Although Frederick County has thousands of happy and spoiled pets, many animals also need homes, neutering, medical attention.
Fortunately, Frederick County is also home to generous donors who have made it their mission to ensure animals are cared for and healthy, now and in the future.
For many years, Hettie and William “Bill” Ballweber ran a greyhound shelter. They welcomed dogs from all over the country, sometimes a dozen or more at a time into their home in Boonsboro, and worked to find suitable and loving families for them.
“My husband, Bill, was a wonderful, caring advocate for our rescue organization,” Hettie said. “He was tireless and patient when it came to working with the greyhounds and never complained about the amount of work it took to find good homes for the dogs.”
In 2020, Hettie launched The William and Hettie Ballweber Fund with the Community Foundation to honor her late husband’s work in dog rescue, animal advocacy, and compassionate pet care.
“When Bill died, I wanted to commemorate his work and allow others to continue,” Hettie said. “I felt creating the fund was the best way to honor Bill’s legacy.”
Also committed to ensuring animals are cared for, Robert and Carolyn Moroney established The Feline Welfare Fund. The fund supports spaying/neutering/vaccination programs, responsible placement of adoptable cats in permanent homes, and financial assistance for fostering and promotion initiatives.
“Local non-profit organizations that promote the health and well-being of the feral cat population are doing work that usually goes unnoticed, but it’s still very important to maintain the balance, both mitigating the growth unchecked feral cat population and the spread of common feline diseases, and the suffering associated with them, all of which can quickly spread more widely in our community if not watched and controlled,” said Robert Moroney “We’re just trying to do what we can, while we can, hoping it can make a difference.”
Ruth Converse’s 2007 obituary mentions that she was the great-great-aunt of the family’s pet, a cat named Alex McDonald.
Through her estate arrangements, Ruth created the Converse Family Endowment Fund which has three purposes. One is to support the Frederick County Humane Society for the neutering and medical treatment of adoptable animals for low-income families who would provide good homes for these animals.
“The Converse [Family Endowment] The fund has enabled many individuals and families to experience the joy of a cat or dog,” said Connie Graf, director of the Frederick County Humane Society. “Often it’s a found pet or a recently adopted pet with an unexpected health issue. The assistance of this program enabled them to obtain the necessary veterinary care.
These are just a few of the funds that support animal welfare initiatives across the county. The Community Foundation is proud to work with generous donors committed to making a difference, and non-profit organizations that provide care and services to these animals.
Elizabeth Y. Day is President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Frederick County, a nonprofit that connects people who care with causes that matter. It works with individuals, families, businesses, and organizations to achieve their charitable intentions through scholarships and grants to nonprofit organizations. To learn more about the Community Foundation, visit www.FrederickCountyGives.org.