When your dog greets you at the door at the end of a long day, or your cat curls up on your lap (or your newspaper) sipping your tea, it creates a sense of well-being and connection. Many of us have furry family members who share the love and joy in our lives, but not everyone can afford to care for and keep their pets.
When Clifford Saake found a stray cat wandering around his neighborhood, he decided to make her part of his family and contacted Julie Knudsen of the Mendocino Spaying Assistance Program (SNAP) for help getting her neutered. her newly adopted feline. It started a friendship that now leaves a legacy to care for Mendocino County animals in perpetuity through the Animal Welfare Fund.
Saake grew up in the Bay Area but moved to Ukiah after retiring from the General Services Office in San Francisco. He never married or had children, but cared deeply for his pet birds and cats. After adopting his beloved stray cat Sylvia, he shared with Knudsen his desire to bequeath his estate to a handful of small animal welfare organizations. “I told him that was great,” Knudsen said. “Except that these organizations often rely on a single person; if you want to make a difference, you can donate to the Community Foundation and know that they will support animals forever, no matter who is in charge at any given time.
“Cliff asked me if the Foundation would agree to pay,” explains Knudsen. “I said, of course, they will. It is your assurance to know that they will always use your funds as you wish. Even if today’s animal rescue organizations close or new ones open ten years from now, the Foundation will still take care of Mendocino County’s animals. They will also invest the money, so it will always be there for what you want to support.
It took a change of mindset for Saake. Yet he came to see that the investment would ensure that organizations such as SNAP, the Humane Society and others who care for animals in our community would have the funding they need over the long term. Thanks to Saake’s investment, the Animal Welfare Fund was established.
Having an established Animal Welfare Fund inspires others who care about animals to join Animal Welfare Guarantee in the future. When Char Jacobs and Randy Wood approached the Community Foundation with a desire to support veterinary care for homeless and low-income animals, they were able to create a sub-fund for that exact purpose.
“I have volunteered with the surgery team at Ukiah Animal Care Services and Care-a-Van for several years,” Jacobs said. “I have learned of the many wonderful organizations and services for animals in Mendocino County. I have also identified a gap in services in Inland Mendocino County and hope to help fill that gap. When I see a homeless person walking with a lame dog in Ukiah, or I hear of a cat needing surgery but the owner can’t afford it, I want to help make funds available for their care veterinarians.
Jacobs and Wood chose to donate this year to establish the Jacobs-Wood Animal Care Fund to provide veterinary care for this population. “We invite other animal lovers from the Mendocino interior to donate to this fund,” Jacobs said. “We will also be directing a planned gift in our Cliff-like trust.”
Thanks to the generosity of these and other donors, we look forward to launching a special animal welfare grant program in the coming year under our Area of Interest program to provide grants for neutering, pet welfare and wildlife rescue. in Mendocino County. Details will be available once we engage with local organizations to better understand their needs and those of the animals they serve.
Animals enrich our lives every day, and now with the Fund for Animal Welfare and the Jacobs-Wood Animal Care Fund, organizations that care for pets and wildlife in our community will have access to financial support in perpetuity. to continue their good work.