Know where your donations are going
In a letter to the editor published Dec. 22, Mr. Joe Farley encouraged Courier readers to ask charitable organizations how their donations will be used before writing a check. That is sound advice. Mr. Farley went on to recommend the Yavapai Humane Society (YHS) as one of the charities he trusted with his financial gifts. Mr. Farley wisely explained that the best and safest contributions are made to local organizations with which you are familiar.
The Yavapai Humane Society has served our community for 39 years. (We celebrate our 40th anniversary in 2012.) According to statistics gathered by ANIMAL PEOPLE magazine from more than 118 regions across the United States, our community is the safest in Arizona for lost and homeless pets and may actually be the safest community in all the mountain states (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah). The Yavapai Humane Society boasts the lowest pet euthanasia rate and the highest live release rate in our region.
This kind of success cannot be sustained without the financial support of discerning animal lovers. Sadly, one of the greatest misunderstandings we encounter among donors is the belief that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) helps to fund YHS. Many donors mistakenly believe that their financial gifts to these national groups will trickle down to help animals in their own community.
That is not the case, and many are surprised to learn HSUS and the ASPCA provide no funding to YHS. In fact, despite raising tens of millions of dollars each year, HSUS has no animal shelter in the United States and the ASPCA has just one shelter - in New York City - that actually cares for fewer animals each year than YHS. The mission of these national organizations is to raise awareness of national animal welfare issues; the mission of YHS is to physically care for the thousands of abandoned, homeless, abused and neglected pets in our own community.
One possible reason for all the misunderstanding is the way the national organizations seem to misrepresent their programs, implying they are helping animals in local communities when they are not. This is especially disturbing as you watch the daily barrage of heart-wrenching television ads and read the equally distressing mail solicitations these organizations use to ask for donations.
If you believe in the saying "think globally; but act locally," it is important to understand that when you contribute to these national organizations your money is leaving your community, never to return. If that is your intent, fine, but don't be fooled into contributing to a national organization because of marketing campaigns that mislead you into believing you are helping animals in your own community.
The Yavapai Humane Society was founded to help homeless, abused and neglected animals in our community. YHS is the only animal shelter for more than 50 miles in any direction. We are governed by a local volunteer board of directors and funded almost entirely by local support.
YHS receives no funding from the national groups, nor are we governed by or affiliated with them. We are, however, the largest local nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization caring for the largest number of needy animals in our community - and these animals need our help. They need your help.
If, as 2011 comes to a close, you are looking for the best way to help the greatest number of animals in need in your community, please make a life-saving, tax deductible donation directly to the Yavapai Humane Society. Donations can be made safely and securely through our website (www.yavapaihumane.org) or by mail to 1625 Sundog Ranch Road, Prescott, AZ, 86301, or by calling 445-2666.
If you already answered the call to help, on behalf of the thousands of animals the Yavapai Humane Society rescues every year, thank you! Only with your help can we make sure that our community continues to be the safest in Arizona for pets.
Ed Boks is the executive director of the Yavapai Humane Society. He can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 445-2666, ext. 21.