GOLDEN VALLEY, Minnesota — The estate of two beloved volunteers donated $6 million to the Humane Society, the largest donation in its 144-year history.
The gift comes from the estate of Steve Nordberg and Betsy McDonald, who were longtime volunteers until their deaths in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
From 2014 to 2019, they were too busy, volunteering over 2,000 hours, impressing everyone they met, such as Sally Thornton, AHS Chief Gift Officer.
“They were just a great couple. They were pretty quiet, they were very passionate about the work,” Thornton said. “They always sent pictures of babies interacting, and they’ve been doing that for years.”
Lisa Bonds, director of promotion for AHS, says most of the donations will go towards the new facility in St. Paul.
“My reaction when I heard about the amount is, oh my god, this is amazing news!” Bonds said.
The Humane Society says that people’s relationship with animals has changed dramatically over the past few years, which means they also need to change and look to the future.
“We see ourselves as leaders not only in animal shelter but also in the animal experience,” Bonds said.
Think grass for cats, agility training, a pet food shelf, cat yoga, and maybe even an amphitheater for dogs and their owners.
“We will help people and their pets improve their veterinary services in every way by providing more opportunities for humane investigations,” Bonds said.
With the goal of keeping pets and their owners together. They say that’s what Steve and Betsy wanted.
“I think they will love that their gift will have such a huge impact on the new institution,” Thornton said.
The Humane Society hopes to start building a new facility in St. Paul in 2024 and open sometime next year.
Only this monthout of a car at a rest stop in extreme heat.