Puppy Love On Valentine’s Day

By Stefanie Thompson
RiverScene Magazine

Love seems to be everywhere during the season of Valentine’s Day. At the Western Arizona Humane Society in Lake Havasu City, there are many pets waiting to receive some of that love and find permanent homes.

“We have a lot of dogs up for adoption, and cats too,” said Administration Manager Steven Jenkins. “I’d say right now we have between 45 and 50 dogs ready to go, and probably 20 to 25 cats.”

Jenkins said the animals at the shelter arrive in a variety of ways: some are picked up as strays, some are surrendered by owners for one of a thousand reasons. But he said the process is the same for all of them.

When the animals first come in, they are examined at the medical facility and any urgent medical needs are met. The shelter will wait three to five days to give owners a chance to claim their animal before continuing to get the animal ready for adoption. After that window of time, the animals are fixed, vaccinated and chipped, and moved to the main shelter for adoption.

“Adoption is important because there are so many [animals] in need,” Jenkins said. “If someone is looking for a pet, I would always recommend rescuing, because there are so many pets here just waiting for a home.”

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Jenkins said people are always free to come look at and meet the animals. He said the staff will council people about pet ownership before adoption, and set up meet-and-greets with other pets people already have before bringing the new animal home to prevent potential problems and make sure the adoption animal is the right fit.

“It’s very satisfying to see the look on people’s faces when they leave with a new family member,” Jenkins said.

The average adoption fee is $135, which includes the surgery to spay or neuter, vaccinations, a microchip and city license. Adoption also includes one free veterinary exam.

While most of the shelter’s animals are dogs and cats, they do occasionally get other pets as well, such as guinea pigs, ferrets, bunnies and gerbils. Jenkins said they do receive wildlife, for example if someone brings in an injured bird, but then transfers them to a specialized wildlife rescue and rehabilitation organization.

Adoption isn’t right for everyone, but there are many other ways to show love to the shelter’s residents too.

“I would encourage people if they can’t adopt to consider fostering,” Jenkins said. “Our foster parents are just as important to what we do.”

He added that the shelter is also always in need of volunteers.

“Our volunteers are the heart of our organization,” he said. “We couldn’t do it without them, and they are doing it out of the goodness of their own hearts.”

The Western Arizona Humane Society is located at 1100 Empire Drive in Lake Havasu City. For more information on adoptions, fostering or volunteer opportunities, call 928-855-5083 or visit http://westernarizonahumane.org.

Marble is one of the dogs up for adoption at WAHS. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

NAME: Marble

SEX: female

AGE: 5-6 years old

BREED: Pit mix

LOVES: people, especially kids

 

Dwight is one of the dogs up for adoption at WAHS. Jilian Danielson/RiverScene

NAME: Dwight

SEX: male

AGE: 1 year old

BREED: Chihuahua

LOVES: socializing and playing with siblings Faith and Conway

 

Sunny is one of the dogs up for adoption at WAHS. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

NAME: Sunny

SEX: male

AGE: 3 years old

BREED: Pit

LOVES: playing with balls

 

Mohawk is one of the dogs up for adoption at WAHS. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

NAME: Mohawk

SEX: male

AGE: 3-4 years old

BREED: Chihuahua

LOVES: giving kisses


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