Veteran, police officer donates life savings to help Oakland County animals 

A Madison Heights veteran and former police officer is leaving a lasting legacy when he donated all of his savings to an Oakland County animal rescue.

When Joanie Toole, the manager of the Oakland Pet Adoption Center, opened the mail recently, she found a large package. Inside, it named the shelter as the beneficiary of a man's life savings - $57,000.

Joanie said the money will have an immeasurable impact on the pets at the shelter.

"It means everything to these animals," she said. "We don’t get donations like that size very."

The man behind the donation was a Vietnam veteran and former police officer, Kenneth Thweatt. Joanie says the money will do wonders for the animals.

"This really helps us to help the animals in ways that we couldn't due to our budget," she said.

Thweatt was a Madison Heights resident and died in January from heart disease. Police could not find a next of kin and his wife passed away a decade ago. He went to a local church but not the Oakland County shelter. So Joanie decided to do some digging.

"Mr. Thweatt did, in fact, adopt a cat back in 2017 so he obviously was a cat lover," she said.

The cat, named Alley Cat, was a companion for the man who didn't have any others, it appears.

The money will go into the shelter’s legacy fund to cover unexpected medical costs. 

"If a dog comes in that’s been hit by a car that needs immediate medical attention, we can do that," Joanie said.

She also said the money will help keep the guys in the shelters into forever homes.

"I say thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts from this little furry friend and all the furry friends here," Joanie said.