By Robert Albrecht-Former Board Member
Sedona News – The Humane Society of Sedona is in the middle of an exciting fund-raising opportunity that will match your donations dollar for dollar up to $15,000 until June 30,2023. This will help us continue our mission and goals of providing a safe and healthy environment for our animals until they can find their new, forever homes.
Why is this so important? Let me give a quick “behind the scenes” report about several of our activities and what they include.
“Since 1966, the Humane Society of Sedona has improved the lives of over 31,000 companion animals in Sedona and surrounding areas. For many years, the Humane Society of Sedona has been designated by the City of Sedona as an “Essential Community Service Provider.” As such, the City allocates funds to HSS each year to provide specific services within our community. These services are to provide a safe, secure, and accessible facility for strays, seized and abandoned animals within the Sedona city limits. We then care for these animals with shelter, food, supplies and if necessary medical care until they can be reunited with their rightful owners or after a certain period of time, re-adopted into a caring family and home. The Sedona Police Department has 24/7 access to our facility so that a secure environment is available after hours for any animals they might encounter. Most of this is covered by the yearly contract with the City but not all of it,” states Jennifer Brehler, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Sedona.
Other community services provided during the year are low-cost vaccination clinics to protect your pet from rabies and related diseases, dog licenses, re-homing services for owners within the Sedona City limits who must relinquish their pet for various reasons, lost and found programs and microchip reading to bring your pet safely back home, along with many other valuable programs.
Educational programs play a large part in preparing pet owners on how to properly care for their new “furry” family member. “Kids & Kritters Summer Camps” teach children what should be done to raise a pet in a safe, secure environment along with active interaction with dogs, cats, and other domestic critters in the five-day fun packed sessions.
The demand for exceptional care and attention to pets has increased each year for a variety of circumstances. Over the last three years, we have received over one hundred requests from city residents who want to “surrender” their pet or pets. Nationally and locally, this has been caused by financial or health problems, lack of job opportunities and lack of affordable housing. The “trickle-down” effect is the animal suffers and we must step in to help. Our “Re-Home Program” allows the pet to stay in the home with assistance from HSS with food and other resources until we can find a new home without the pet having to set a “paw” in our shelter. This is beneficial for all concerned.
Through our “Pet Assistance Program,” we have teamed up with other local foundations to provide food, supplies and support this year with over 2,000 pounds of dry food and many hundreds of cans of wet food to help support their needs.
We have assisted the Sedona Food Bank with food and supplies along with free spay/neuter programs and through special grants, we have been able to provide some much-needed medical care in many instances, saving the pet owners from decisions of “surrendering” their pet or other possibilities.
Our “Foster Network” is one of the finest groups of people who have opened their hearts and their homes to take in our animals until they can be adopted, or in the case of puppies and kittens; until they are old enough to be adopted and spayed or neutered. The number of available “fosters” has declined over the past few years, so one way to become involved with our “family” at HSS is to consider being a foster. Information is on our website at https://humanesocietyofSedona.org.
We also assist other shelters in the state that do not have the capacity or volunteers that we do to care for all the animals they take in. We will assist with “transfers” throughout the year to afford these animals a better chance of survival and finding their “forever homes”. We have over three hundred volunteers assisting in many functions at HSS. We could not exist without them. Last year our volunteers clocked in over 27,000 hours of service that equates to $858,600 worth of service at the national estimated ($31.80/hour) which is a 6.2% increase over 2021. We are always looking for new volunteers throughout the year, so here is another opportunity to join our “family” and make a difference in so many lives.
Our two Thrift Stores contribute substantial amounts to our budgets on a yearly basis but their costs of doing business are going up just like everywhere. Thus, this brings us back to the importance of this “Matching Gift Challenge” that has several weeks left before the June 30, 2023, deadline. What has been shared above is just the “tip of the iceberg” as to the yearly commitment and community involvement of the Humane Society of Sedona, but you can get the idea. Our costs of services are rising, and we must meet them and the unforeseen challenges throughout the year.
Please help us meet the $15,000.00 goal so we may continue to provide the services, care, and fulfill our commitment to the 700-800 animals that pass through our shelter on a yearly basis, as well as the hundreds of animals that benefit from our community outreach programs.
For more information call (928) 282-4679 and/or view our website at https://humanesocietyofsedona.org. Thank you for your support and we look forward to visiting with you to find that new “furry” addition to your family.