But this 6-month-old black kitty with
butterscotch eyes and a small snow-white square on his chest
didn t always have such a cushy life. Back in June, Spirit
spent 19 days at the Humane Society of Sedona waiting for
a loving home. Someone found the kitten in Lake Montezuma
after being struck by a car and brought him to the shelter.
Luckily he met Robin Hompe on June 25 and she adopted him
the next day.
Hompe and her husband had been looking
for another black cat after the passing of their 14-year-old
Kally three months ago.
Ever since she can remember
black cats have been a part of her life so she knew she wanted
another, and since Kally was female, she wanted the same gender.
But when they saw Spirit in the cage they knew he was the
one for them.
"Once we met him there was no way to say no".
Since their union, the pair has bonded deeply as Hompe works
from home as a travel agent. She affectionately nicknamed
him "lovebug" because of his loving nature.
"Not only does he provide new fun for me, but he also
proves that when you lose a cat that you love dearly, you
can love again", the VOC resident said. "That is
a hard lesson to learn but if you are fortunate enough to
have a special relationship with an animal and lose the animal,
it is rewarding to learn that you can have another special
Michael David agrees.
For the past several years David felt alone even though he
lives with his two sons in Cottonwood. The 58-year-old Army
veteran recently found the companionship he longed for in
Bodhi, a 15-pound Pekinese-Terrier mix.
David adopted the mellow, affectionate white dog about a month
ago from Verde Valley Humane Society (VVHS) after weeks of
searching for the right pet to match his finicky temperament.
His search took him to the Humane Society of Sedona but no
small dogs were available. A friend told him about Bodhi who
had been found on the street and was at VVHS waiting for a
David and Hompe agree that the Humane Society should be the
first stop when looking for a new furry friend.
"What they do is so great and it s so important to adopt
from them so they can keep doing what they re doing",
Unfortunately not all animals find loving homes such as Spirit
and Bodhi. Nearly every day abused, neglected or unwanted
animals are dumped at a local animal shelter.
Animal Control and public drop-offs run up to 3,000 per year,
said Cyndi Sessoms, executive director Verde Valley Humane
Society. In 2003, the Humane Society of Sedona received 789
animals, said "B" Skielvig, the shelter s executive director.
Also in that year more than 17 percent of dogs and 31 percent
of cats were euthanized.
"That's just too many animals," she added.
Michigan commercial real estate broker Joe Sowerby found the
nation s euthanasia rates abhorrent and decided to do something
In 1993, on his own time and his own dime, he approached the
Detroit Zoo about hosting an all day pet adoption event called
"Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo". Ninety-seven
animals were placed that day. Last year 1,700 animals were
adopted during a four-day period, Sowerby said.
"It's my second job that I don't get paid for," he said. He
sees finding new homes for man's best friend as his opportunity
to do the right thing. "For me the pay off is animals going
He admits his goal would be to never have to have one of these
"We call them man s best friend but every year we euthanize
8 to 10 million healthy cats and dogs. That s a helluva way
to treat man s best friend".
Over the past decade Sowerby s efforts have blossomed into
the two largest pet adoption events in the country: "Meet
Your Best Friend at the Zoo" and "Pet-A-Palooza".
Since 1993 nearly 11,000 animals have been adopted, he rejoices.
The part-time Sedona resident and former booking agent for
rock'n roll bands is bringing this successful event to Red
Rock Country on Sept. 11, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Called "Meet Your New Best Friend @ Pet-A-Palooza!," the Humane
Society of Sedona, Verde Valley Humane Society, Yavapai Humane
Society, and Coconino Humane Association have teamed up to
bring nearly 200 adoptable kittens, puppies, cats and dogs
to Sedona Red Rock High School athletic field for the largest
adoption event of its kind to come to Northern Arizona.
This event allows animal lovers to choose from a variety of
adoptable animals. Under the four tents will be vendors, Animal
Control and several vets to discuss the importance of animal
care. A group of local potters also will be selling bowls
for that special pet.
"This is the perfect opportunity to avoid a dull and
dreary atmosphere and get animals away from the stigma of
a shelter", Skielvig commented.
All animals will be older than eight weeks, have their current
shots, and be spayed or neutered, she added. The adoption
process begins with meeting a counselor, completing an application
and then matching an animal with the ideal home.
Adoption fees vary from shelter to shelter. The fee includes
a collar, ID tag, and adoption kit and each pet can go home
that day with a red, white and blue bandana, Skielvig explained.
Bringing this pet adoption event to Sedona seemed like a natural
choice logistically, Sowerby said.
"It made good sense because I'm already here and it felt
like the right time to expand my horizons".
Skielvig and Sessoms seem thrilled about his decision.
"The more animals I can get out of here the more we can get
adopted. It's so exciting. What he does for the animals is
unbelievable," Sessoms said. "Everybody's going home
that day. I want to come back with all empty carriers."
"We're taking everything we've got," agrees Skielvig. "I think
it will be a great success".
Numerous sponsors have also joined the effort including Petsmart
Charities, Yavapai College, Yavapai Broadcasting, Prescott
Newspapers, Inc., Rice Accounting Jackson Hewitt, and Pet
Past experience has proven that these events virtually clean
out the shelters, Sowerby declared. While he hopes every cage
is empty as a result of this endeavor, realistically he expects
a 75 to 95 percent adoption rate considering it's the first
time for the event here.
Although Sept. 11 is a date that still haunts many Americans,
Sowerby said while that tragedy took lives, this event can