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Sat, May 25

Beloved local man's friends, family honor his memory by helping to save animals' lives

Courtesy photo<br>
Scott Jensen is pictured here with two of the six German shepherds in the Jensen family. At his request, all six dogs served as “paw bearers” at his funeral. Donations in Scott’s memory may be mailed to the Yavapai Humane Society, 1625 Sundog Ranch Road, Prescott, AZ 86301.

Courtesy photo<br> Scott Jensen is pictured here with two of the six German shepherds in the Jensen family. At his request, all six dogs served as “paw bearers” at his funeral. Donations in Scott’s memory may be mailed to the Yavapai Humane Society, 1625 Sundog Ranch Road, Prescott, AZ 86301.

On May 29, Prescott lost a relatively young man at age 56. I did not have the privilege of knowing Scott Bradley Jensen, but I feel as if I know him now after the outpouring of phone calls, letters and donations we have received at the Yavapai Humane Society since his death. Because he was an avid animal lover, Scott's family requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to YHS.

Scott seems to have been a man who truly loved life. Letters and online comments posted alongside his obituary in The Daily Courier paint a portrait of a passionate man who loved life, his family, animals and the Phoenix Suns. Everyone mentions his amazing smile, energy and infectious laugh.

One online memorial was particularly touching.

"I didn't even know Scott's name, nor did he know mine. We were both regulars for breakfast at a local fast food restaurant. But I could not help hearing his laughter, seeing his friendly smile, and thinking to myself that this is a man who enjoys life. We both share a true love of animals and I will make a donation to the Humane Society in his honor."

A friend from Michigan wrote, "It's comforting to hear the narratives and themes from Scott's past, traveling north and east through the Midwest, from strangers in coffee shops to boyhood friends as far as Norway - it's a perfect mirroring of respect for the boundless essence of the man we've lost."

It seems that Scott Jensen's life, though cut short far too soon, was indeed a life well-lived. One longtime YHS donor sent in a large donation in memorial for Scott with a note that read, simply, "Scott dog-sat for me and loved my animals."

So great was Scott's love of animals that he requested having the Jensen family's six German shepherds present at his funeral to serve as "paw bearers," which they did. And his love of animals seems to have included more than cats and dogs. Apparently, there was a pet monkey at Scott's house in Madison, Wis., where he grew up.

"To all the Jensens, Scott looms large in many fond childhood memories. There was a pet monkey in the big house on Adams Street. I'll always remember him as very funny, thoughtful, optimistic, and absolutely unique."

As Scott's family wrote in his obituary, "We have not lost you. You have only gone ahead." But in the wake of his passing, Scott Bradley Jensen left behind something here that would make him very happy. He has left a legacy of saving animals' lives, and, from what I have come to learn about him, the many donations we have received in his honor will accomplish exactly what he would have wanted.

Here at YHS, fully one-third of our operating budget each year comes in the form of wills and bequests. The citizens of Yavapai County have been supporting this organization for more than 38 years, and we are very blessed to operate a shelter in a community that so clearly loves its animals.

So thank you, Scott Jensen, for the man that you were in life, the joy and laughter you so clearly brought to all those around you, and for your love of the companion animals of Yavapai County. Our condolences go out to your family and friends, and you have our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for all you have done for our animals.

KayAnne Riley is the director of marketing at development at the Yavapai Humane Society. She can be reached at kriley@yavapaihumane.org or by calling 445-2666, ext. 12.

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