Saturday, May 25

Pet Telethon Raises Over $500,000 for Arizona Humane Society

Pet owners in the U.S. spend approximately $13.6 billion on veterinary care every year, but for some organizations, fundraising can help ease some of those costs and help them provide better care for animals.

The Arizona Humane Society (AHS) is one of those organizations, and through a pet telethon they recently organized, they have been able to raise over $500,000 to put towards their cause.

Upwards of 17,000 pets were taken in by AHS last year alone, and the funds raised by the pet telethon will go towards providing the best care possible for those still in their shelter.

All of the money they received was acquired within a two-hour time frame at the telethon, a truly impressive feat for such a limited time span.

“We rely on the community to help us support our kitten nursery,” according to AHS’s Ashliegh Goebel. “We have about 400 to 700 kittens go through there this summer.”

However, AHS isn’t the only animal-related service asking for assistance this year.

The K-9 Victim Advocate Program is a part of the Victim Witness Services in Flagstaff, and the people working there have recently reached out to the public for assistance.

The program began late last year, and is about to wrap up its first year of operation. According to supervisors, it was received with wild success.

The concept behind the program’s initial start was simple: provide non-judgmental care and comfort to those experiencing difficult situations.

There are currently two dogs, Fanta and Yeti, working with the program. They have each been specially trained to handle certain situations, and each has its own list of patients they work with.

Yeti is dedicated to helping college students at NAU and at Coconino Community College. Fanta is assigned to helping younger victims of sexual assault, namely young children.

However, as the program approaches its second year, it needs financial assistance. Each dog requires approximately $2,000 a year for expenses, including food, vet costs, along with living and transportation costs.

If they receive even a fraction of the support that AHS has through its telethon, then they should be set for years to come.

The average cost of caring for just one dog or cat is $858, said AHS’s Bretta Nelson.

“Our operating budget is over $20 million because we do hold such a unique role in the Valley,” Nelson said.

Fortunately, fundraising efforts like the telethon have helped cover various costs related to the animals’ care.

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