A momma opossum, struck by a vehicle, lay dead on a road. Her babies, quite miraculously, have survived but remain inside their mother's now lifeless body.
What would you do?
Most of us wouldn't really give a passing thought to a dead opossum and the fate of her offspring. Most of us would move on with our weekend's events without even caring.
Not Jeremy McQueary.
Upon hearing the news, Jeremy took action. He arrived on the scene, recovered the orphaned opossums, and immediately took them to the nearest shelter.
A little crazy, perhaps? Who among us would really go that far to save the lives of baby opossums?
Jeremy McQueary would. That is just the type of guy he was.
When it came time to creating a legacy building project with Dog Tag Brewing Foundation, Rae McQueary knew exactly where the grant should go. Given Jeremy's love and passion for animals, Rae chose the Brown Country Humane Society, the local shelter in Nashville, Indiana.
The Brown County Humane Society is a wonderful organization. It is an open admission shelter, meaning they accept any and all of Brown County’s homeless animals. Because of their incredible staff and innovative programs, Brown County Humane Society has increased their out alive rate from a "normal" 30% to an incredible 97%.
Jeremy's Legacy Grant was created to care for sick animals as well as cover the adoption fees for senior and special needs animals so that they might find a new home.
As part of those efforts, Brown County ran phone-a-thon last month to support the shelter's special medical fund with a portion of the Legacy Grant serving as a matching effort. With a call list of nearly 700 people and a pre-mailer that shared Jeremy's story, Brown County received $20,000 in pledges in two nights - a huge step forward in reaching the fund's $25,000 annual goal!
Both Rae and Deb, Jeremy's mother, helped make calls in support of Brown County's campaign.
The special medical fund is one of the most critical and effective ways Brown County cares for the sick and injured so that they might find a home. Recently, five animals received critical and life saving treatment. All have been adopted.
Brown County will begin using the other portion of Jeremy's Legacy Grant on covering adoption fees for senior and special needs animals. The McQueary family is closely involved in this effort as well, helping select and identify names that are special to the family. Once an animal is received that qualifies for the grant, they will be named and put on Brown County Humane Society's Facebook page as part of the McQueary Legacy Pets program.
"This grant will ensure that every animal who comes to the shelter will be given a chance, even if they have a serious illness or injury," shelter director Sharon Hensley says. "Each and every life is equally important and worth saving."
Each and every life. No matter the circumstances. Just like Jeremy and his opossums.
"As his wife, I may seem a bit biased, but you truly could not ask a person to be more kind or loving than Jeremy," says Rae. "He was always so willing and eager to help others. It was a blessing and pleasure to share my life with him."
"We so appreciate the chance to positively contribute to the lives of these animals through Jeremy's sacrifice."
Who among us would take the time to care for the sick and special needs animals?
Jeremy McQueary would. And Brown County Humane Society does.
Just the way Jeremy would have wanted it.
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Dog Tag Brewing Foundation is a combat Veteran-run nonprofit that partners with Gold Star Families to celebrate the lives of our nation's Fallen Warriors.
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