Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New Hope for pets

YHS partners with Pilots N Paws
to airlift pets to other communities.
This Thanksgiving the Yavapai Humane Society (YHS) is thankful to all our volunteers, supporters and partners. Every one of you plays a crucial role in solving our community's pet overpopulation problems.

With a live release rate of 95 percent some might be fooled into thinking these problems are already solved. But they are not; and that is why I am also grateful to our New Hope partners.

The New Hope program is how YHS cooperates with and supports the efforts of partner animal rescue organizations in our shared vision to find homes for our community's homeless pets.

YHS rescues around 3,500 homeless animals each year. When YHS is unable to find a loving home for one of our animals we call upon our New Hope partners for an assist. YHS partners with 58 New Hope organizations throughout the southwest in our effort to find every animal a loving home.

In the past twelve months ending in October, our New Hope partners saved the lives of 237 animals; that's 6 percent of all the animals rescued by YHS. The top five New Hope organizations assisting YHS in its life-saving mission are Miss Kitty's Cat House in Prescott (20), Second Chance Center in Flagstaff (17), Dewey Dog Rescue (16), Arizona Chihuahua Rescue in Phoenix (15), and Ark Cat Sanctuary in Flagstaff (14). YHS appreciates all our partners who help to place our local homeless animals into loving homes.

The New Hope program recently expanded exponentially thanks to a new partnership with Pilots N Paws.  Local commercial pilots generously volunteer to airlift YHS animals to out of state partner shelters and sanctuaries.

Pet overpopulation is an expensive societal problem requiring a coordinated community response; and our local response is a tribute to our community.

Another solution to pet overpopulation is adoption. When you adopt from YHS you directly save the life of a local homeless pet who is altered and will never contribute to this problem. Sadly, some local rescues prefer to import and adopt animals from other communities. YHS feels strongly that we owe it to our community's homeless pets to fix the problem here before compounding it by bringing animals in from outside communities.

Of course, the easiest and most cost efficient fix is for every pet owner to have their pet(s) spayed or neutered. When pet owners demonstrate this level of responsibility we'll be able to solve the pet overpopulation problem within two to three years. That's why I will ask the City of Prescott, Prescott Valley and Yavapai County to allocate funds to the YHS Big Fix program next year. Big Fix provides spay/neuter to pets belonging to our community's indigent population for just a $25 co-pay. Studies have found that for every tax dollar invested in spay/neuter programs $20 is saved in animal control costs over ten years.

Low-cost spay/neuter is especially important for our community (feral) cats. This year YHS rescued kittens every month instead of just in the typical spring "kitten season." This suggests our community is experiencing a serious cat population explosion.

To make sure affordable spay/neuter services are available to every pet in our community, YHS operates the low cost Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at 2989 Centerpointe in Prescott. You can schedule an appointment for your pet by calling 771-0547. Do it today and help end the killing of unwanted pets.

In closing, a special thank you to every pet owner who spayed or neutered their pet(s); every person and family who adopted a pet from YHS; and every New Hope partner who re-homed a YHS pet. Each of you is directly helping transform our community into a truly humane society.

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