Many of you know the story about the amazing woman named Rhoda Hogan who left a large bequest, $125,500, to go to an organization that would help end declawing.
I heard about her story in March 2016 and have been trying to get some answers for this honorable woman ever since. If you haven’t read it, here is the link. Rhoda Hogan’s $125,000 Bequest to Cornell Feline Health Center
After reading the proposals from each organization, in 2007, the executor felt that the Cornell Feline Health Center had in place programming he deemed appropriate, thereby avoiding any part of the Hogan bequest going to start-up costs. Even though he said that the PawProject.org, “most closely meets the criteria overall. It conducts a publicity and education campaign in Ca and has supported local and state legislation in Ca, and has an outreach program to encourage legislation in other states, including Florida and Michigan.”
Cornell Feline Health Center received Mrs Hogan’s $125,500 in 2007.
They said they used $100,000 to make 6 short videos about cat scratching and they say that the $25,500 is STILL in their Feline Health Center account.
In 10 years, they couldn’t figure out a way to use Mrs Hogan’s money in the way that she wanted?
Mrs Hogan’s exact words for her bequest, “An organization to be used to publicize and educate the public about the cruel effect of de-clawing cats and to support legislation forbidding it.”
It’s taken Cornell almost 10 years to honor the rest of her bequest and do something to help end this inhumane and CRUEL procedure???
In April 2016 I asked the New Hampshire courts (they were the ones who fulfilled Mrs Hogan’s bequest) to help me get some answers since Mrs Hogan’s estate was closed and she had no remaining family members.
After countless emails to these people at the NH courts, asking them to do the right thing and help me get some answers for Mrs Hogan, they finally reached out to Cornell this week for some answers. (December 2016)
Here is what Cornell’s response was.
“Regarding your email of December 14, 2016: I am happy to provide you with the requested information about the Rhoda Hogan gift to the Feline Health Center (FHC) at Cornell University.
As you know, Ms. Hogan intended her gift to be used to educate the public about declawing and alternatives to surgery and to support prohibitions against the declawing of cats. Ms. Hogan’s attorney, Mr. Fred Hall, was tasked with finding an appropriate recipient. After reviewing several candidates, he chose the FHC.
Cornell does not typically take sides in legislative matters. When Mr. Hall met with the FHC Director at the time, Dr. James Richards, to discuss the possible gift, Dr. Richards was candid that Cornell would not advocate for prohibitions against declawing, but would focus instead on promoting alternatives.
The initial disbursement of $100,000 from the estate of Rhoda Hogan was used in accordance with the probate order for the production of six educational videos about nonsurgical ways of preventing destructive scratching in cats. In addition to routine production and distribution costs, the funds supported staff time for researching the topic and preparing the scripts.
Dr. Richards was killed in a motorcycle accident before the second disbursement was spent.
The money, in the amount of $25,500, remains in the FHC accounts. The Center’s current leadership intends to use the funds to support novel public outreach efforts to encourage non-surgical alternatives to declawing. They are actively evaluating the most effective means for carrying out this plan.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need additional information.
Sr. Public Affairs Officer
College of Veterinary Medicine
The Associate Director of Cornell Feline Health Center said that amputating a cat’s toe bones and claws, “Might cause some degree of discomfort.” Bruce Kornreich’s interview about declawing in 2016
( FYI, I personally received an reply from the woman, Kelley Bollen, in April 2016, who is in these videos and was the cat behaviorist for the shelter medicine program at Cornell. She said this about the six videos, ” I was just the person they contacted to do the videos. They actually contacted me to just write the content (which I did) and then they ended up asking me to do the videos. I don’t even remember if I was paid to do the videos but if I was it was only a few hundred dollars for my time. We did the video in two days.”)
Ok, my friends. Let’s inspire Cornell Feline Health Center to finally do the right thing. Please post respectful comments on their social media pages with these ideas, and use the hashtag #DoTheRightThingCornell
PLEASE TAKE 30 SECONDS AND SIGN MY PETITION TO CORNELL- Cornell Feline Health Center Petition