PULLMAN –The WSU College of Veterinary Medicine has received a gift of $193,000 from proceeds of a land sale by the Moses Lake Grant County Humane Society.

The funds established the Ethel Roberge Scholarship for veterinary students at WSU. Annual distributions from the fund will be used to award one or more scholarships with preference given to veterinary students from Grant County. If no veterinary students from Grant County are identified, veterinary students from Eastern Washington will be eligible.

“This is an extraordinary gift provided from Moses Lake and Grant County for tomorrow’s veterinarians,” said Interim Dean Bryan Slinker. “Veterinary students incur some of the largest educational debt loads of all medical professionals. Scholarships like this from people who know and understand are essential. We are very grateful.”

The humane society was incorporated in 1976 to serve Grant County and the City of Moses Lake. It cared for animals on an interim basis using makeshift facilities for several years. In 1982, the group built an animal shelter on land owned by the City of Moses Lake. The shelter was constructed with volunteer labor and donated materials. The society operated the shelter until 2007 when they handed over the facility to the new operators; the Grant County Animal Outreach. Throughout this period the society also sponsored pet education programs and paid for neutering of pets of indigent owners.
Roberge was dedicated to the humane care of animals. She died in 2002. She bequeathed part of her estate to the Moses Lake Grant County Humane Society. The money was used to buy real property which the society, at that time, intended to use to build a new animal shelter.

The group’s plans changed, and the property was sold at a profit. The proceeds of that sale were used to fund the scholarship.

“Mrs. Roberge’s desire to help and protect animals will be fulfilled by the education of veterinarians receiving this scholarship,” said Marilyn Bertram, president of the humane society. The Moses Lake Grant County Humane Society still exists with five local board members.