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Impact

A remarkable donation to Hamilton Community Foundation will help ensure local cats will be healthy, safe and wanted – forever.

The Foundation will give an annual grant of over $65,000 in perpetuity to the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA to fund feline health and well-being, thanks to the donation of an estate from lifelong pet lover and long-time Hamilton cab owner, George Seliga.

“Pets provide companionship and are important family members for so many people,” says Terry Cooke, Hamilton Community Foundation president & CEO. “We are thrilled to have helped Mr. Seliga create the legacy he wanted.” Cooke says that because the donor wanted to do something that would benefit animals forever, he established an endowed fund, meaning that the donation is invested, generating the income that will be granted to the HBSPCA every year.

“It’s just one wonderful example of the many donors who have entrusted the Foundation to help them support those things that have had meaning to them during their lives – even when their own lives are over.”

Founded in 1887, the Hamilton SPCA (“HBSPCA”) was established to protect vulnerable animals. Today, the HBSPCA protects animals at risk, cares for and rehomes neglected and homeless pet companions, and promotes respect for all animals. Donors support affordable spay/neuter programs for family-owned pets and pets belonging to persons-at-risk. Donors and local veterinarians together support spay/neuter for free-roaming cats.

“Every spring, our kennels and foster homes are filled with homeless and neglected cats and kittens,” says HBSPCA CEO Marion Emo.  “Mr. Seliga’s generous donation will help us to expand quality programs that support the three essential things that pet parents can do for their animal’s well-being: spay or neuter them, give them regular, preventative veterinary care, and have them micro-chipped for a safe return home if lost.”  Emo says that the grant will make services to rescue groups and low-income families more accessible. “Combined with education about responsible cat care, we are confident that abandoned cat populations will significantly decrease and every cat will be a wanted cat.