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Tonasket woman’s bequest helps animal shelter

Some Okanogan County animals go to SpokAnimal

— The estate of Tonasket resident Marjorie Harper has given $125,000 to SpokAnimal CARE for its animal shelter services.

Harper’s executor, Gerald Oakes, his wife Peg and daughter Michelle presented the donation to SpokAnimal Executive Director Gail Mackie last week at the Dawg House, which kennels adoptable dogs.

The donation, one of the largest in the shelter’s 30-year-history, came just as the non-profit group is losing its longstanding contract with the city of Spokane for animal control services.

The contract represented more than 50 percent of the shelter’s annual revenue, Mackie said.

“This month and next we are in the process of evaluating and assessing what programs and services we can keep, and which ones we can’t. This very generous gift may mean we don’t have to do that,” she said.

Oakes could not be reached for comment.

Mackie said the Harper estate’s donation will be used to fund various services, including the Dorothy Clark Animal Clinic, which performs low-cost spay, neuter and microchip services; the Prison Dog and Farm Livin’ barn cat programs; Crusin’ Critters, a transfer service that shuttles adoptable animals between shelters state-wide, including Keystone Animal Rescue near Riverside; education in the schools; senior pet therapy visits, and training programs for volunteers working to socialize large-breed dogs.

“We congratulate SpokAnimal on the donation and look forward to our continued relationship of helping dogs from Okanogan County find loving homes,” Keystone owner Kris Vigoren said.

Beginning Jan. 1, SpokAnimal will be a guaranteed placement shelter, Mackie said.

“This is an exciting time and the funds we receive toward this end make all the difference,” she said.

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