Jennifer Berryman, an assistant to the dean in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, rescued her Golden Retriever, Linus, seven years ago. Although the rescue was not through the SPCA Serving Erie County, the experience of rescuing a dog was the beginning of a lasting bond with the agency.
Berryman fondly recalls seeing Linus’ long face and sad eyes for the first time. She sat down near him and smiled as he walked beside her and gently put his head down on her lap.
“He melted my heart,” she says. “Linus motivated me to reach out to the SPCA Serving Erie County to ask them if I could do more.”
Berryman believes the behavior she saw in Linus was not just an emotional response but an acknowledgment. She’s convinced that Linus knew he was being rescued.
“All the animals do,” she says. “I felt that with Linus.”
It was transformative for Berryman. She wanted to give what she received from her new dog.
Today, Berryman donates her time and skills to the SPCA Serving Erie County as a fundraiser and volunteer.
You might see her walking dogs, holding a garage sale to benefit the SPCA or working on major fundraisers like Paws in the Park, the agency’s annual 2-mile walk around Beaver Island State Park.
“Animals need a voice,” says Berryman, and her involvement has her speaking all the time about what the SPCA brings to the community.
“The SPCA’s role is not limited to rescue,” she adds. “They hold humane education programs, give lessons in animal CPR, contribute to the rehabilitation of wildlife and they protect the rights of farm animals.”
Berryman knows not everyone is in a position to rescue or foster a new pet, but there are other ways to help the SPCA Serving Erie County, and that’s why she encourages others to do what they can.
“They are always there for this community, but they need support,” she says.