Special Funds

Ollie Baxter Memorial Fund

Ollie was a bright-eyed Labradoodle, not quite one year old when he was attacked by multiple dogs at a pet daycare facility in October 2020.  Ollie sustained serious injuries and underwent multiple surgeries requiring administering 28 pills a day for 2 months and round-the-clock care. Sadly, Ollie passed away the following month when he was unable to recover from his injuries.

His family, Amy Baxter and her daughter Isabel Baxter-Paris, were shattered by their loss and wanted something positive to come from Ollie’s tragedy. It was then that the Ollie Baxter Memorial Fund was established to have Ollie’s life and legacy make a meaningful difference for other pets in need of medical care. Gifts made to Ollie’s Fund help local pets receive the same quality care that Ollie received when he needed it most. These gifts underwrite the cost of medical services and treatment at Dakin Humane Society. As affordable and accessible pet care becomes a growing challenge, Ollie’s Fund will help animals find the care and treatment they need and avoid the emotional distress of having to choose between their pet’s health and other sacrifices.

Amy and Isabel believe, like Dakin, that everyone deserves to experience the joy an animal can bring into our lives. Anyone can find themselves in a challenging situation and Ollie’s Fund was established to lessen the burden. It is not up to anyone to judge who is or isn’t an appropriate pet guardian. Sharing one’s life with a pet is not a privilege defined by economic factors that dictate who can have pets and who cannot. This is the legacy that Ollie Baxter’s life will carry - one of helping other pets in need so that they can remain a part of their family.


Buddy Fund

In 2007, Buddy, a German Shepard mix, entered Dakin's care in need of specialized treatment for his heart condition.  Dakin was a much smaller operation then, working out of only our Leverett facility.  Without the in-house vet staff to perform Buddy's complicated medical treatments and diagnosis, we had to make a choice.That choice was a pivotal life-saving decision for Buddy: to not give up. This became the start of, and inspiration for, the commitment that Dakin makes to each animal entering our doors: to go the extra mile when they need us most. Each time we come across a difficult case, Buddy's Fund is there to remind us of what is possible and that supporters like you turn possibilities into reality.In honor of this brave brown dog, the Buddy Fund helps pay for diagnostic testing, surgery, medication and other extraordinary needs. With your help, this special fund makes it possible for more animals to get off to a great start in their new home.Consider making a gift to the Buddy Fund, named not only for the dog that so many rallied to help, but for all the animals who are our buddies.

Pat's Cats Feline Success Fund

Pat’s Cats Feline Success Fund was established to honor Patricia Ford Yurkunas, Dakin’s former Director of Development and Marketing, who passed away in 2015. Yurkunas was an avid animal lover and especially fond of the cats and kittens who arrived at Dakin. In addition to her regular duties, she spent considerable time caring for cats and adopted several into her home. Pat’s Cats Feline Success Fund provides the funds needed to ensure each cat and kitten that comes to us receives the best care possible. This ranges from medical treatment, living spaces designed to reduce stress, and specialized care to meet each individual need of the cats in our care. This fund carries on Pat’s memory by helping to provide a safe space and quality care for cats and kittens. Your generous donation to Pat’s Cats Feline Success Fund will improve the lives of these animals by supporting innovative services including specialized behavioral support for shy or stressed cats and training and modification in partnership with The Jackson Galaxy Project's Cat Pawsitive Pro, spay/neuter services for pet cats and mother cats with litters, toys and enrichment equipment, and intensive medical care.

A special thank you to our Founding Supporters of Pat’s Cats Feline Success Fund who helped start this fund to honor a beloved friend:

Sheree and Paul Bloomberg, Jim and Marianne Gambaro, Diane Kolakoski, Joseph J. Lopez, Jan and Bernadette Piepul, Raising Change, Inc., Elise and Timothy Rice, Judy Smith

“I’ve known a lot of development professionals, but Pat stood out among them, primarily because of her unwavering commitment to Dakin’s values. No one could have loved animals more or been more committed to their welfare. Her work at Dakin was a passion. Her sense of humor, legendary.” – Marianne Gambaro


Grampy's Fund for Small Dog Medical Care

Grampy’s Fund for Small Dog Medical Care was established to help Chihuahuas and other small breed dogs with complex medical conditions.
The Fund honors Leslie Harris, Dakin’s Executive Director from 1995 to 2015, and is named for an elderly Chihuahua who arrived at Dakin years ago in need of significant medical care. When Grampy arrived at Dakin he was severely underweight and suffered from a series of medical conditions. He received the specialized care he needed, which included the removal of all but two of his teeth. As Grampy started feeling better, his appetite returned and during his stay at Dakin, doubled his weight. The dog became a favorite of Leslie, and she adopted him following his recovery. Chihuahuas and small dog breeds (pictured) were selected as the focus of Grampy’s Fund efforts because of the large number who are brought to Dakin to be adopted and in need of medical treatment each year. Your gift will help other small dogs, like Grampy, receive the specialized medical care they need.



When times are tough a person shouldn’t have to choose between feeding themselves and feeding their pet. Dakin’s Pet Food Aid Program was established to ensure that people facing temporary hardships have a place to turn when their dogs and cats need food and that families stay together. Working out of our Springfield Animal Resource Center and in partnership with human service agencies across the Pioneer Valley, the Pet Food Aid Program provides supplies of cat and dog food to those in need.

Your donation to the Pet Food Aid Program will help maintain lasting relationships between people and their pets in the communities we serve.



Dakin’s Community Spay/Neuter Clinic is the largest in New England, performing thousands of surgeries each year since it opened its doors in 2009. A valued resource in the Pioneer Valley, the Community Spay/Neuter Clinic provides low-cost spay/neuter surgeries and supports the trap-neuter-return work of Dakin's Kitten Street Team and community cat caregivers.

Your gift to our Spay and Neuter Fund will help provide high-quality, affordable care to pets and people across Massachusetts and Connecticut.