If you ask Cathie Laird about her fondness for animals, she might tell you one of many stories about the cats and dogs who were her first playmates as a child growing up on the family farm near Claysville. She recalls spending hours exploring the outdoors, pushing a baby carriage full of kittens dressed in doll clothes, and playing with a number of dogs in a series of “Lassies” who called the farm home throughout her childhood.
For a short time as a young adult, she lived in an apartment in Washington that did not permit pets and was happy to return to her grandparents' house on the farm where her family of pets began to grow once more. She shares the stories of her first pet in her new home, a short-haired, gray cat ironically named "Fluffy", a stray dog who became part of the family and was cleverly named "Polly Esther" by Cathie’s father, as well as a second "Smokey" gray cat with a bobtail who was adopted from the Washington Area Humane Society, along with her kittens "Whitey" and "Ben", and a "Little Kitten" who wandered in for an evening and ended up staying for thirteen years.
With a desire to help animals and the local community, Ms. Laird turned to the Washington County Community Foundation (WCCF) to establish the Fund for Animal Care. The Fund will support the care of domesticated and undomesticated animals with preference given to animal care within the Claysville and Donegal Township area.
For domesticated animals, care may include, but not be limited to, food, shelter, veterinarian services, spaying and neutering services, and adoption services. For undomesticated animals, care may include, but not be limited to, support of animal preserves, veterinarian services, and spaying and neutering services.
Interested 501(c)(3) agencies may apply for grants from the Fund for Animal Care during the annual Designated Field of Interest grant cycle.
As a teacher in the McGuffey School District, Ms. Laird first became aware of the WCCF when family and friends of Alice Boone Main created the Alice Boone Main Memorial Fund in 1999 to provide scholarships to McGuffey School District graduates. Through the years that followed, Ms. Laird contributed to various funds at the WCCF, created a scholarship in honor of her parents, the William L. and Barbara M. Laird Fund, to provide scholarships to graduates of McGuffey High School who aspire to become elementary teachers, and most recently joined the WCCF’s Family of Founders. The WCCF is pleased to include Ms. Laird in its family and happy to assist her as she accomplishes yet another charitable goal through the Fund for Animal Care.