Susan, who has decided to make a legacy gift to the animals upon her passing, and her white French bulldog


From the time she was a small girl, Susan has been passionate about animals. And with five rescued pets at home - three cats and two French bulldogs - animals are very much a part of her everyday life. Her devotion also was evident in her professional life. A retired Navy chaplain, Susan envisioned and then went on to help create the first dog park to be located on a military base. And it's still in operation at the Naval Air Station in Key West, Florida. Called Angel Paws, it's named for a beloved bull mastiff.

After thinking about leaving her legacy to Best Friends, and then visiting the Sanctuary in 2014, Susan made it official. Each moment at the Sanctuary - hand-feeding a dog who had survived abuse, meeting the crew at Marshall's Piggy Paradise, walking cats in strollers, observing a Parelli Natural Horsemanship demonstration - seemed to confirm her wish to plan a legacy donation through a trust.

"I felt such a sense of calm - a sense of relief and joy knowing that all of the animals at Best Friends will be taken care of throughout their lives," Susan said. "They are safe and loved, even those with medical or behavioral issues. And this was so inspiring and encouraging for me."