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Tue, May 21

Think globally, act locally to help animals

Courtesy photo<br>Wesson is a happy, light-hearted 2-year-old Australian Shepherd mix keen on being a hiking buddy or strolling chum. If you want to score points with him, just pull out the grooming brush and he will worship the ground you walk on.

Courtesy photo<br>Wesson is a happy, light-hearted 2-year-old Australian Shepherd mix keen on being a hiking buddy or strolling chum. If you want to score points with him, just pull out the grooming brush and he will worship the ground you walk on.

Imagine how you'd feel if your boss told you he was so pleased with your work that he gave your coworker a bonus. You'd be stunned. Yet, it's not uncommon for me to hear, "I love the work the Yavapai Humane Society does - so I sent a gift to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) or the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) to support you."

One of the greatest misunderstandings among animal lovers is the belief that HSUS and the ASPCA are affiliated with and support local animal welfare organizations. In fact, the Yavapai Humane Society (YHS) receives no funding from these national organizations.

The mission of these national organizations is to raise awareness of animal welfare issues; it is not to fund or support animal shelters. However, the mission of YHS is to directly rescue and care for the thousands of lost, homeless, abused and neglected animals in our community in the safest animal shelter in the state, if not the nation.

Many mistakenly believe that gifts to the national groups will trickle down to help animals in their own community. I only wish that were true.

Some may understandably arrive at this notion through heart-wrenching TV ads and the direct mail solicitations sent to millions of homes across the nation asserting "Together we can stop cruelty to animals. As you read this letter, somewhere - perhaps not far from you - someone is inflicting pain on an innocent and helpless animal. You may not be able to rescue that particular animal. Please send the largest gift you can manage to help save animals like it."

To be fair, national organizations must understand that sending "the largest gift you can manage" to their New York or Washington, D.C., office is not the best way to help protect "an innocent and helpless animal," a "particular animal," an animal "not far" from where you live.

I have no objections to national organizations asking for support for the essential work they do in calling attention to important animal issues. However, please understand that when you contribute to national organizations your money is leaving our community never to return - which is wonderful when you honestly understand what you are contributing to.

I am taking the time to explain this because I am told by many local animal lovers they didn't understand this. YHS receives no funding from these national groups, nor are we governed by or affiliated with them. We are, however, the largest local charitable organization caring for the largest number of homeless animals in our community - and these animals, our animals, need your help.

The good news is there are many ways you can help local animals in need. You can volunteer; you can make a life-saving tax-deductible yearend donation; you can become a monthly YHS supporter; and/or you can mention YHS in your planned giving.

In return, I can guarantee that with your support YHS will always be "the best way to help protect the innocent and helpless animals not far from where you live."

Please send your donation to the Yavapai Humane Society, 1625 Sundog Ranch Road, Prescott, AZ 86301; or on-line at www.yavapaihumane.org/donations.html; or call 445-2666, ext. 101. Together we can make a difference.

Special Service Announcement: In our continuing effort to provide the best customer service to our community and the animals in our care, effective Jan. 4, YHS is now open seven days a week and with extended hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please come by to find and adopt the love of your life.

Ed Boks is the executive director of the Yavapai Humane Society. He can be reached at eboks@yavapaihumane.org or by calling 445-2666, ext. 101.

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