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Helena man makes large donation to humane society as a 50th wedding anniversary gift

Sharon Bell Medical Suite.jpg
Posted at 6:19 PM, Apr 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-22 12:42:54-04

HELENA — The Lewis & Clark Humane Society received a large donation from the husband of a volunteer. The donation has allowed them to invest in better equipment for an on-staff veterinarian.

“We all cried. It was quite amazing to try to give a speech when everybody was crying. And she did say it was one of the greatest days of her life,” says donor, Russ Bell.

The donation, announced at a party for their 50th wedding anniversary, had the Bell family in tears.

Russ’ wife, Sharon, has been volunteering at the humane society for over a decade now.

“One of the things that first attracted me to her was her love of animals and how kind she was in her heart,” says Bell.

When trying to decide what he could get for his wife for their 50th wedding anniversary, Russ reached out to the humane society to see what they might need. Kelsee Dalton Watts, Executive Director at the Humane Society, said that Bell’s response to their Wishlist exceeded their expectations.

“He said, ‘What do you guys need?’ And we created an ultimate wish list. And we sent it over, kind of expecting that they might cover half or a quarter of the list. And he said, ‘OK, do it. We're in. I'll give you the entire $60,000,” says Watts.

The donation included a plethora of items in order to assist the overall functionality of the society as well as their newly hired on-site veterinarian. A few of the updates include:

“...updating our electrical out in our medical suite and then a variety of items. One of the biggest ones is our diagnostic machines for blood work. We got new surgical tables, we got new surgical equipment, we got a dental machine, new anesthesia machines,” says Watts.

The new equipment allows a lot of work to now be done from the humane society, instead of having to transport animals to and from a local veterinary hospital, saving them time and money. The newly updated clinic works primarily as a spot for spay, neuter, dental, and vaccine-related veterinary work.

“With this gift, I mean it just changed overnight what we can do in-house at the shelter and what we have to travel to, you know, the veterinarians here in town to do,” says Watts.

The area with all the new veterinary supplies is now named after Russ’ Wife: the Sharon Bell Medical Suite.

“This is really to honor my wife Sharon and my love for her over 50 years,” says Bell.

If you’d like to volunteer your time or donate, you can follow the link here:

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