A passionate crusader for animal welfare, Ruth Hornbrook was born in Marietta, Ohio, more than a century ago. She crossed the Ohio River in 1913 and settled in Parkersburg.

During the 1950’s, Ms. Hornbrook assembled a 25-member group of local citizens to discuss the idea of establishing a humane society for Parkersburg to create a better environment for animals in her community. Ruth spearheaded their efforts to raise funds and to determine a location for the Humane Society of Parkersburg, Inc. She continued her support by serving on the Society’s Board of Directors and helping to initiate many of the programs that remain important components today in the Society’s success, including promoting spaying clinics and youth educational programs.

Her involvement extended far beyond Parkersburg’s city limits. She was influential in crafting key state legislation concerning animal rights and active in the Humane Society of the United States and the American Humane Society.

To ensure support would continue for humane societies statewide, she included a bequest in her will that established the Ruth Hornbrook Memorial Fund with the PACF. This Fund benefits humane societies across West Virginia with preference given to new societies’ needs. Through the grants from this permanent fund, thousands of stray and unwanted animals receive improved care throughout West Virginia annually. To date, nearly $278,000 has been awarded to support animal welfare in West Virginia. In 2021, ten humane societies received financial assistance to make upgrades to their facilities.

While Ms. Hornbrook passed away in 1989, her kindness and lifelong commitment to the well-being of animals and the humane society movement continues, thanks to the support generated by her fund for the needs of West Virginia’s Humane Societies today and tomorrow.

If you wish to leave a gift that costs nothing during your lifetime, but will forever benefit your charitable interest, consider including the PACF in your estate plans. You can leave a specific dollar amount, a percentage of your estate, or structure another option unique to your financial situation.