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Dedication Ceremony for the Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center Expansion Is October 1
COLLEGE STATION - September, 2004,
Dedication of the newly completed expansion area of the Stevenson
Companion Life-Care Center, which provides lifelong care of pets
whose owners can no longer do so, will be held at 10 a.m. Friday,
Oct. 1, at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical
Sciences at Texas A&M University.
The new 3,500-square feet addition will greatly expand the
Stevenson Center, which was established in 1993. Clients of the
center include pet owners who want to assure their pet's future
prior to entering a retirement home, being hospitalized for an
extended period or predeceasing their pet. It is the only such
center in the Southwest and one of the few in the United
"We are so grateful to all the people who donated more than
$600,000 toward the expansion project," said Dr. Henry L. Presnal,
Director of the Center. "The five-year fund raising initiative
resulted in 125 gifts from 98 donors. Special plaques have been
placed throughout the building to recognize our major donors."
The expansion increases the facility to 8300 square feet for
small animals. Current residents include 15 cats, 11 dogs, a pony
and a llama.
"The expansion was needed to accommodate our growing number of
animal enrollees," Presnal explained. "We have 94 owners from 18
different states with approximately 250 animals enrolled to enter
the Center at various times in the future. This expansion allows us
to comfortably care for our future residents in a home-like
The greater Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth areas are key markets
for the Stevenson Center," Presnal said. "We currently have 30
owners from the Houston area with animals enrolled in our program.
The Dallas/Fort Worth area is a strong region as well," he added.
"Approximately twenty percent of our enrollees come from outside
the state of Texas."
The new addition includes a large living room, memorial garden
area honoring deceased residents, three canine living areas each
with an adjoining exercise yard, two feline bedrooms, an aviary,
and a student apartment with a living area and attached patio.
The Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center opened its doors
in 1993, and is an integral part of the College of Veterinary
Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. The privately funded center
provides the physical, emotional and medical needs of companion
animals whose owners are no longer able to provide that care due to
illness or death.
Pet owners establish an endowment with the Texas A&M
Foundation generating a perpetual income to support the lifetime
care of their animal. "When the pet passes away, the income from
the endowment may be directed toward other college initiatives such
as scholarships, a particular research project or can remain with
the center in accordance with the owner's wishes," said
The minimum endowment to secure enrollment in the Center depends
on the age of the youngest owner at the time of enrollment. "The
endowment for each animal can be established by bequest through a
will or trust, or can be fully paid-up at the time of enrollment
with a considerable discount," Presnal explained.
The majority of enrolled pets at the Center have no family
guardian to care for them, or the family is not able to take on
this additional responsibility. "I want to emphasize that the
people who enroll their pets in our program are ordinary people who
share a special love for their animals," noted Presnal. "Typically,
they are people who have accumulated some savings over the years,
and have planned ahead to ensure their pet is cared for when they
are no longer able to take care of it."
The Center, because of its close association with College of
Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, offers many unique
benefits. "We are still the only facility of this kind associated
with a major university that offers the extent of care we provide
to our animals," Presnal said.
Texas A&M students live in apartments at the Center and
provide daily care and companionship for the animals in a home
environment. "This is a mutually rewarding situation for both the
students and the animals," according to Presnal. "The students are
typically aspiring veterinarians, so the Center provides hands on
educational experiences for them."
When the pets need medical attention, their care is provided by
the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. "Their
knowledge of the latest advances in veterinary medicine, combined
with their specialized facilities, ensures the best possible care
for our residents," Presnal noted.
Presnal, a retired veterinarian, has served as the Center's
director for about seven years. "This is the perfect job and second
career for a veterinarian who has organizational and business
skills that they want to use, while still getting to work with
veterinarians, pet owners and their animals," said Presnal. "I get
to deal with all the good things in life." The Center is located on
ten acres adjacent to the College of Veterinary Medicine and
Biomedical Sciences, and is named after the late Madlin Stevenson,
a Houston-area animal fancier, and early major supporter of the
project. Stevenson died in 2000 and her for cats, seven dogs,
pony and llama came to reside at the Center upon her death. The
Center is located in the W.P. Luse Building, named in recognition
of the Luse Foundation's support of the Center's early
Angela G. Clendenin
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Ofc - (979) 862-2675
Cell - (979) 739-5718
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