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Manship family donates land to RCHS

The estate of Mary Manship has named the Ripley County Humane Society as a recipient of a parcel of land which is located immediately west of the present shelter property. The 13 acres of land is currently dedicated to agricultural use, but this additional land offers significant potential for expanding the capabilities for animal care and protection within the county. The original land for the Humane Society was given by Kathryn and Leonard Manship in 2007 to honor their parents, Bertha and Bernard “Ben” Fangman.


Mary F. Manship passed away in in 2020. She was an avid animal lover and proud that her family had donated the land for the shelter’s original site. Her sisters Germaine and Deldea confirmed that she was especially fond of cats and kittens and was excited to know that the shelter continues to care for them in a dedicated building.


Melissa Wilson, Mary’s niece, and Germaine Grapevine, Mary’s sister, presented the property deed to the Humane Society’s Board at the shelter on Tuesday, September 22. Manship family members in attendance were from Seymour, Terre Haute and North Vernon. They enjoyed touring the shelter and spending time with selected puppies, dogs and kittens.


The sign at the main entrance of the Humane Society is being updated to reflect the generosity of the Manship family. Melissa Wilson, Mary’s niece stated: “It is with great pleasure that the family of Mary Manship is donating land to the Ripley County Humane Society to help with the upkeep of the shelter. After Mary’s parents originally donated the land in memory of grandparents, the shelter was a place of pride and love for Mary.”


Melissa continued, “Mary has always been a friend to all animals from turtles to ducks to cats. If an animal looked hungry, she fed it. The best way for us to honor her memory is to continue to care for animals through this shelter.” She added, “thank-you to the Humane Society and the Board members for the wonderful day we spent learning more about the facility and its services. The family enjoyed meeting all the animals looking for a forever home, and we even got several hugs from them before we left.“


The facility has managed protection, care, relocation and adoptions for over 250 animals this year and spends countless hours helping families in their search for lost pets. The Humane Society also provides temporary housing when owners face emergency situations such as loss of housing, domestic violence, sudden hospitalization, or hospice care.


One vital element of the Humane Society’s mission is to assume care and provide veterinarian services for sick and injured animals which have been retrieved by the Ripley County Dog Warden, increasing their chances of survival and eventually finding a forever home. President Luken emphasized that although the shelter is named “Ripley County Humane Society” that its mission is truly “without borders” and many adjoining communities take advantage of our resources.


Robert Luken, Board President, praised the family for their dedication to the mission of the “no kill” animal shelter which is to provide quality care and shelter to stray, abused, injured or unwanted animals. The shelter is funded by the community and relies on the generosity of animal lovers such as the Manship family.