Nightingale Fund


What’s best for the animals? That is the guiding question and overarching principle that Animal Adoption Center co-founder and Former Board President Tom Patricelli has encouraged everyone at the AAC to ask as we pursue our mission to save the lives of homeless animals and find them forever homes.

From his role in creating the long-term strategic plan for the AAC, to leading the capital campaign for the new AAC building in downtown Jackson, and to shaping AAC programs, Tom has always used the mantra of “what’s best for the animals” during his 15 years of leadership at the AAC.

Most recently, Tom, along with his wife Caroline and their two young children, established the Nightingale Fund within the AAC. This is a specialized fund that is used to help sick and injured animals. Those who are gravely ill or suffering with serious injuries. Animals that would have no hope of making it out of a shelter, escaping abuse, or finding a loving home without serious medical intervention.

“We want to help the neediest of the needy,” said 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,” said Tom.

“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,” said 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,” said Tom.

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, please follow our donate page and put “Nightingale Fund” in the comment box.



Harry was originally found as a stray in Idaho Falls with a severely broken foot and was taken to the shelter. The vet that he saw upon intake recommended a full leg amputation to fix this old injury. The Idaho Falls Animal Shelter reached out to us knowing that a medical case was out of their reach and they needed help. He even had a potential adopter that was waiting for him in Jackson, it felt like fate! Upon his arrival we consulted with Jackson Animal Hospital and Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Randy Acker. Dr. Acker was certain he could save his 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, and Harry got to keep his leg! It did not phase Harry’s prospective family to complete his long rehab journey and he was adopted shortly after. Harry has an AAC cat alumni sibling who just happens to be a tripod.



Meet Roo. She found herself in the 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 for a successful surgery and her medical foster, Grace Drummond, for getting her over the hardest part of recovery. She is now a highly functioning tripod and living her best life in Teton Valley with her new and forever family.



Meet Boulder. Boulder arrived from Paws For Life Riverton this winter. His health was in poor condition upon arrival. After a hospitalization, feeding tube, lots of medications, and abdominal surgery he was back on the right back and diagnosed with IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) that had gotten out of control. Boulder had a rough start but is now back on track, eating the right food and we are hopeful that his forever home is around the corner.



Meet Lupine who found himself in an overcrowded shelter in Laredo, Texas with a jaw injury. Thanks to Dog Is My Copilot, Lupine got to hitch a ride, get a second chance at life, and join the AAC family. 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 100%. 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. He traveled to Sun Valley Animal Center where Dr. Randy Acker squeezed him into his schedule and reconstructed his jaw. Despite a long and complicated surgery Lupine got to travel back to to Jackson and be reunited with his adopters. His name is now Chewy Louie and he is living his best life in Teton Valley while he recovers from his surgery.