I have little to add to the article by Jackie Botts in the October 5-12 issue on the Humane Society, but I did want to comment on the information about the donor. Out of respect for that donor, now deceased, I think that I can give some information, and clear up some details, without mentioning the gentleman’s name. I was a longtime friend, and I drafted his will, eventually serving as his executor for the distribution of his estate. He and I knew each other well, and we went into the details of his estate plan on several occasions, together with a prominent local lawyer, now also deceased, who sat in on the process and the meetings.
To begin with, the “donor” had no close family but was an annual donor to various animal charities, all of them local. Each year he would write checks, some to local charities, some to North County, but never to any national organizations, although that possibility was known to him and discussed with him. He was adamant about giving to local animal charities, and each year he would write six or eight checks, for various amounts, and if possible deliver them personally. He was well acquainted with all of his beneficiaries, visited their operations, collected their literature, and was on every mailing list.
The donor’s dogs “loomed large in his life.” His last longtime incumbent dog, a large and benign female German shepherd, was adopted from Lompoc, and his last cat, “Daisy,” from ASAP, an organization for which he had the highest regard and very great respect. After his death, I trapped Daisy and took her back to ASAP, and took his last dog to the Humane Society. He had the closest contacts and great regard for the Humane Society, where he was a welcome guest on his various visits, but where he did not, so far as I can remember, acquire any of his pets. He and Peggy Langle had become friends over the years, and she was very nice to him, although I am sure that she had no idea that the Humane Society would be his major beneficiary and was genuinely surprised when I told her that her organization would be getting a substantial sum. Throughout, with the donor and with me, Langle was pleasant, friendly, professional, easy to work with, and was, I am pretty sure, a big reason that the Humane Society received the major portion of the estate.
In sum, Angela Rockwell’s “surmise” that he (the donor) thought that the SBHS was helping more animals than ASAP is simply wrong. The donor knew what he was doing, knew his charities, knew their personnel and facilities, and donated as he saw fit, and as he was entitled to do, and informed enough to do so knowledgeably.
Peggy Langle deserves better of her former employer, and I wish her the very best.