking up a storm and wonderful goodies to enhance your Easter dinner will be available for sale at both locations. Best of all, every single dollar collected will go toward the care of homeless animals, and will help them find their forever homes.

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