Giving from the heart

The late Richard Moriarty had one great passion in his life — helping homeless pets. One of his most cherished vacations was a trip to visit Best Friends in Kanab, Utah. He was overjoyed to see so many dogs and cats receiving boundless TLC while they waited to find their forever homes. Following Richard’s untimely death, an equally compassionate colleague took up the helm to ensure that one of Richard’s most important wishes came true — that the animals of Best Friends would benefit from a grant he wanted to help them get.

An epic love story

It was Richard’s wife, Arlene, who first introduced him to Best Friends more than a decade ago. After reading about Best Friends in an animal magazine, Arlene recommended a trip to the Sanctuary. “We were blown away by what Best Friends does and how absolutely gorgeous the Sanctuary is,” says Arlene. “We have been supporters consistently since our first adventure there.”

For almost a dozen years, they helped spread the word about the work of Best Friends through friends and family. Their love for each other and their rescued German shepherd dogs, along with helping pets and people in need, were a constant in their lives. Making the world a better place for those less fortunate helped keep them connected to the Sanctuary and inspired them.

All for the animals

Richard MoriartyRichard worked at the Enterprise car rental company, which allows staff members to request grant funding for their favorite charities through the Enterprise Foundation. Richard’s supervisor, David Dommel, had for a while been encouraging Richard to take advantage of the money available from the Enterprise Foundation. David is also a huge animal lover and has used his company’s charitable-giving policy to facilitate donating thousands of dollars to help homeless pets around Phoenix. The two employees had a lot in common, although most of their talks turned toward their mutual love of animals. “I was coaxing Richard to fill out the application so money could go to Best Friends,” says David. “I knew how much Best Friends meant to him.”

The holdup for Richard was that the grant application is online. As a driver, Richard didn’t spend his days behind a desk because he was out and about. “It was a matter of navigating the website and providing the proper information to each form,” says David, who realized he could help expedite the process. “His passing left all who knew him in a state of shock and bereavement. He is easily one of the nicest men I’ve ever known.”

In lieu of flowers, the Moriartys asked for donations to Best Friends. And David cried tears of joy and sorrow again when he learned that Richard’s wish had been fulfilled: The Enterprise Foundation had donated $1,000 to Best Friends in Richard’s name.

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Photos by Best Friends staff and courtesy of Arlene Moriarty