Q&A – Loree Walden, Marketing Manager, Yavapai Humane Society

Q: What brought you to Prescott, and how long have you been here?

A: I moved to Prescott 11 years ago from Hawaii. I was heading to Tennessee and stopped in Phoenix to see some friends from Hawaii who suggested I check out Northern Arizona. I pulled into Prescott, parked at the Courthouse Square, walked around for about 10 minutes, and knew that I was HOME!

Q: How did you become interested in your career field?

A: I’ve always enjoyed writing, being creative and, of course animals. What better way to spend your day than advocating for animals that need homes? Previously, I spent over 20 years doing taxes and 8 years in radio… so this job is a welcome and rewarding change!

Q: What is the biggest challenge of your job?

A: It’s very hard not to let your emotions get the best of you and cause depression. These animals all become “our” and every one of us that work at YHS all know and believe that it’s our goal to find them forever homes! It’s especially hard when we have a long term resident dog or cat who has been with us, for whatever reason for too long, to not just want to take them home with us. The other thing which is really hard is when one of our “family members” get adopted and brought back right away without being given a chance to adapt to their new surroundings. Unrealistic expectations of adopters of these sweet babies is something that we deal with a lot, and it’s really hard on all of us, especially the animals who don’t know what they did wrong.

Q: What is the greatest reward of your job?

A: Seeing the amazing animals find their furever homes and knowing what I do may have had even a small part in finding a new family to love them. The smiles that are on the adopters faces when we bring their new family member out to them, is the greatest part of our day! Everyone here has a true passion for what we do and our mission and that makes coming to work so enjoyable.

Q: Where would you like to vacation next and why?

A: I would love to take an Alaskan Cruise. I grew up in Hawaii and have always had a fascination with the glaciers and how different it is than Hawaii.

Q: If you could have dinner with any three to five people (dead or alive) who would it be?

A: My dad who passed away 20 years ago. He was always my biggest cheerleader and I wish he could see what I’m doing today (although I know he does). Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, because they are so real and I am a fan of TRUE love stories! Celine Dion because she got me through a lot in my life – including losing 220 lbs!

Q: What is the last book you read: what did you enjoy about it most?

A: The Seven Deadly Friendships. I have learned so much about the different relationships in my life and how toxic some of those can be. I recommend this book to everyone, even if you don’t think it’s something you need to read. It’s kind of eye opening!

Q: What is your favorite Prescott activity?

A: I love spending time with my dog, Cassidy Roo (who I adopted from YHS). Taking a walk or a hike on one of our amazing trails is probably one of my/our favorite things. We both love exploring new places together and getting a change of scenery (and for her, smells!). Our trails, lakes and our town are full of places to explore! I became a resident of Prescott 11 years ago and plan on spending the rest of my days here with all that we have to offer, especially for our furbabies!