|A CARE (Colorado Animal Rescue Express) rescue dog|
Simon passed away on March 8, 2015 after a battle with colon cancer that was diagnosed in 2012. After learning of his prognosis of only several months to live, Simon decided give his millions to animal charities and the hungry. Not that he wasn't already spending millions to help animals even before his late stage cancer diagnosis. On a wonderful piece of real estate in Malibu, his Foundation gave stray and abandoned dogs a new chance at life. In 2007, 60 Minutes called the Sam Simon Foundation “the grandest dog shelter in the country."
Some of the ways Simon has used his millions to help animals and the animal rights cause include:
- a mobile veterinary clinic that travels throughout Los Angeles to assist low-income folks and their pets.
- a hearing dog program where the Foundation rescues dogs from shelters and humane societies and trains them to become Certified Hearing Dogs.
- service dogs for veterans where the foundation trains shelter dogs to assist veterans with PTSD, or trained to help veterans with hearing loss, traumatic brain injury or moderate physical limitations.
- visitation at assisted living facilities where dogs regularly visit and brighten the days of residents of Los Angeles assisted living facilities.
- adoption program for shelter and rescue dogs where those rescued dogs who don't quite have what it takes to be service dogs can still make amazing companions.
|Markie, rescued in Texas by my husband and me|
Simon also created the Feeding Families program in 2011 to respond to families and individuals in economic crisis who are unable to provide food for their children and pets, feeding about 200 families per day. As though all of this is not enough of an amazing legacy, Simon, along with Ingrid Newkirk and PETA began buying zoos and circuses in order to send the animals, those he referred to as "the most abused animals in the country," to a sanctuary.
Thank you, Mr. Simon, for your legacy of love to the animals. And thanks to the Care 2 Causes Blog for the full story on Sam Simon and his wonderful animal philanthropy.
Posted by Dawn Kairns
Author of Maggie the Dog Who Changed My Life