Grant from the Ray Hickey Foundation provided free pet adoptions in honor of Veterans Day
VANCOUVER — The Humane Society for Southwest Washington partnered with the Ray Hickey Foundation to provide free adoption services for current and former military service members last month in honor of Veterans Day.
The program, called “He Cared. We Care.” was funded by a grant from the Ray Hickey Foundation to the Humane Society for Southwest Washington. Hickey was the owner of Tidewater Barge Lines and a local philanthropist who had a passion for helping American veterans, according to Denise Barr, vice president of marketing for the Humane Society for Southwest Washington.
Linda Rae Hickey, director and trustee of the Ray Hickey Foundation and also Ray Hickey’s daughter, wanted to partner with the Humane Society during November to give back to service members in conjunction with Veterans Day, Barr explained. From Nov. 11 to 30, adoption fees for current and former servicemen and women were eliminated.
A total of 105 animals were adopted as part of the program, with service members adopting 64 dogs, 8 puppies, 8 cats and 25 kittens, according to a press release from the Humane Society for Southwest Washington.
According to Barr, 55 animals were adopted on the day the program began, which is a large number of adoptions for a single day at the shelter.
Barr said that the program began on Veterans Day, and from the beginning there was an “outpouring of people that showed up here to adopt an animal.”
“They were thrilled,” Barr said.
“We know the power of an animal in somebody’s life,” Barr said, and being able to provide American service members a pet, perhaps for the first time in their life, was “really powerful.”
Although November has passed, the Humane Society for Southwest Washington will offer a 25 percent discount on adoption fees year round for all active and former military personnel as part of the grant from the Ray Hickey Foundation, Barr said.
Barr also noted that Linda Hickey wanted to provide for free animal adoptions for veterans at other significant dates next year, including Memorial Day weekend, the Fourth of July weekend and Labor Day weekend.