George always had a soft spot for animals. Growing up in the country, surrounded by wildlife, he developed an appreciation for animals at a young age and was often the first person to speak up if he thought one was being mistreated.
Over the years, George found practical ways to help the animals he cared so deeply about, making charitable donations to animal welfare agencies, and even volunteering on the board of the SPCA Queens branch. George’s kindness and generosity were among the many things that drew Patti in.
“He just accepted others for who they were and was always there for anyone in need, especially animals,” she said.
When they first met, Patti quickly learned that there was a lot to love about George, including his two cats and German Shepherd, Wagner.
Patti recalls, “I never had any pets growing up but I was immediately smitten with them and seeing George’s compassion for animals made me love him that much more.”
During their 20-year journey together, the couple welcomed seven pets into their home, but it was Rusty who actually found them.
“One day while we were walking through the park, a little orange cat crossed our path, looking quite thin. As we got closer, the cat immediately came over and jumped into George’s arms,” Patti exclaimed.
Although they had recently said goodbye to their own cat and agreed not to adopt another for a while, Patti and George just couldn’t walk away from that sweet face. Out of concern that he may be lost, they took the little guy in to search for his owner.
“We tried for weeks to see if anyone knew where he belonged, nothing turned up!” said Patti.
As the days went by, Patti and George grew quite fond of their little buddy who they decided to name Rusty, after his auburn coat. From the first day they took him in, Rusty made himself right at home snuggled up in George’s armchair and the two became fast friends. To this day it is still his favorite spot in the house, probably because it reminds him of George.
As long as Patti could remember, George was drawn to animals, and they were drawn to him. “It could have been his gentle, caring nature…or possibly the pocket full of treats he always carried,” Patti laughed.
It was that incredible bond that moved Patti and George to rethink their legacy plans. The couple wanted to do something meaningful for their loved ones. Since animals were on that list, they updated their will to include a charitable gift for the Nova Scotia SPCA.
“Our love for animals inspired us to set up the P & G Fraser Fund. We discussed with the SPCA what we were looking to do and they ensured that everything was set up exactly to our wishes.” Patti continued, “We know that it takes a great deal of funding to keep a shelter running and to ensure that all the animals get the treatment and loving homes they deserve.”
To the surprise of many, the SPCA doesn’t receive any government funding for animal care or facility operations. Generous animal lovers, like Patti and George, have been the driving force behind the Nova Scotia SPCA for nearly 150 years.
Planned gifts like theirs, help assist over 15,000 animals annually and give the SPCA the security to plan for capital projects and respond to emergencies without hesitation.
Patti and George’s estate gift will ensure that hurt and homeless pets receive the care they need. “What an incredible legacy,” says Patti.
After spending 90 wonderful years with his loving family (both, two and four legged) George passed away in September 2021. He was laid to rest with his old pal, Wagner. In loving memory of her husband, Patti contributes to the P & G Fraser Fund annually.
As the Endowment grows it will generate support for the SPCA for years to come. Continuing the impact that George started so many years ago has been a great comfort to Patti.
“Having my cats beside me and knowing that we are helping other pets have a better life has gotten me through the hardest days,” she says.
“In a way, I feel like George is a guardian angel now — he’ll always be looking out for the animals.”
Pets give you unconditional love… and you have the powerful opportunity to make your love unconditional too. Learn more about adding a gift to your will here.