Wyoming man gives $100,000 to honor dog

Published: Aug. 19, 2019 at 11:42 PM CDT
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One dog in Northwest Wyoming is worth $100,000. The dog’s owner gave that amount to the Park County Animal Shelter to have a wing named after his beloved German Shepherd.

Bleia is the $100,000 German Shepherd. At least that’s what she’s worth to the Park County Animal Shelter. Bleia’s owner, Victor Riley, pledged $100,000 toward the construction of a new

animal shelter, to help replace the cramped and crumbling shelter that is too hot in the summer, and too cold in the winter for the animals that live there.

Bleia is a service dog, and came to Riley after his wife died, about eight years ago.

Riley’s Executive Assistant, Leslie Rose remarked, “She’s been his best friend, and went everywhere with him. Traveled all across the United States, traveled out of the country.”

Riley died last summer. But, he made the decision to donate the money before he died, after visiting the shelter.

Shelter Board President Ken Markert remembered, “It was hard for him. He was in a wheelchair, but he was determined to come and see the shelter.

Rose said, “He was so sad. He said, ‘My dog travels first class, has a great life, and these dogs have nothing. So he said he had to do something about it.”

But, this was not his first gift to the community.

He gave millions to build Cody’s first and only Ice Arena and Events Center, to support the Boys and Girl’s Club, now the Youth Clubs of Park County.

Groundbreaking for the expanded, or new Park County Animal Shelter happens in February. When the shelter is completed, it will have a wing named after the German Shepherd who watched over the man who watched over the children and animals of Park County, because Riley’s children decided to honor his pledge after he died.

Shelter Fund Raiser Lani Snyder said, “They knew how much it would mean to their Dad, and so they completed the pledge.”

Rose still misses her boss, and she says Bleia is grieving for him, too. We asked if it was the right thing to do…to give $100,000 to honor a dog.

She answered, “Yeah, it was. For her, for him.”

The Nancy Carrol Draper Foundation gave $25,000 to create a greeting room in the new shelter, for prospective owners to meet their new pets. If you want to know more about the Park County Animal Shelter, you can information at