In a span of just a few days in August, the Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter in Hillsboro received donations from three separate estates totaling more than $232,000.

The three recent donations were from Margaret T. Hutchens, Leena Alexander and Dorothy M. Elhart.

Hutchens left $124,000 to the Bonnie Hays shelter in her will. Hutchens, who retired from Tektronix in 1984, was a member of the Tigard Garden Club, an avid gardener, oil and water paint artist and a lover of animals.

Alexander donated $78,421.44 to the shelter — 80 percent of her estate. Alexander was well-known in Hillsboro as the owner of the Jinx Café on Second Avenue, which she operated for 38 years until retiring in 2003. She was a great animal lover, and always had cats and dogs.

Elhart bequeathed $30,000 to the shelter in her will. Elhart was one of the early nurse practitioners in Oregon in the 1980s and was one of the originators of the adult nurse practitioner program at OHSU. She retired from nursing after a number of years with Tuality Healthcare in Hillsboro. She also loved animals.

“The impact of the legacy of these three women will make such a difference to our community. It means more for the animals than I can begin to say,” said Deborah Wood, manager of animal services at the shelter. “Every cent of this money will go to animal care — you can imagine how many lives we will save with these bequests. The bequests of these three women will make a huge difference to our ability to help animals.”

The Bonnie L. Hays shelter cares for stray cats and dogs in Washington County, admitting about 4,000 animals a year.

“We do not euthanize healthy animals, and donations like these allow us to do a great deal for animals who need extra help,” said Wood.

All donations this year are being dedicated to the shelter’s veterinary program, which cares for animals in the shelter.

For more information about the shelter, go to

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