Hamilton man gives forever donation to cats in his will

One Hamilton man’s dying wish will ensure the city’s cats are better taken care of from here on out.
George Seliga's donation will help the welfare of cats in Hamilton and Burlington for years to come, the SPCA says. (The Associated Press)

One Hamilton man's dying wish will ensure the city's cats are better taken care of from here on out.

Life-long pet lover and longtime Hamilton cab owner George Seliga passed away of cancer in 2013.

It took a few years for his affairs to be put in order, but when they were, there was a sizeable donation made to one of his greatest passions — cats.

Thanks to a donation from Seliga, the Hamilton Community Foundation will give an annual grant of over $65,000 in perpetuity to the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA to fund "feline health and wellbeing."

"He was an animal lover, and wanted to make sure animals were looked after, after he was gone," said Keith Augustine, the regional trust manager for CIBC who helped with Seliga's estate.

"He had a great affinity for cats," Augustine said. The 66-year-old had two when he died.

The way that Seliga's donation was set up means funds will flow to the local SPCA indefinitely. The community foundation invested the capital grant, and then the interest is paid out each year as a donation, meaning the funds won't dry up.

"Every spring, our kennels and foster homes are filled with homeless and neglected cats and kittens," HBSPCA CEO Marion Emo said in a statement.

"Mr. Seliga's generous donation will help us to expand quality programs that support the three essential things that pet parents can do for their animal's well-being: spay or neuter them, give them regular, preventative veterinary care, and have them micro-chipped for a safe return home if lost." 

Emo says that the grant will make services to rescue groups and low income families more accessible.