Ret. U.S. Air Force Col. Silas W. Purvis Jr. was recognized Thursday for his $50,000 donation to help finance the initial construction of the spay-neuter clinic at the Greeneville-Greene County Humane Society's Animal Shelter.
Purvis, a Greeneville native who now resides in San Antonio, Texas, gave the donation in honor of his wife, Doris.
Purvis toured the clinic Thursday afternoon for the first time.
"I want to comment on how neat and clean and orderly this is," Purvis said during the tour. He added, "This is one of the greatest assets Greene County has."
Purvis thanked the clinic's staff and volunteers for their work and said, appreciatively, "You got the biggest bang for the buck."
Todd DeHaven, president of the Humane Society, estimated the total cost of the clinic at "about $120,000."
The clinic opened in September 2005, initially on a limited basis.
It has since performed 2,238 spay or neuter operations, clinic veterinarian Dr. Barbara Hodges said.
Said Purvis during the tour, "It (the clinic) wouldn't be here if it weren't for Kitty (Jones)."
Jones is a member of the Humane Society's board of directors and former longtime president of the local Humane Society. She is the wife of Gregg K. Jones, co-publisher of The Greeneville Sun.
Clinic assistant Becky Shideler commented to Purvis, "We wouldn't be here if it weren't for your kindness and generosity."
Prior to the tour, Purvis hosted a luncheon at the General Morgan Inn to honor the shelter's volunteers and the Humane Society's board of directors. Forty-three people attended.
Purvis addressed the audience briefly and presented a Steuben crystal cat to Kitty Jones.
He praised Jones for her efforts to maintain the Humane Society's continued viability.
Purvis also recognized Gregg Jones' grandmother and former publisher of The Sun, the late Edith Susong, for her efforts in addressing the issue of animal welfare.
DeHaven thanked the Sun for its $10,000 contribution to the initial construction of the clinic, as well as a "significant contribution" from Bruce Morrison. Both were given in memory of Morrison's late wife, Julie. Morrison is the chief operating officer for Jones Media Inc.
DeHaven said Wednesday that the clinic's number of spay and neuter operations "is growing by leaps and bounds."
The spay/neuter clinic has three full-time staff, seven regular volunteers, and other intermittent volunteers.
DeHaven said the clinic performs about 125 to 140 operations per month.
He said that was "much more than projected."
"It's been very well received by the public," DeHaven said of the clinic's services.
Members of the Humane Society prefer to call its Animal Shelter their "Animal Adoption Center" to reflect the shelter's no-kill policy and emphasis on finding good homes for the dogs and cats brought there.
For more information, call 639-4771.