Sedona, AZ June 15, 2022 – Yavapai County families and seniors who are a part of the Verde Valley Caregivers Coalition (VVCC) now have the ability to request financial support for lifesaving and quality of life veterinary care for their animal companions thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County.

Jennifer Brehler, Humane Society of Sedona (HSS) Executive Director stated, “Our goal in proposing this partnership with VVCC was to help ensure that families, and especially older adults living in Yavapai County would be supported during times of crisis with their pets, and not have to forgo medical treatment for their pet. We saw a 41% increase of owners giving up their animals last year and we wanted to help reverse this trend. We were overjoyed and relieved when we received the news our grant request for this life-saving project was approved by the Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County. For us, it is all about keeping people and their pets together, and that is what this funding and project does!”

The project’s goal is to assist up to 40 Yavapai County seniors or families with veterinary expenses relating to lifesaving or quality of life care. Preference will be given to Verde Valley Caregivers Coalition clients, but all cases presented by local veterinarians to HSS will be reviewed by Ms. Brehler and funding determined. VVCC’s Director Kent Ellsworth added, “We are thrilled to partner with HSS and of our 1,900 seniors, at least 500 of them have pets that make a huge difference in their lives. To be able to have funds available in addition to our Pets Count Too! Program will be lifesaving both for these seniors and their four-legged family members! 50% of our clients live at or below poverty level, so they are already challenged to cover personal expenses as they age, and sometimes their companion animals get neglected as a result, and we want to ensure that does not happen.”

Veterinarians in the Verde Valley will be made aware of the project and will submit their request for funding to HSS after the family or senior meets certain criteria specified by the grant. The intention of the grant is to keep up to 40 seniors or families in Yavapai County and their companion animals together. Since inception, ACF of Yavapai County has distributed more than $24.7 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofit organizations and students. Their mission to “give where you live” is reflected in the approval of this $15,000 grant. Lisa Sahady, Regional Director, Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County shared, “This grant was made possible by our Pat and Gerhard Kroenaur Animal Friends Fund – one of eight Field of Interest Funds in our annual competitive grant cycle.  Pat and Gerhard loved their animals and they would be proud to know their legacy gift, which created this fund is keeping seniors, families and their pets together.”

The project will be launched over the next month as Verde Valley veterinarians will be informed of the process for submitting their client’s requests. For more information on the project, please contact Felicia Filep, Director of Development at the Humane Society of Sedona at 928-282-4679 ext. 130 or

Founded in 1966, the Humane Society of Sedona continues to take in lost, injured, and surrendered dogs, cats, and other small animals from 10am to 4pm daily by appointment only. Its mission is to build a caring community where every adoptable or treatable companion animal finds a loving home.

Verde Valley Caregivers Coalition is a community-based 501c(3) nonprofit established in 1992 to solve the critical social issue of older adults living alone without family or friends to help assist them with activities crucial to their independence so they can remain in their homes. About 28% of their clients have companion animals.

Founded in 1993, the Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County was the Arizona Community Foundation’s first affiliate. The Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County enjoys the advantages and economy of centralized management and administrative resources while the local Board of Advisors brings regional knowledge and expertise to address the community’s unique needs. ACF of Yavapai County has over $68.8 million in assets.