The donors featured below named HSSV as a beneficiary of a gift in their will, trust, IRA, or other plans, ensuring their gift of a better life for animals. We honor their memory and passion for animals every day with the lifesaving work their support has funded.

To create your own personal legacy at HSSV, contact Bridget Keenan at 408-262-2133 x 133 or

Marylee Young

“Marylee was a very dear friend and neighbor, and I’m so grateful to have gotten to know her through the years. I’ll cherish all the wonderful times we shared. Her love for animals was apparent after I started volunteering at HSSV in 2010. She loved to hear about dogs and pups that needed extra attention and love. I’m so grateful and appreciative that HSSV is one of the beneficiaries.”Jackie MacMillan

Thank you to our benefactors

who have made an impact at HSSV with their legacy

‎Bequests of over $25,000
Animals impacted

If you lived in the neighborhood and your pet got loose, you go to Uncle Ralph’s house,” said a neighbor. “That’s where the pet was, looking for Ralph.”

“I’ve known HSSV a long time, and I have faith in their good work. It’s always best to know that your dollar will not be wasted in ways that don’t go directly to animals. With HSSV I can be sure my gift is going for the right reason, in a straight line to animals.”

Cecilia Claudio, 1929 Legacy Society Member

Fuzzy Faces Behind the Numbers

Gracie was just over a year old, nursing her seven little puppies, when we brought her in through our Regional Rescue Program. After her evaluation, our medical team treated several wounds and we placed her in foster care. After lots of love, care, and time to rest, “Mama Gracie started getting her energy back… thanks to the prompt attention by the HSSV medical team,” reported Gracie’s foster. As Gracie healed and took prominent strides in her pathway to good health, our team spayed her and prepared her for lifetime of freedom, safety, and everlasting love. She found a wonderful human companion in no time, and is now spending her time basking in the glory of a fantastic life. All of Gracie’s puppies found their own loving homes as well. Thanks to our varied resources, Gracie is one of many moms that we bring in every year, overcoming the difficulty that many other shelters have to care for and find homes for so many pups.


Phoenix, a senior male tabby, came to us as a stray from the city of Sunnyvale with a kidney condition called renal insufficiency. This disease, common in older cats, means that his kidneys are deteriorating to the point where they’re unable to control the amount of urine produced. Our team at HSSV was able to jump right in to provide the best environment for Phoenix. We ensured he always had access to large amounts of fresh water to prevent dehydration and prescribed a low protein diet to prevent his kidneys from getting worse. Phoenix was also treated for periodontal disease, a dental condition common in senior cats causing brittle, painful teeth, and inflammation of the gums. He was then matched by our nurturing adoption staff with a perfect family that had a special place in their hearts for cats with medical issues as they had previously raised a cat with a condition. We’re thrilled they’re committed to providing the ongoing care that Phoenix needs to live a happy life.

Ralph Fenesy: Local Animal Whisperer

Fondly remembered by friends as whip-smart, unconventional, and an original thinker, Ralph Fenesy cherished friendships like some would treasure expensive cars or paintings. During Ralph’s 30 years of service at IBM, he not only traveled the world for work but became immersed in the lives of several families he was very close with until his final days.

His friendships, however, were not just limited to people. In his neighborhood, he was known to be the local animal whisperer. Animals of all types naturally wanted to be near Ralph. “If you lived in the neighborhood and your pet got loose, you go to Uncle Ralph’s house,” said a neighbor. “That’s where the pet was, looking for Ralph.”

Ralph loved animals, and they loved him back. During weekly Saturday coffee meetups with his buddies, Ralph would get up in the middle of a discussion to step outside so he could pet a dog or cat. He would usually return and spur a familiar conversation about how dogs were better than humans!

Ralph flaunted his animal pride for everyone to see, regularly wearing eye-catching cat shirts and sweatshirts. Selvi and Moby, his feline companions, were the Ying and Yang in his life, each arriving at different times in Ralph’s life.  Ralph was also a giver – he gave time, money, and expertise to charities he believed in. He gave to charities that benefitted animals and children with medical conditions, because he believed everyone deserved a chance. 

At HSSV, we are incredibly grateful for Ralph and the legacy he left behind. His generous gift of $50,000 continues to impact the lives of thousands of animals under our care.