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Benefactor steps up to help animals

A self-proclaimed animal lover, Bessie Elliott frequently watches the adoption list at the Multnomah County Animal Shelter. One day, she spotted a pit bull listed for adoption with the name Bessie. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Bessie Elliott, 88, with the help of her daughter Linda Elliott-Iverson, donated enough money to sponsor 15 dogs and 20 cats in need at the Multnomah County Animal Shelter.

Elliott immediately sent her daughter, Linda Elliott-Iverson, to pay the adoption fees for Bessie, ensuring she would find a new home.

But in July, Elliott, 88, decided she wanted to help on a larger scale.

“This time she thought she’d go and make a large donation to help several dogs and cats at once,” Elliott-Iverson said.

Her donation paid for 15 dogs and 20 cats to be adopted. Not just any pets, but those that had been at the shelter the longest or would be the hardest to re-home. As of Oct. 1, only one cat remained.

“The one cat that’s left, Koda, he was a cat that came in on July 2. We brought him in with 27 others that we pulled out of a van, in the middle of the summer,” said Shelter Manager Ann Potter. “It’s kind of poetic.”

Potter said she’s never heard of someone donating in the way Elliott has.

“We’ve had people buy beds for our dogs. We got a big donation in order to build the cattery a few years ago, but this was just so thoughtful and creative,” Potter said. “And she did a lot of good with that money.”

But then Elliott went one step further, making a second donation to buy food for the sponsored pets, providing a bag of food for each new owner.

“I have two cats and a dog, who died last year,” Elliott said. “I love animals and I feel sorry for them when they don’t have a home. I’d like to see them get all adopted.”

When she heard all but one cat had been adopted, her response was simple.

“Oh good,” she said. “I guess I’ll have to give some more money.”



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