If you’ve ever sat down to compose a will, you know that there are so many decisions to be made. How will you divide your belongings, who should make decisions concerning your estate, what is the best possible use for your monetary assets when you’re gone? Many people, especially those who like to plan ahead, make these decisions many years if not decades before their time comes, and families are usually unsure of the final outcome of the decision making process until their loved one passes away. One family in British Columbia was shocked to find that when their patriarch passed away, he left nearly three hundred thousand dollars to an animal shelter that he never once visited. Read on to find out why this man would do such a thing.
The New Westminster Animal Shelter in New Westminster, British Columbia, was pleasantly surprised to hear that they had received a charitable donation of $275,000 when a man named Daryl Mutz passed away. The odd thing was, however, that no one at the shelter had ever met him. Who was this mysterious benefactor, and why had he left the shelter so much money in his will?
It turns out that Daryl Mutz was a teacher and avid animal lover who lived in Vancouver. When he was writing his will, he was unsure of who to leave his money to. He had no children, and did not plan to leave his assets to any other family member. So he asked a friend who lived in New Westminster for a suggestion. That friend suggested that the no-kill shelter would be a worthy cause.
“We are totally blown away. A thousand dollars is a big donation for us, so to hear that amount was unbelievable,” animal control officer Margie Fox told CTV Vancouver of the staff’s reaction. “We would love to keep a legacy for this gentleman. I think he must have been an amazing man.”
Of the $275,000 he left to the no-kill shelter, he specified that the shelter use $115,000 for animal enrichment, such as toys, treats and special training sessions; that $55,000 go toward animals needing “excessive” veterinary care; and that the remaining $55,000 be used to help low-income pet owners with vet bills and a program to neuter feral cats.
You may be asking yourself what a no-kill shelter is. According to Wikipedia, “A “no-kill” shelter is an animal shelter that does not kill healthy or treatable animals even when the shelter is full, reserving euthanasia for terminally ill animals or those considered dangerous to public safety. A no-kill shelter uses many strategies to promote shelter animals; to expanding its resources using volunteers, excellent housing and medical protocols; and to work actively to lower the number of homeless animals entering the shelter system.”
This may sound like a wonderful thing, and it is. However, a no-kill policy is a bit more complicated in the bigger picture of things. Not killing healthy animals means having more animals that the shelter needs to, well, shelter, as well as feed, provide medical services for, and work hard to get adopted. And this means that operating a no-kill shelter becomes very expensive. Because of this, many no-kill shelters turn away a lot of healthy and homeless pets simply because they cannot afford to care for them.
This is just one reason that a donation like Daryl Mutz’s is so important.
Have you ever donated to an animal shelter, or perhaps volunteered your time to help care or fundraise for these sweet animals in need? Share your thoughts, stories, and opinions with us here in the comments section below.