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COLLEGE STATION, TX - Supporters of the Stevenson
Companion Animal Life-Care Center at the Texas A&M College
of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) gathered
Friday to celebrate the dedication of the recently completed
"It is very exciting to celebrate 20 years of caring for
companion animals when their owners are no longer able to provide
for them," said Dr. Eleanor Green, Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary
Medicine. "Today, not only do we reflect on the two decades of
compassionate care provided within these walls, we officially open
the newly completed expansion to the facility that will enhance the
comfort and care provided for residents now and in the future."
The Stevenson Center provides for the physical, emotional, and
medical needs of companion animals whose owners cannot do so,
either because they are entering a retirement home, being
hospitalized for an extended period, or predeceasing a pet.
"People should know we are an option for them, if they don't
have anyone to care for their pets," said Ellie Greenbaum,
Associate Director of the Center.
The new addition, on which construction began nearly a year ago
in July 2012, is 3,300 square feet and includes two rooms each for
dogs, cats, and birds. Special features in the aviaries,
which are needed for the twelve birds currently enrolled to live at
the center someday, include soundproofing panels and solar tubes to
allow natural light and to reduce reliance on electricity. Both the
cat and bird rooms have enclosed sun porches and the dog rooms have
separate fenced-in yards.
The Center's expansion was made possible by the generosity of 68
donors who made contributions totaling approximately $900,000.
"We are extremely grateful to our many donors and friends that
have so generously supported the Stevenson Companion Animal
Life-Care Center over the past 20 years," said Henry L. "Sonny"
Presnal, DVM, Director of the Stevenson Center. "Through the
generosity of many, the Center's facility should be positioned to
accommodate the resident pets that will enter the Center in the
This is the second expansion of the Stevenson Center, which
opened in 1993. The total space of the Center, including the new
addition, is about 11,000 square feet and will be able to house
about 100 pets. It is completely self-sustaining with donations and
income from the endowment.
A stable behind the main building houses the center's resident
llama, with space for other large companion animals should the need
Four veterinary students-currently a first-year, two second-year
and a third-year-live at the center to provide around-the-clock
care to the resident animals. The placement of cameras and video
monitors around the center allows the staff to keep a constant
watch on their charges. Living day-to-day with the pets-many of
whom are older and thus have the health problems of older
animals-makes the students very compassionate, Greenbaum said.
"We feel very privileged," Greenbaum said, "that so many owners
have entrusted us with the care of their pets."
Enrollees at the center include dogs, cats, birds, horses, and
donkeys. To secure a spot for their pet, owners need to establish
an endowment, the requirements for which vary depending upon the
age of the owner at the time of the enrollment, that can be paid up
front or through a bequest or life insurance benefit.
Center staff will pick up enrolled animals anywhere in Texas
when necessary. The first stop for the pets-before they even enter
the Center-is the CVM Small Animal Hospital, where they are
thoroughly examined before joining the other animals. The hospital
and its veterinarians also provide care whenever a Center resident
is sick or injured, ensuring the animals get the best care
The Center is situated on three acres beside the CVM campus. Its
name honors the late Madlin Stevenson, a major initial supporter of
the project. The building itself is the W.P. Luse Foundation
Building, named in honor of the Luse Foundation's support.
"We're excited about this expansion and the added comfort it
will bring to our residents," Greenbaum said. "We've been working
"We have strived to provide a home for pets when their owners
can no longer care for them in as near a home-like environment as
possible," said Presnal, "and we feel that we have been successful
in accomplishing our goal."
For more information about the Texas A&M College of
Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, please visit our
website at vetmed.tamu.edu or join us on Facebook.
Angela G. Clendenin
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Ofc - (979) 862-2675
Cell - (979) 739-5718
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843
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