Nightingale Fund


The question what’s best for the animal? inspired Animal Adoption Center co-founder and former Board President Tom Patricelli and his family to initiate the Nightingale Fund – a specialized fund to help sick and injured animals including those who are gravely ill or suffering from serious injuries and would have no hope of making it out of a shelter, escaping abuse, or finding a loving home without serious medical intervention. Tom asks everyone at the AAC to use this question as their beacon. It informs day-to-day decision making and yearly planning as we pursue our mission to save the lives of homeless animals.

“We want to help the neediest of the needy,” says Tom. “This fund provides life-saving and life-changing surgeries, veterinary care, and rehabilitation to animals who otherwise would spend their remaining days in pain and suffering before being euthanized in a shelter. Too often an animal is given a death sentence because there just aren’t the resources to help them. We are going to help change that. Going forward, the AAC will be rescuing serious medical cases from shelters and situations of neglect, abuse, and abandonment who can directly benefit from the Nightingale Fund. We’re going to save them.”

“Over the years our family has taken in serious medical cases – from an Alaskan Husky with a broken back and head injury, to a Beagle with Cushing’s disease, a parathyroid tumor, and life-threatening electrolyte imbalances, to several cats requiring surgery,” says Tom. “Our children are growing up knowing how important it is to take care of animals who are very sick and need our help, and these animals have been part of our family. In a sense, we’ve been running our own Nightingale Fund in our home for years, and now we get to do it through the AAC so that we can help even more animals. We’re very excited about that.”

This fund will not only help the sick and injured, it will also open up space in overcrowded shelters that do not have the resources to care for these animals. To make a gift towards the Nightingale Fund, click here ( and write “Nightingale Fund” in the comment box.

During his fifteen years of leadership, “what’s best for the animal?” informed Tom’s role in creating the long-term strategic plan and programs for the AAC as well as leading the capital campaign for the new AAC building in downtown Jackson. Thank you Tom for kick starting and maintaining the AAC’s life saving mission!



Harry was originally found as a stray in Idaho Falls with a severely broken foot. Once at the shelter, the vet recommended a full leg amputation to fix the old injury. The Idaho Falls Animal Shelter reached out to us knowing that a medical case was out of their budget. Quickly, Harry had a potential adopter waiting for him in Jackson – it felt like fate! Upon his arrival the AAC consulted with Jackson Animal Hospital and Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Randy Acker. Dr. Acker was certain he could save Harry’s leg but at a higher price than amputation. Thanks to the Nightingale Fund we were able to move forward with a full foot reconstruction for Harry at Dr. Acker’s clinic in Sun Valley, ID, Sun Valley Animal Center. Harry got to keep his leg! Harry’s prospective family willingly took on his long rehab journey and now, Harry has a three-legged cat friend previously adopted from the AAC.



Roo was surrendered to the animal shelter system in Lander, WY with a deformed leg. Unfortunately, the deformity made her front right leg unusable and the only option was amputation. Our Lander partner had limited medical funding so they reached out to the AAC since they knew we often helped with special medical cases. Thanks to Jackson Animal Hospital and the Nightingale Fund, Roo had a successful amputation. Medical foster, Grace Drummond, got Roo over the hardest part of recovery and she is now a highly functioning tripod living her best life in Teton Valley with her new and forever family.



Boulder arrived at the AAC by way of Paws For Life Riverton during the winter of 2021. He was in poor condition and no one could figure out why. After a hospitalization, feeding tube, and abdominal surgery he was diagnosed with IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). Boulder had a rough start but thanks to the Nightingale Fund, the correct medications and diet and our enthusiastic cat volunteers, Boulder was well cared for as he healed and found the right family willing to accommodate his medical condition.



Lupine was in an overcrowded shelter in Laredo, Texas with a jaw injury. Thanks to Dog Is My Copilot, Lupine hitched a ride to Jackson Hole for a second chance at life. His initial appointment at Jackson Animal Hospital to address his injury showed that his jaw was broken in multiple places and that an orthopedic specialist would be required to get him to 100% better. Thanks to the Nightingale Fund, this news did not give the AAC team any pause because we knew he deserved a happy and healthy life. Lupine traveled to Sun Valley Animal Center where Dr. Randy Acker squeezed him into his schedule and reconstructed his jaw. After a long and complicated surgery, Lupine traveled back to Jackson and reunited with his adopters. His name is now Chewy Louie and he loves living in Teton Valley!