Fans of a beloved veterinarian have established a new animal welfare fund in his honor at the San Antonio Area Foundation.
Felicia McElrath said she decided to establish the Dr. Thomas E. Vice Fund because she wanted to honor him for doing so much for her family and their dogs since she moved to San Antonio in 1986.
The “field of interest” fund will make grants to nonprofit agencies that help a variety of animals including wildlife, birds of prey, horses, primates, dogs and cats. The fund also will support equine therapy programs, which use horses to provide therapy for people.
Dr. Vice has practiced veterinary medicine in San Antonio since 1957. In 1961, he established the Broadway Animal Hospital at 8221 Broadway, where he developed a devoted clientele. Years later, the Texas Veterinary Medical Association recognized it as a TVMA Heritage Practice.
While maintaining his veterinary practice, Dr. Vice in 1962 took on the additional role as the first staff veterinarian of the internationally known research organization in San Antonio that today is known as the Texas Biomedical Research Institute.
McElrath said she learned about Dr. Vice when the writer of the newspaper column Hints from Heloise “talked about her wonderful vet.”
“He loves what he does and I think he's an inspiration to anyone who knows him, especially since outside the practice he's done so much for the community, for educating the public about animal health, working on the No-Kill Initiative, and staying on top of the most current approaches in his field,” McElrath said.
Dr. Vice also is a strong supporter of the San Antonio Area Foundation’s Animal No Kill Initiative. He serves on the advisory committee that reviews and recommends the more than $400,000 in grants that the Area Foundation makes to animal welfare organizations each year. In a recent letter endorsing the new fund named after him, Dr. Vice lauded the progress that the Area Foundation has helped San Antonio make toward becoming a “no-kill” city. He said that progress “is not only a wonderful accomplishment for our city, but even more so for the wonderful dogs and cats that grace our lives.”
Another donor has named a meeting room at the Area Foundation’s new Wells Center at Pearl in honor of Dr. Vice.
In just a couple of months of fundraising to get the Dr. Thomas E. Vice Fund established, McElrath has raised nearly $30,000, but seeks additional donations.
“I'm also hoping that the more awareness we can achieve, the somewhat indirect benefit will be to also enhance awareness of the need for people to be better educated about pet health, the significance of spaying and neutering pets, and related issues,” McElrath said.
Dr. Vice sold the Broadway Animal Hospital in 2005 to Dr. Pat Richardson, who renamed it the Broadway Oaks Animal Hospital. However, Dr. Vice continues to practice there.
To donate to the Dr. Thomas E. Vice Fund by check: Please mail a check payable to the San Antonio Area Foundation, 303 Pearl Parkway Ste. 303, SA TX 78215 and note "Dr. Thomas E. Vice Fund" in the memo line.
To donate online: Go to www.saafdn.org/donate and click on the fund name in the drop-down menu located in the box marked “Designation.”
The San Antonio Area Foundation, established in 1964, is San Antonio’s community foundation, which makes grants from funds established by individuals, families, businesses or other entities to support charitable causes in our community. The Area Foundation manages more than $230 million in assets and has distributed $220 million for scholarships and grants to educate youth, preserve the environment, protect animals, fund research and provide services that enhance the quality of life for people living in and around San Antonio.