Love for her pets inspires one Jayhawk to support K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine
By Marisa Larson
What could make a die-hard KU Jayhawk fan donate to Kansas State University? Love, of course. Like many pet owners, Alice White worried about the fate of her eight cats if she became unable to care for them. Her concerns disappeared when she discovered K-State’s Perpetual Pet Care Program.
The program began in 1996 and since then it’s provided peace of mind to dozens of pet owners. Through a bequest, the pets’ medical care is covered for life. When the pets are no longer in need of medical assistance, the remaining balance can be designated to support initiatives such as hospital renovations, student scholarships, programs and services.
White’s eight cats, six of whom have tested positive for feline leukemia or feline AIDS, are like her children. “I am a single parent to my cats and I need a secure, safe back-up plan in case of my incapacitation or death,” White said.
As part of the program, White received alert cards to place in her car, luggage and wallet in case of an accident or illness. These cards alert emergency personnel to the fact that she has cats at home needing care and instructs them to call the K-State Veterinary Health Center.
White believes K-State veterinary students will also benefit from this arrangement. “If something happens to me, I’m especially gratified that my cats will live with vet students instead of being placed in an institutional setting,” White said. “The vet students will gain a deeper, humbling respect for the innocent-sounding refrain about ‘herding cats’ and will get a better idea about what it might be like to be a small-animal doctor.
“I am thrilled, relieved and grateful that K-State has provided me with an affordable, well-planned opportunity for any of my beloved cats who outlive me.”