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An avid animal lover leaves a half million dollar legacy behind

The Cass County Humane Society got a huge helping hand of more than half a million dollars, thanks to the final wishes of an avid animal lover.

Posted: Nov. 2, 2018 5:32 PM
Updated: Nov. 2, 2018 11:29 PM

LOGANSPORT, Ind. (WLFI) - The Cass County Humane Society got a huge helping hand of more than half a million dollars, thanks to the final wishes of an avid animal lover.

"It was the best gift ever, I mean it's all about the animals here at the humane society,” said Lisa Clark, Executive Director of the shelter.

Meet Shirley Hines and her husband Wayne. They both graduated from the high school in Royal Center in Cass County. They were married for nearly 60 years.

They lived their days farming in Cass County. The couple, especially Shirley, always had a soft spot for furry friends.

"Mostly it was just strays that came to the farm or where ever and they would feed them," said Shirley’s nephew, Denny Hines.

He remembers his aunt as a spunky, hospitable woman who always had some good cooking available to eat. He said they were unable to have children, so it was always the nieces, nephews, and the animals that they cared for most. But he said she had a special place in her heart for cats.

"Shirley had a passion for all animals because they raised animals on the farm and they always had cats, dogs around,” he said. “But her real passion was cats. Her last two cats were named Olio and Butter."

Shirley passed away in 2010. According to Denny, both Shirley and Wayne established trusts in 2001, but the trusts couldn’t be released until both had passed away. When Wayne passed in 2017, Shirley’s money was able to be released to its recipient. And it was quite a large sum.

“I’m not sure if she realized how much it was going to grow to this point,” said Denny.

Shirley’s trust left $570,000 to the Cass County Humane Society.

Clark said much of the money will go towards helping strays that are brought to the shelter. Just like what Shirley did on her farm for years.

“This fits her to a T,” said Denny. “I think she would be very happy knowing that this is what the money is going towards.”

"It will take care of a lot of the strays, and the abused, and neglected animals on the streets,” said Clark. “We plan to fix all the animals and get them up-to-date on their shots, get all their medical needs met with that money.”

Clark also said the shelter has invested a portion of the money to ensure its long-lasting effects.

The shelter put up a plaque outside the front door honoring Shirley and her generosity. And while Clark said this large sum of money will have a strong impact on the shelter, the money won’t last forever.

"Even with that big donation we still appreciate all the smaller donations and we would still like to receive those because it's going to cost quite a bit to get them (the animals) all fixed," she said.

She said they see 10-20 strays come through their doors daily. But there are also other ways that you an help.

"If you can't give monetary, you can always give your time," she said. “We are always looking for volunteers to walk the dogs or help clean.”

The Hines family is just happy that Shirley is being remembered in the most fitting way.

"She would be very happy with what the money is being used for," said Denny.

Click here to learn more about the Cass County Humane Society.

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