Taylor’s legacy

A recent $50,000 donation to the Almost Home Humane Society of North Central Iowa will help meet the cost of taking care of the dozens of dogs and cats that make the shelter their temporary home.

Tania Elliott, shelter director, said the donation came from the estate of Raymond Taylor, of Fort Dodge, who died on July 28, 2013. He was 84.

Elliott said that while Taylor had not adopted animals from the shelter, he was a familiar face at the facility.

“He visited quite often,” she said.

The retired U.S. Gypsum worker did, according to his obituary, raise chickens at his nearby home.

In addition to his bequest to Almost Home, Taylor left $10,000 to feed the animals at the Oleson Park Zoo and another $10,000 to The Salvation Army, according to Tammy Varland, Taylor’s niece and the executor of his estate.

The Almost Home donation will be used for a variety of general operating expenses.

“It will be used for heat, water, lights, microchips, veterinary care and food,” said Elliott.

Taylor’s donation can keep the shelter running for about one and a half months, she said.

There is a continuing need for funds to maintain the place.

“It costs about $1,200 a day to operate the shelter,” Elliott said.

Its expenses are met by through a variety of resources, in addition to the animal adoption fees, which fall short of meeting the costs associated with the shelter.

Donations from the community, of both money and supplies, along with fundraising efforts such as the upcoming “Bets for Pets” Fur Ball, make up the difference.

Large donations such as Taylor’s bequest don’t occur every day.

“It’s definitely out of the ordinary,” Elliott said.

She encourages people to consider Almost Home when they’re planning their estates.

“Absolutely,” she said. “It’s a way to give back to the animals and help give them the life they deserve.”

It’s also a way for the donor to leave a legacy.

“It’s a wonderful tribute,” she said.