Chris Meade of Fishersville, Virginia, got her first Sheltie in 1985 and was hooked. 

Chris grew up in inner-city Pittsburgh with no pets. She was introduced to Shetland sheepdogs, commonly called Shelties, soon after marrying her husband, who had grown up on a farm with herding breed dogs.

“So when we got back from our honeymoon, we got our first Sheltie,” Chris said. “I was in love and from that point on we always had two to four Shelties in our lives.”

Since 1996, 12 of her beloved animals have been treated at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Virginia Tech (VTH). The incredible care her animals received, most recently for her 11-month old Sheltie who developed a pancreatic abscess, has left her indebted to the VTH and eager to give back.

“VTH is very close to my heart because the staff has helped so many of my pets since 1996,” Chris said. “ I want my money to go to institutions and organizations that have been a very positive part of my life.”

Last year, Chris made the veterinary college part of her legacy by establishing a scholarship for veterinary students and leaving essential funding for families who could not otherwise afford life saving treatment for their pets as part of her estate plans. 

“I taught college for 12 years, so I appreciate and support education,” Chris said. “It is important for students to have good mentors and not have to worry about bills while they are trying to learn.  That is why I want some of my legacy money to go to student scholarships.”

With her recent generous commitment to become a founding partner for the VTH expansion and renovation, Chris has become an essential part of the college’s progress.

“If I help a student, if I help VTH get equipment, and if I help low income people care for their pets, I will have achieved my goals.”