Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Yavapai County 3rd safest community in U.S for pets

See Tito's story below.
A recent analysis of U.S. animal shelter killing reports western Yavapai County is among the safest pet communities in the United States. For 19 years ANIMAL PEOPLE magazine has published the analysis, which has become the industry standard for monitoring shelter killing trends.

The annual analysis compares the per capita kill rate of dogs and cats in communities across the nation. The rate is determined by dividing the number of animals killed per 1,000 residents. For instance, if a community of 500,000 people kills 5,000 dogs and cats per year, you divide 5,000 animals by 500 (groups of 1,000 people) to determine a kill rate of 10 animals per 1,000 residents. This epidemiological statistic puts every community on equal footing and compares apples to apples.

Thus, the Yavapai Humane Society (YHS) kill rate was determined by dividing the number of animals killed over the past 12 months (213) by the 2010 U.S. Census estimate for western Yavapai County (154,482 or 213/154 = 1.3).

ANIMAL PEOPLE reports the annual death toll of shelter animals in the U.S is 3 million; and the national kill rate is 9.6 pets killed per 1,000 humans. The average kill rate in the Mountain States (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah) is 9.7.

Sadly, the analysis also reveals most Arizona communities kill at a significantly higher rate than the national or regional averages. For example, the kill rate in Maricopa County is 12.7; Pima County is 21.9; Mohave County is 33.3 and the Navajo Nation is 33.5.

Although YHS had a 17.25 kill rate two years ago, a rate significantly higher than the national average, the report found western Yavapai County is now among the safest pet communities in the nation. Whidbey Island, Wash., has the lowest kill rate at .8 pets per 1,000 humans, followed by New York City at 1.0. San Francisco and western Yavapai County tied for third place at 1.3.

Merritt Clifton, publisher of ANIMAL PEOPLE and compiler of the annual kill rate analysis said of YHS progress, "This is excellent and the fastest drop I've ever seen."

The good news doesn't stop there. When you break down the western Yavapai County kill rate even further a significant and wonderful story unfolds. Three local municipalities actually emerge among the nation's most elite humane communities. The Town of Prescott Valley leads with a kill rate of 0; Chino Valley is a close second at .5; and the City of Prescott is not far behind at 1.1. The unincorporated portion of western Yavapai County weighs in at 2.5.

The actual number of animals euthanized at YHS fell 63 percent from FY10 to FY11, and another 65 percent over the past 12 months. Since July 2010 killing plummeted 87 percent. This rapid decline in killing follows implementation of an innovative philosophy called "the no-kill ethic." Simply defined, the no-kill ethic applies the same criteria when deciding a shelter animal's fate that a loving pet owner or conscientious veterinarian would apply to a beloved pet.

The result may be better understood as four additional animal lives saved each and every day of the year - which translates into 95 percent of all the animals rescued by YHS ultimately finding loving homes.

If you are an animal lover, you are invited to celebrate this remarkable success at this year's Reigning Cats & Dogs Dinner Gala Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Prescott Resort. Tickets are on sale now. Call YHS at 445-2666 or visit our website at www.yavapaihumane.org to purchase your tickets today. Tickets are $100 each; a table for 10 is $900. I look forward to seeing you there!

The dog in the picture above is Tito, a 6-month-old boxer. He came to YHS as a lost dog on the Fourth of July. He is all puppy, but knows some basic obedience. He sits on command and shakes hands and paws. Multiple people have expressed interest in adopting Tito so an adoption silent auction will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, July 28, during YHS’s Empty the Shelter Weekend.

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. 21.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

All the animal news fit to print

See Lucky's story below.
If you're an animal lover, you're invited to celebrate the Yavapai Humane Society's 40th anniversary at this year's Reigning Cats & Dogs Dinner Gala and Silent Auction. The gala is scheduled for Saturday evening, Sept. 8, at the Prescott Resort. Tickets are on sale now. Call YHS at 445-2666 or visit our website at http://www.yavapaihumane.org/ to purchase your tickets today. Tickets are $100 each, or $900 for a table for 10. I look forward to seeing you there!

Raffle tickets for the Reigning Cats & Dogs Grand Prize are also available. Imagine winning a three-night stay at the AAA Four Diamond award-winning El Monte Sagrado Resort in Taos, N.M. The resort was featured in Travel and Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler, and is on their elite Gold List. With sunlit fish-filled streams, tropical flora and the sounds of calming waterfalls, the nurturing effects begin the moment you arrive. Should you opt for a winter visit, a ski shuttle runs daily to Taos Ski Valley. El Monte Sagrado ensures a level of personalized pampering you won't soon forget. For more information on the resort or to purchase raffle tickets, visit http://www.yavapaihumane.org/; tickets are also available at the YHS Thrift Shop, Spay/Neuter Clinic and by calling 445-266. You do not have to be present to win. Only 2,000 tickets will be sold at $5 each, or five for $20.

YHS has new hours: YHS is now open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. It is closed on Tuesdays.  The new hours are to accomodate our new Enrichment Program.

Adoption Special: YHS is promoting an adoption special on all Certified Pre-Owned Cats! That's right, $0 down; $0 financing; and no payments EVER! Nose to tail, multi-point inspection and catjack (microchip) included. (Testing fees apply.) This means all cats and kittens are available for the price you pick. This is a $400 value (including spay/neuter surgery, microchip, vaccinations, etc.) for the price you can afford. All dogs and puppies can be adopted for $25 and come with the same high valued adoption package.

Microchips: This is the busiest time of the year for YHS. With the rodeo, parades, fireworks and thunderstorms, we rescue more terrified lost pets than any other time of the year. Getting your lost pet back to you quickly and safely is our highest priority. To do this better YHS has lowered the price of a microchip to $20. You can have your pet microchipped from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the YHS Lost & Found Pet Center, 1625 Sundog Ranch Road, Prescott Valley, or any Friday at the YHS Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic located at 2989 Centerpointe East in Prescott. Don't delay, protect your pet today!

Spay/Neuter Special: Are you looking to save your furniture from scratches and snags? Get a free nail trim for your pet cat at the time you schedule a spay/neuter surgery for him/her. Just mention this offer when you call to schedule your appointment at 771-0547.

Thrifter Alert: Have you been by the YHS Thrift Shop located at 1046 Willow Creek Road lately? Come by to see our new look, lower prices and great bargains. All this for a great cause to help fund our life-saving programs!

From clothing and household items to jewelry and more, the YHS Thrift Shop is loaded with great deals for every bargain hound! If you're moving, downsizing or just cleaning, please consider donating to YHS Thrift Shop. We respectfully request donated items be saleable and in good condition. When you drop off your donations, take a moment to shop our fine collectibles, jewelry, antiques and other treasures. If needed, we do fetch large items; call 445-5668 to schedule a pickup.

The dog in the picture above is Lucky, a 7-year-old male purebred wirehaired Jack Russell terrier with a high play drive. He comes with the tennis ball. YHS often has purebred dogs available for adoption, and this month all dogs are just $25. Adoptions include spay/neuter surgery, microchip and vaccinations – a $400 value. If you are 59 or older, all adoption fees are waived. Donations are appreciated.

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. 21.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Lifetime of love recklessly abandoned

Sage and Whiskey are
available for adoption at YHS
It's not uncommon for Yavapai Humane Society (YHS) employees to hear someone visiting our Lost & Found Pet Center say, "I could never do your job. I love animals too much." Or "How can you do this job?" I am gratified by the response I hear from our compassionate employees: "How could you not?"

YHS employees struggle every day with the comments and actions of some of our patrons. For instance, an employee, in tears, handed me this note one recent morning. The note was handwritten on a scrap of paper. It was found attached to our front gate. It said, "Tan dog - Whiskey. Other dog - Sage. They are sisters about 13 years old. We lost our home. Please take good care of them. They are great with children. Like to run. We will miss them so very much."

After I read the note, the employee, still in tears, told me she found two leashes tied to the front gate - but the dogs had chewed through them and were gone. It was difficult not to contemplate how dangerous the Prescott Lakes Parkway would be for two terrified 13-year-old dogs abandoned in a strange place during the predawn hours, trying desperately to find their runaway owners.

I understand these are difficult times, and I am not unsympathetic or unaffected by them. But I do know that losing a home is a process, a process that allows ample time to get one's affairs in order. Thirteen years - only to be tied to a fence and made to watch their beloved guardians walk back to the car and drive away.

When was the decision made to abandon the pets (a class 6 felony in the state of Arizona by the way)? Was it while the family was packing the car to leave town? "Honey, what about the dogs?"

Did the author of the note know the dogs were "good with kids" because they served as nanny dogs helping to raise his children for 13 years? The very children made to sit in the back seat as they watched their pets tied to a fence and heard their cries of distress as they drove away.

We often hear how we must be prepared to respond to fires, floods and earthquakes. In fact, following Katrina, a federal law was enacted that requires pet owners and first responders to include pets in all disaster response plans. Preparing for a disaster takes planning.

The same is true for a financial disaster. In fact, we have an advantage in financial disasters because they don't happen as suddenly and often provide enough time to make arrangements for our pets. Abandoning a pet at an animal shelter should be a last resort after talking to family, friends and neighbors. Financial setbacks are often temporary and with proper planning you can arrange to have your pets returned after you've recovered.

Sadly, Whiskey and Sage were given no more thought than it took to tie them to a fence with a hope and a prayer coyotes wouldn't devour them before dawn. Fortunately, both were ultimately rescued from the road and are now safely at YHS.

Sage and Whiskey are closely bonded. Calm and mature, Sage still loves jovial activity and will run beside you with her tail wagging, then settle down and lean in for affection. Whiskey is a delightful dog who can prance and be silly, too. Both dogs are sociable with people, other dogs, and are fabulous companions with superb leash training. Both are available for adoption today and qualify for our Seniors for Seniors program, which means if you are 59 years of age or older you can adopt these wonderful dogs for free!

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. 21.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

July 4th the most dangerous night of the year for pets

Read Sol's story below.
The Fourth of July is a time for outdoor celebrations, picnics, barbecues, and of course, fireworks. Before you pack up to go to the lake or the outdoor arena, stadium or even your own front yard to enjoy the pyrotechnic delights of the holiday, be extra aware of your pets' needs and fears.

The Yavapai Humane Society (YHS) experiences a significant increase in the number of lost (and injured) pets brought to our Lost & Found Pet Center after every July 4 holiday.

"The day after the Fourth of July is hands down the busiest day of the year at YHS, with people turning in lost pets or looking for lost animals," said Kim Lytle, manager of the YHS Lost & Found Pet Center, located at 1625 Sundog Ranch Road off Prescott Lakes Parkway in Prescott.

Even pets that are normally calm and obedient can show unpredictable behavior when frightened. Dogs and cats can become frightened or confused by the excitement and loud noises of the holiday. YHS has rescued terrified pets that have chewed through tethers, jumped through plate glass windows or over fences, and escaped "secure" enclosures.

Dogs attempting to flee the frightening, and even painful noises of the fireworks may lose their sense of direction and run long distances, risking injury or death as they dart in and out of traffic. This is one of the most dangerous times of year for your pets.

Up close, Fourth of July fireworks can burn or injure your pets, but even if they are far away, they still pose a unique danger to your companion animals.

To minimize the danger to Fido or Fluffy on this most raucous patriotic holiday, take these few simple steps before you set out to celebrate this Fourth of July:

• Keep pets indoors in an enclosed, familiar area to minimize fear. If possible, turn on a radio to mask the noise of the fireworks or other celebratory noises.

• If your pet is excitable, consult with your veterinarian ahead of time to arrange administration of a proper calming drug.

• If you have to be away for an extended time, board your pets with family or friends you trust and can assure you that the pet will be kept confined and cared for.

• Always be sure your pet has a current license and/or microchip. A microchip is the best identification for a pet because it is always with him and it makes it easier for YHS to find you should the unthinkable happens and your pet manages to escape.

• Even if you think your pet is OK with fireworks and noise, do not let him out when fireworks are being lit and set off. The pet may run at them and sustain serious burns, or bolt and run.

If your pet happens to escape during the holiday festivities, be diligent in visiting your local shelters, and posting "Lost Dog" or "Lost Cat" signs and canvassing surrounding neighborhoods. Place a yard sign in front of your house with a picture of your pet and your phone number. People who find lost pets will often walk or drive around the area attempting to find the owner. Remember, fright can drive an animal to new and unfamiliar grounds, many miles from your home. So exhaust all avenues. This Fourth of July holiday can be the best ever if you take these precautions to keep your pets safe and happy while you enjoy the festivities without having to worry about them.

Sol is a 4-year-old neutered Australian shepherd rescued from a foreclosed home, abandoned and left two weeks without food and only toilet water to drink – and no air conditioning. A survivor, Sol recovered remarkably from a state of severe dehydration and depression, unable to even walk. Today Sol is a happy boy with a tender heart who will lean in for attention and petting. A home with older, respectful children and possibly another pet could be a good match for him. You are invited to visit YHS for a meet and greet with his handsome guy.

Email Ed at eboks@yavapaihumane.org or by calling 445-2666, ext. 21.