At Saturday night’s SPCA of Texas black-tie “Fur Ball” in the Omni Dallas Hotel’s Dallas Ballroom, there was good reason for tiaras to be the accessory du jour. Sure, the theme was “Reigning Cats and Dogs,” but a surprise announcement added a special sparkle to the night.
It was the revealing of a million-dollar gift from Russell “Rusty” Dealey to support the 41,000-square-foot rescue center that opened in 2015. In addition to serving as headquarters for the SPCA’s Animal Cruelty Investigations Unit, the facility is able to house up to 500 animals in cases where large or small seizures of animals are required and provides for full medical facilities for triage and behavior training on site.
In honor of the donation, the center will be named the Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center.
When the announcement was made, the surprise was real even for those close to Rusty. Even his cousin Dallas Morning News CEO Jim Moroney III and Rusty’s accountant didn’t know of the gift.
Jim probably thought the news of the night involving the family was the paper’s receiving the 2017 Mary Spencer Humanitarian Award for its “comprehensive, ongoing coverage of the loose dog problem and subsequent suffering of animals and people in Southern Dallas.” According to insiders, he didn’t know what his cousin was up to.
According to SPCA of Texas Senior VP of Development Debra Burns, “We are so delighted to have the Dealey name continue their legacy of giving to the SPCA of Texas. Russell is a caring and generous man to animals.”
The Dealey legacy with the SPCA started back when the organization’s facilities were located on Riverfront Blvd. (formerly known as Industrial Blvd.) for 40 years and was known at the E.M. “Ted” Dealey Animal Care Center. It was named after The Dallas Morning News patriarch G.B. Dealey’s son Ted, who was publisher of The Dallas Morning News and an animal lover. The capital campaign for the center was spearheaded by Ted’s son/G.B.’s grandson, Joe Dealey Sr. and George Jalonick.
When the SPCA learned that the Dealey facility was going to be demolished due to highway construction, a campaign for the current Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center got underway. To help things along, a gift of $1M was provided by the estate of Betty Moroney Norsworthy, who was G.B. Dealey’s granddaughter, Ted’s niece, Joe Sr.’s cousin and Jim’s aunt.
To continue the tradition, Rusty is the great grandson of G.B, the grandson of Ted and the son of Joe Sr.
Confused? Don’t worry. Just be happy that the SPCA of Texas has $1M for a much needed facility, thanks to Rusty.
* Photo courtesy of SPCA of Texas