Thu, Nov. 14

Together, let's make new humane shelter a reality

It's very exciting at the Verde Valley Humane Society these days. As many of you already know, we are building a new facility. This building will be on the beautiful land adjoining the existing facility.

The City of Cottonwood has graciously given VVHS a 35 year lease on both properties. In addition the lease has the option to be renewed.

The new facility will cost approximately 1.2 million dollars to complete. When planning the building, we were as cost effective as possible while creating a desirable, efficient environment for both animals and humans.

Are you asking yourself what will be happening to the existing building? We will be using the current facility in conjunction with the new building. It's sad to say, but we need the space from both buildings to handle the multitude of animals coming into VVHS from the Verde Valley.

The shelter as you know it now will be the holding facility for animals waiting their turn for adoption. The new building will be the adoption facility and a safe haven for animals with certain issues. We will finally have the space to work with animals with problems such as social issues or ones that have been abused.

The time has come to hit the fund-raising heavily, as we would like to break ground this spring. We would like to have our goal reached by June. Many of you have already been generous, but we need to ask everyone for help.

Thanks to a very generous couple, $500,000.00 has been pledged toward the new building. Our available funds, plus the pledge puts us roughly half way to our goal.

What does this new building bring for the future of the Verde Valley? It brings the ability to care for more animals as the community population continues to increase in numbers.

As you drive around the area, I am sure you are aware of all the new houses being built. This means much more than homes and more people; it means a multitude of new animals living in the Verde Valley.

The Verde Valley Humane Society cares for 1900 to 2400 animals each year. These animals come from Cottonwood, Clarkdale, Jerome, Yavapai Apache Nation, Yavapai County which includes the Village of Oak Creek, Page Springs, Cornville and other remote areas. Our actual territory is from the Coconino line down to Black Canyon City.

Our existing shelter can no longer accommodate the increasing number of animals in the Verde Valley. As the Valley continues to grow, it will become an even larger problem. Please help us help the animals. We can't do it without your help.

As exciting as it is to build a new facility, it's unfortunate that there are so many unwanted animals. Come in and visit VVHS and you will see just how many animals are left unclaimed by their owners.

When you walk through the kennels and see beige paperwork hanging on the gate, it immediately tells you that the animal has been at VVHS at least five days and the owner never came forth. Can you imagine not coming for your pet?

Although VVHS does everything possible to connect stray animals with their owners or new families, at times there is absolutely no room. Naturally most of the other shelters and Rescues are also full during these times of the year.

Taking an animals' life is the hardest part of being employed at VVHS or any Humane Society for that matter. It's a nationwide problem; we all have the same trials and tribulations.

The process is hard enough when an animal is sick or aggressive, can you imagine how devastating it is when the only reason is you simply don't have anymore room?

When this happens, perfectly healthy animals have to be euthanized due to one reason only, a lack of space. This problem is nationwide, not just at VVHS.

The most imperative factor of the new facility is to save lives. Our purpose is to stop euthanizing healthy animals. We need more space to achieve this goal.

The new 8000 sq. ft. facility will give VVHS an additional 40 dog kennels and 65 cat cages. There is also room to expand the new facility as the Verde Valley continues to grow. This is a very important factor in the design. We have to look at the future and what it may bring.

Various amenities will include a Clinic/Exam room, grooming area, a large reception area, adequate office spaces, sufficient restroom facilities, heated kennel floors, laundry facility, and adequate employee areas. The building will also have heating and air conditioning throughout.

Our educational/training/meeting room will be used for meetings, training seminars and to educate school children that come on Field Trips to VVHS.

As it is now only a few people can walk through our small crowded halls at one time. There isn't an area large enough to teach these eager children about the animals.

Educating children about animal care should be started at an early age. There is a possibility that with the proper education, the alteration of animals will become a common practice in the future.

The new meeting area will also be available for rental by community residents for special occasions. It will feature expanded seating, tables, a small refrigerator, coffee station, and a microwave for your use.

Also included will be an animal holding area, an area for special needs animals, ample storage areas and rooms to separate young animals from adults.

The building will also contain "get acquainted rooms" which give potential adopters and animals a chance to meet in a more homelike setting.

You will find couches, chairs, lamps and other items just like home. Much nicer than taking your new "best friend" outside in the heat or cold temperatures, while you sit in a plastic chair and get to know one another.

The new facility will also include a 4000 sq. ft. courtyard with wooden benches, picnic tables and walking areas. This courtyard will provide barriers and desert landscaping to help keep noise to a minimum.

The facility will also contain a full size upstairs apartment for a caretaker. This will provide VVHS with the much needed 24 hour security coverage.

When the second phase of fundraising begins at the completion of the new building, the funds will be used to renovate the existing building into an intake area for animals waiting adoption. This building will also be conducive to the needs of Animal Control officers.

Renovation of the existing building will give us an opportunity to create an isolation area for animals with minor illnesses or injuries which normally would have caused the animal to be euthanized.

A quarantine area for dangerous "bite" animals will be formed giving VVHS the ability to keep these animals from public exposure. As it is at this time, quarantine animals have to be kept in an area with the general population of animals and humans.

With the renovation, animals will no longer have to be kept outside exposed to the elements of nature. Animals placed in outside kennels all have dog houses and blankets, but a heated/cooled building would be a much improved living situation.

Please help VVHS get this new facility built. Remember that our deadline is June. We want to make this the last hot summer for the animals and the last cold winter.

You can make your tax-deductible donation by stopping by the shelter located at 1502 W. Mingus or by mailing your check/money order to:

VVHS New Building Fund

P.O. Box 1429

Cottonwood, AZ 86326


Mailing Address

City, State and Zip

Phone Number

Amount of donation

We would like to thank you in advance for anything you can do to help us reach our goal. The animals need your support during this very special time. Together, we can make it happen.

Have you received our latest Newsletter? If not call VVHS at (928) 634-7387 and one will be mailed to your home. You can also read the Newsletter at along with various other informational items.

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