a look at the Verde Valley Humane Society in Plain Language
Who We Are What We Do
In 2023 our shelter was constantly filled to capacity. In the past, we accepted dogs from other shelters and occasionally exported dogs to shelters where our dogs would have a better chance for adoption. During 2023 our shelter was too full to help others. Most shelters in Arizona and the U.S. were struggling and too full to help us. It’s unlikely this will change in the near future. Our priority must be the Verde Valley. We are committed to serve our growing local community and the animals of the Verde Valley.
Who We Serve
People often call us the Cottonwood Shelter or think we are part of the City of Cottonwood.
The Verde Valley Humane Society began in the 1980s in an old building on West Mingus owned by the City of Cottonwood. In 2010 we added our own building also on City of Cottonwood land. We currently have contracts for the intake of animals from the City of Cottonwood, the Town of Clarkdale, and Yavapai County. Unincorporated Yavapai County north of the mountains includes Cornville, the Verde Villages, the Rimrock-Lake Montezuma area, Page Springs, and the Village of Oak Creek. Our volunteers come from all these areas as well as Sedona and Camp Verde.
We provide an adoption center for all of the Verde Valley and for anyone who comes from afar to adopt one of our great pets.
In addition to the strays that animal control officers bring to us, we take in pets that people in the community bring to us and animals from other jurisdictions—when space is available. Recently, more desperate pet owners have surrendered their beloved pets due to economic or housing problems.
In 2023 the total animals taken into our shelter was 780.
Who We Are
Our entire small shelter staff directly supports our work with animals: animal care and front desk staff, adoption and behavior specialists, and the shelter manager. Our pay scale is barely competitive, but our standards are high. We no longer have an Executive Director. We don’t pay outside fundraisers. When we say donations go to the animals, we mean it.
Throughout our 40-year history, caring animal lovers have filled our boards of directors. With a small staff, our current six-person board is a working board. Members take on many roles and stay close to day to day operations. Besides governing, they do not merely delegate, but do the work. When our board members make decisions or speak to the community they speak from personal experience.
Our mission is to take in homeless animals, care for them, and offer them for adoption. We could not provide more than minimum care without our faithful volunteers. Every extra hour of attention, grooming, and socialization helps keep them happy and healthy. The shelter atmosphere is hard on more vulnerable animals, those recovering from surgery, and new mothers caring for unexpected puppies and kittens. Many find loving temporary homes with our cat and dog fosters.
In 2023 our volunteers gave over 13,000 hours of their time, energy, and love.
No Kill Policy
As a socially conscious shelter we strive to ensure the best outcome for each homeless cat and dog in our care. Our goal is to place each healthy, safe animal in a forever home. Our most difficult job is to alleviate suffering with appropriate euthanasia decisions.
We have never euthanized one animal to make space for another.
We have no veterinarian or veterinary clinic. We purchase services from busy local veterinarians and are in need of a van to transport animals to vet services.
What Does It Cost?
In 2023 it cost us $633,784 to operate.Revenue was $595,788. The average cost per animal was $728 with average income per animal of $684.
Where Do We Get Money?
Our funding comes from contracts with municipalities (23.1%), adoption and other fees (8.8%), and fundraising events (8.5%). Grants help (2.3%), but seldom pay operating costs. Recent grants assisted with needed repairs, improved security, updated technology and helped with rising veterinary costs.
Where Does the Rest Come From?
In 2023 over 56% of our income came from donations.
We are often asked if we are funded by the Humane Society of the U.S. We are not. We are a totally independent nonprofit. When considering supporting local animals, research the groups you choose through Nonprofit Explorer or Candid, formerly GuideStar, to see how donations are spent.
How can the Verde Valley Humane Society serve the Verde Valley better in 2024?
We need help. We need more adopters to take in these once-loved animals. We need more volunteers and fosters. We need help to provide more educational programs to young people and to provide additional services to the community. And, most of all, we need more donors to open their hearts..