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Phoenix Stories 2020: Vote for Van Gogh’s Story to Help AHS Win a $10,000 Grant!

Written by: Kimberly Ring

Van Gogh was found huddled in a corner and in intense pain with extreme wounds to her head, neck, muzzle and body.

Every day, the Arizona Humane Society’s Emergency Animal Medical Technicians™ and Second Chance Animal Trauma Hospital™ team work to save nearly 18,000 pets from horrible abuse and neglect, stray pets with life threatening injuries and sick pets with nowhere else to go. Without help, the outcomes for these pets are bleak, at best. This lifesaving mission is driven by AHS’ Ethical No-Kill Philosophy which ensures that pets are never euthanized for length of time in AHS’ care or due to the amount of space available. AHS, with the community’s support, never gives up and sees remarkable stories of perseverance and survival every day. Stories like Van Gogh’s. It was November 2019 when Van Gogh was rushed to AHS by a Good Samaritan after being found in an auto body shop, huddled in a corner and in intense pain with extreme wounds to her head, neck, muzzle and body. While the cause of her injuries were unknown, Van Gogh’s wounds were so severe that AHS’ trauma team was unsure if her ears could be saved. During her two month recovery in AHS’ trauma hospital, which cares for 12,000 pet patients each year, Van Gogh received extensive medical care including daily wound cleanings, bandage changes, surgery to remove several masses, treatment for an upper respiratory infection and dental work. Luckily, due to the diligence of the trauma team, Van Gogh’s injuries healed incredibly well and both of her ears were saved, even though they now have a unique shape due to scarring. In addition to extensive medical treatment, Van Gogh also needed specialized care from AHS’ Behavior Team, who worked to help build her trust of humans, which included lots of indoor and outdoor play time as she learned to be a dog, enrichment, countless walks, relaxing naps in staff offices and plenty of treats! Although always extremely sweet, she required a special home due to her nervous tendencies and shyness in certain situations. However, after more than a month waiting for a new home and thanks to AHS’ dedicated adoptions matchmakers, this deserving pup found her forever home and now resides in Phoenix. Van Gogh’s story represents an unprecedented transformation within animal welfare in Maricopa County. In the last six years, AHS has been able to decrease euthanasia by 81 percent and turn Maricopa County into one of the best places to be a pet. And Van Gogh couldn’t agree more. As a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving the lives of the Valley’s sick, injured and abused homeless pets, Van Gogh’s journey represents the plight of the nearly 18,000 pets who were rescued, medically treated and rehabilitated by AHS in the last year alone. Because of AHS’ dedication to implementing innovative, lifesaving services through its comprehensive medical and behavioral programs, AHS has saved an additional 100,000 lives over the last six years. Not only do AHS’ Emergency Animal Medical Technicians™ rescue more than 4,300 pets each year and assist law enforcement on more than 7,700 suspected cases of animal cruelty, but AHS is also able to fast-track sick and injured pets into its trauma hospital that are rescued by Good Samaritans. By providing these lifesaving services, AHS not only provides peace of mind to those who find lost or injured animals, but also ensures that there is a safety net for the Valley’s most vulnerable pets like Van Gogh. Van Gogh's story is one of 15 finalists in the Phoenix Business Journal’s Phoenix Stories 2020 contest in which the winner with the most votes will receive a $10,000 grant! We need your vote! Voting is open through September 25th and are limited to one vote per person per device for the entire voting period.

Vote for Van Gogh's Story to Help AHS Win a $10,000 Grant!