Volunteers from Yavapai Humane Trappers Animal Search and Rescue have saved the lives of about 2,500 animals in the past seven years

The first time Katrina Karr-Vidaurre reunited a dog with its human companion, she experienced the adrenaline rush of a lifetime.

The dog, a German Shepherd, had run away from its home in Diamond Valley and was missing for three months. Locals saw it in the old Sam’s Club parking lot and began posting pictures of it on the Lost Pets of Northern Arizona Facebook page.

The owner wasn’t certain if it was the right dog, and Katrina decided to step in. She borrowed a trap from Yavapai County Animal Control and after a few days, was able to capture the dog. It turned out, it was the missing dog, and the owner was overjoyed to have it back.

Katrina felt that she’d found her calling. “To be able to secure an animal that had been missing for so long, and return it back to its owner – it was an amazing feeling.”

Seven years ago, she started Yavapai Humane Trappers Animal Search and Rescue and has since dedicated her life to saving animals that need help. During that time, volunteers have rescued about 2,500 animals.

Yavapai Humane Trappers Animal Search and Rescue is a volunteer-run nonprofit organization that finds and rescues lost, homeless, dumped, injured, sick, and high-risk animals that cannot be brought in by normal means. Volunteers use humane equipment, techniques, and special training.

The organization serves all of Yavapai County, and the approximately 40 volunteers travel all over Arizona, New Mexico, and California, as well as to the Navajo, Hopi, and Apache reservations (and to other places if they know an animal is suffering and no other organizations have stepped up to help).

Yavapai Humane Trappers Animal Search and Rescue has a foster-based in-house program for animals that need a haven to heal and to learn how to trust again with dedicated fosters who give tender loving care along with training. The organization maintains a list of adoptable animals.

While “this community is awesome” in terms of helping support animals and save lives, Katrina said, it’s also growing … which means the need to help animals is growing, too.

To learn more about the Yavapai Humane Trappers Animal Search and Rescue, or about volunteering, donating, fostering, or adopting, visit yavapaihumanetrappers.org.