Jackie Kaplansky, 82, founder of Valley Save-A-Pet in Solon, Ohio, died on July 3, 2014 at her home in Moreland Hills, Ohio.
Kaplansky and her husband of 62 years, Art Kaplansky, started Valley Save-A-Pet in 1976 as a fostering network. Later in 1976, recalled Cleveland Plain Dealer animal columnist Donna Miller, “Lynda Schreibman, of Highland Heights, followed Jackie’s lead and founded the Public Animal Welfare Society of Ohio. The group of foster homes remains one of the largest rescue groups in Northeast Ohio.”
But Jackie Kaplansky soon came to realize that fostering and adoption could not end shelter killing. Reducing shelter intake would be by far the biggest part of the job.
“Kaplansky launched Valley Save-A-Pet’s low-cost pet sterilization program in 1984, the first of its kind in Northeast Ohio,” wrote Miller. “More than 30,000 dogs and cats have been neutered through the program, which pays dozens of local veterinary clinics that reduce their prices for VSAP clients.”
“Jackie was the heart and soul of Valley Save-A-Pet and the driving force that made it happen,” volunteer Carol Keehn told Miller. “In addition to rescuing and finding homes for countless dogs, cats and other creatures, she was a creative and tireless fundraiser, including opening The Purr-fect Place resale store,” initially located in Aurora, Ohio, and now operating in Bedford.
“Valley Save-A-Pet members will miss Jackie’s strong leadership, but will strive to honor her legacy and stand on the firm foundation she gave us,” Keehn pledged.