Amanda McDonald, a lifelong resident of West Caldwell, always cared about the less fortunate, less popular and, in particular, those who could not help themselves. From Amanda’s perspective, animals were just that. She saw all animals as beautiful living things that had a right to live a good life.
Amanda’s special connection with animals grew over time and by the age of twelve, she stopped eating meat altogether because of her concern for the treatment of animals. Amanda was greatly affected by those who would abuse or neglect their pets. Through those challenging moments, however, Amanda sought ways to comfort pets in need. She could walk up to chained dogs known to be aggressive and they would smother each other with affection. Our family pet Snowball, a Samoyed who was known to have a bad temperament at times, would make an exception only for Amanda and would allow her to do things that no one else had permission to do.
“When we remember Amanda and do good things in her memory, her spirit lives on.”
In high school, the biology department offered to give mice to students. A friend of Amanda accepted one of the mice. Knowing that her friend took the mouse and did not have the means to care for it, Amanda convinced her friend to give her the mouse. Smouse, as she named it, was quickly introduced to Amanda’s cat Mocha, who lived to be 20. She spent a tremendous amount of time orienting them to one another and eventually they became friends.
Amanda was an amazing daughter who was known by others to have a heart of gold. In fact, each year Amanda’s family awards the Amanda McDonald Heart of Gold Scholarship for James Caldwell High School graduates in her memory. After her graduation from high school, Amanda went on to study Ocean Biography at Southampton College. Tragically, in 2004, Amanda was hit by a car driven by a reckless driver.
In the spirit of creating a lasting legacy that honors the memory of their daughter, the McDonald family has established the Amanda McDonald Memorial Fund at Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter. This fund supports our mission which includes educating the community and finding permanent, loving homes for all the animals we save.