Berkshire Humane Dedicates Building to Late Veterinarian & Board Member

Valeri Reynolds speaks to the crowd gathered at the Humane Society for the dedication.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Humane Society on Friday night dedicated its main building to one of its biggest backers — Dr. John Reynolds. 


Reynolds, owner of Pittsfield Veterinary Hospital for nearly 25 years, died tragically in a kayaking accident on Dec. 9, 2021, at the age of 58. He was a longtime board member of the society and supporter of the shelter’s many programs and a beloved veterinarian in the community. 


On Friday, his wife, Valeri, and his daughters, sister and mother pulled off the blankets hiding the new sign across the Barker Road facility’s facade: Dr. John Reynolds Adoption & Education Center.


“A couple of years ago, John and I were having a conversation about the Humane Society after one of their meetings and true to John’s style, his exuberant love of life, he just was bouncing off the walls about I don’t even remember what we talked about,” said Valeri Reynolds. “So here I am. Without him. Never in a million years did I think it would be like this. But here I am. And here are all of you.”


The dedication wouldn’t have happened without Executive Director John Perrault and the other “extraordinary human beings” who have walked through the shelter’s doors, she said.


“If there are a few words that always remind me of John, it’s ‘How can I help,'” said Perrault. “His other good saying was anything for Berkshire Humane and he meant it.


“How can we help” are words that the board and staff say every day, he said, about the community, an adoption, a surrender, temporary foster, food or a pet owner in need.


“These are just a few examples of how we help people in our community every day, just like John did every day,” he said. “And it’s so fitting to now have his name on our shelter.”


Perrault pointed out that the Cat Snip low-cost neutering program was started by Reynolds. 


“We’re talking probably, it had been since 2004, we’re talking four or five thousand cats that Pittsfield Vet has done,” he said. 


Reynolds was always ready with advice, helping with dog transports, making time to slip in more cats through the neutering program or singing (not very well) on the radiothon to help raise funds.


“He helped anyone who needed it in the community we’re just the lucky ones who had the privilege to put his name on our shelter,” said Perrault.



“Dr. John is actually still working for us because of the generosity of the Reynolds family, the Forever Family Campaign has been a huge success to date. And we can’t thank you all enough for making that happen,” Perrault said.


The funds were used to make improvements to the public spaces, build a dedicated wellness suite for the animals that includes space for visiting veterinarians to treat them, and a focus on adoption and education to reduce the length of the pets’ stays. 


The tribute didn’t end with the naming — a water garden designed by Donna Kittredge was built on the side of the shelter. Once completed with native plantings it will have a bench for quiet reflection. 


His photograph, taken by his daughter, Cecilia, was given a place of honor in the entryway across from founder Robert Fuster Sr.


Perrault also called out the other veterinarians attending the dedication, calling them heroes to those in the shelter world and that they could survive without their support. 


An open house to the mark the dedication will be held Sunday from noon to 3 with fun, music, vendors and food.

Tags: Berkshire Humane Society,   dedication,   

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