In 1966, after years of study and inspired by Don Mahan, Executive Director of the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association (SCVMA), the Council of the SCVMA approved the founding of the Animal Health Foundation of Southern California. Recognizing the ever-growing demand by animal lovers to participate in the welfare of the animal population, SCVMA members set up the foundation “to engage in and contribute to the support of exclusively scientific, charitable, literary, or educational activities and projects in the field of veterinary medicine.” The SCVMA Council pledged $5000 ($40,367.59 in 2021 dollars) to launch the program, along with donations from 72 SCVMA members—you can find the Founder’s list on page 26 of Animal Cavalcade Spring 1971.
To read about the formation of AHF, download this article from Pulse, the SCVMA Journal.
Mr. Harry Maiden, a renowned award-winning tennis umpire, who officiated at Wimbledon and other major tennis events, became the Executive Director of the foundation. His contacts were instrumental in obtaining the support of many celebrities, among them Zsa Zsa Gabor whose Love Unlimited organization donated $10,000 ($75,167.24 in today’s dollars) to support the original Animal Health Care program (now the Angel Fund). From the foundation’s inception until his passing, Mr. Maiden was the devoted executive director of the foundation.