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Making the world a better place

calico cat hiding under vinesFor Judy Davis of Vancouver, B.C., a typical week is packed with volunteer activities. Even though she’s been retired for several years, the busy octogenarian divides her time among a wide variety of community organizations including a seniors’ centre as well as a health information and referral centre.

Another organization on her regular volunteer list is the University of British Columbia’s Crane Library that records materials primarily for visually-impaired students as well as for others.

“When you retire, you can’t just sit around all day,” explains Davis. “You’ve got to get out!”

While Davis enjoys donating her time to helping people, she also has a special regard for animals that has led to her contributing both time and money to a number of groups that support animal health and animal welfare.

What led to her concern for animals? “I think it was because I always liked cats . . . As soon as I bought my house, I got a couple of kittens, and I’ve just had cats ever since.”

In addition to helping fund local groups such as the Vancouver SPCA and the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue, Davis has expanded her support to include organizations outside of Vancouver – and that’s how she began contributing to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s Companion Animal Health Fund (CAHF).

For the past 16 years, she has made an annual donation to the fund which supports specialized veterinary training and innovative research in pet health and helps with the purchase of equipment and new technologies at the WCVM’s Veterinary Medical Centre.

Davis became interested in the CAHF once she heard that it specialized in helping companion animals, and she particularly enjoys keeping up to date with the latest developments. “It’s always interesting to hear about the grad students, the different conditions that they’re working on, and all of the research that’s happening.”

While Davis says that there is no specific health issue that concerns her, she has seen the benefits of improved services and the availability of more high-powered equipment for diagnosis and treatment of animals.

Davis’s compassion for all animals has led to her supporting several organizations including the University of British Columbia’s Animal Care Centre, the World Society for the Protection of Animals and Zoocheck Canada. She is also devoted to causes such as the humane transport of food animals and the anti-sealing campaign.

What led to her concern for animals? “I think it was because I always liked cats,” she explains. “I’d always wanted a cat, and as soon as I bought my house, I got a couple of kittens, and I’ve just had cats ever since.”

Over the years, Davis has taken her responsibility as a pet owner very seriously and is adamant about the need for pet owners to be accountable for their animals.

“I’m a real spay/neuter fan. Some people let their cats have kittens every year, and I think that’s totally irresponsible. If you get a pet you’re making a commitment.”

It’s that belief in making a commitment that drives Davis to remain active and involved in the many organizations that make the world a better place for both people and animals.

And at the end of the day, she comes home to her latest cat Timmy – a stray that had been brought in to her long-time veterinarian, Dr. Janne Potter, owner of the West Boulevard Veterinary Clinic in Vancouver.

“Timmy’s a real joy and a great companion. And it’s nice to have a warm body in the house when I come home.”

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