A man in far western Kentucky left behind hundreds of thousands of dollars to help animals after his death in 2008. But he didn’t want the money to just help the animals in his county, he made sure it’s reaching across the entire state.
When you ask Jonell Hardison about her late husband, Bland, she doesn’t hesitate. “He loved animals. He loved his cows and his dogs and any stray cats that came along,” says Jonell.
Bland Hardison was a dairy farmer in Muhlenberg County. He was a successful man, but not the type to keep it all to himself. In fact, the Muhlenberg Humane Society says he would show up every week in his beat-up car with a bag of dog food to donate. In the last year of Hardison’s life, he made plans with what he wanted to do with his life. “I told him it was a rather large project and he said well thats the way I want it done,” remembers Jonell.
Hardison left behind $225,000 to be evenly distributed to each government run animal shelter in the state of Kentucky.
Jessamine County Animal Shelter is one of the recipients. “When I heard that I thought man, this guy had to have had a huge heard and a huge love for animals,” says shelter director Mike Cassidy.
It works out to roughly $1,400 to each facility, which is perfect seed money for a project the Jessamine County Shelter is working on: A special area just for cats. “So we are hoping to turn the office area into a huge play room for cats,” says Cassidy.
Hardison never even stepped foot in the shelter in Jessamine County, he never felt the unconditional love from the dogs or cats he ended up helping. But Hardison’s legacy will live on, with the “Hardison Room,” named in his honor.
“He just had a love for animals,” says Jonell.
The plans for the Jessamine County Animal Shelter “Hardison Room” are in full swing, but they still need about $9,000 to finish the project. If you’d like to donate, you can do so by visiting their website or by mailing a check to:
120 Fairground Way, Nicholasville
Phone (859) 881-0821
To see more pictures from behind the scenes in this story, click here.