Letter: Barbara Riley's contribution to animals still paying off
To the Editor:
To the long list of Barbara Riley's generous gifts to the Northshire community, Second Chance Animal Center wants to mention one more.
About 19 years ago, Barbara lost a good friend and fellow animal-lover. In her memory, Barbara gave the shelter a donation that enabled us to fulfill a long-time dream — namely, to set up an in-house surgery so that we could perform all-important spay/neuter operations.
This would ensure that none of "our" animals would be able to contribute to the on-going problem of pet overpopulation and thus the number of homeless, unwanted animals in our communities.
With Barbara's gift, we were able to retrofit a space in our facility, and then to equip it with the necessary surgical tools to perform spay/neuter operations under the direction of local veterinarians who were kind enough to perform the surgeries for greatly reduced prices. Dr. Raymond Koch has been involved with our on-site surgical program since its inception.
Barbara endowed the surgical effort with no desire for recognition, just to honor a good friend who had died. But her generosity enabled the shelter to start its surgical work that now sees more than 1,000 cats and kittens spayed and neutered each year, as well as dogs, which we can now take care of in our expanded space in the new Arlington facility. These are not just shelter animals, but also the pets of area residents who qualify for our low-cost spay/neuter assistance program.
We are eternally grateful to Barbara for her loving remembrance of her friend, her ongoing support of Second Chance, and for ensuring that the animals in our area will have longer, healthier lives because of her long-ago vision and generosity.
The writer serves as an SCAC Trustee.
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