WESTPORT - Anne Trachtenberg Hughes loved animals and was about to become president of the North Country Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NCSPCA) when she died five years ago at age 49.
She and her husband, Tom, had adopted several bulldogs and pit bull terriers, and she worked to improve the well being of other animals as a volunteer on the NCSPCA board. Her dedication continues through a new fund established in her name.
The Anne Trachtenberg Hughes Healthy Cats and Dogs Fund will help pay for veterinary costs at the Westport-based shelter, which serves Essex County. It was established with a grant of $1,500 from the Adirondack Community Trust (ACT), from donations made to ACT in Hughes's memory.
"Cats and dogs that come to the shelter range from being healthy to having minor ailments to those that require more medical attention than routine shots," NCSPCA President Margie Reuther said. "We envision this fund as a way to help us do our very best to keep our animals in excellent health. Most cats and dogs arrive here under stress so they are more likely to come down with ailments, just like people."
Shelter Manager Pam Rock says the fund has already helped a nine-year-old Lab mix named Lady get insulin shots twice a day for diabetes. An eight-year-old Sussex spaniel mix named Rudy was supplied with a special eye ointment, and a little mongrel named Buttercup underwent testing for incontinence and was prescribed estrogen pills. All three have been adopted.
The shelter, which receives no state or federal funding, is hoping that people will be inspired to give to the Healthy Cats and Dogs fund, whether in Anne's memory or in honor of other people or pets. The shelter also has a spay\Neuter fund and a general operating fund. Eighty five percent of its income comes from private donations; 15 percent comes from adoption fees and contracts with eleven towns.
Donations may be mailed to 23 Lakeshore Road, Westport, N.Y. 12993. For more information visit the North Country SPCA's Web site, www.ncspca.org. For more information on the Adirondack Community Trust, visit www.generousact.org.