COLUMBIA - A Town and Country couple including one graduate of MU donated more than $5 million to the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. Cottrell and Kay Fox donated the money in a want to recognize the work of their long-time veterinarians.
James Schuessler and Fred Bendick are the veterinarians from St. Louis who have provided for the Fox family for years. They are both alumni of the college.
Cottrell Fox said their pets have benefited a great deal from research at MU and are happy to give this gift to the university and honor their veterinarians according to the MU News Bureau.
The money will fund an endowment in companion animal medicine and studies to develop therapies and curies for people and animals with cancer. It will also enhance training for graduate students and veterinary oncology residents.
The Foxes' dog was treated for cancer at the MU Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in the past and the drug used to treat the dog was also used to treat Kay Fox's father. The drug is called Samarium and was developed at MU.
The Foxes reached an agreement with the college years ago that their pets would be cared for for the rest of the pets' lives. This led to the College of Veterinary Medicine's "Perpetual Pet Care Program" which houses pets whose owners have passed away or are temporarily incapacitated.
The dean of the MU College of Veterinary Medicine Neil Olson said the family has shown their dedication and love for their pets by giving the idea of the Perpetual pet Care Program. He said the Foxes are establishing a legacy with their funds that will allow high quality care for animals and additional research to find cancer treatments.