Animal Love: Nancy K. Deerfield Fur Kids Fund


A Girl and her Animals

On February 17th, Mike Deerfield sat down with OCCF staff member Karin Beyer and talked about his mother and the endowed fund that was established in her honor, the Nancy K. Deerfield Fur Kids Fund.

Why did you start the Nancy K. Deerfield Fur Kids Fund?

My mom was a lover of animals her whole life. She was born in 1933, an only a child in Detroit, and her fondest memories were those that she spent with her beloved dog, Sparkey. She would tell me stories about her childhood and they usually centered around animals. Later in life she dedicated her life to fostering and rescuing dogs. I learned to love animals because of her and I wanted the opportunity to carry on her legacy.

What is the mission of the fund?

The fund was established to support organization assisting animals that have been displaced find a new forever home, reunite animals with their owners,  and help owners to provide for their fur family members during  financially difficult times . We have great respect for multiple animal organizations including the Otsego County Animal Shelter and 4 Paws Love.  Those organizations that will carry on projects that my mother loved including carrying on the no-kill policy.

How did you come up with the name of the fund?

My mom called all her foster animals her “Fur Kids”.  She had her kids, her grandkids and her fur kids.

Why did you choose an endowed fund?

My family wanted a fund that would be permanent. We hope that this fund will be of assistance to those who need help today and in the future. We could have made a large donation to a couple of organization that they would have used for their current needs, but where would next years funding come from? An endowed fund will allow for continued support, for years to come.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

To have known my mother you were blessed. She was low profile person who had a passion for animals, and found that in her hard working, quite ways could make an impact in her community. My mother was instrumental in the county with the no-kill policy, and was recognized by the Otsego County Board of Commissioners for her work. Many say that it was because of her fostering many dogs the no-kill policy worked. As she became sicker the one thing she asked of me was to adopt her German Short Hair.  Lucy was a rescue dog that is now in her new forever home with my wife Diana and me. The Nancy K. Deerfield Fur Kids Fund of the Otsego County Community Foundation will carry on her legacy.


“The OCCF connects people who care to the causes that matter and the Nancy K. Deerfield Fur Kids Fund is a great example of our work.  Working with people to help honor and preserve the legacy of a loved one of the personalized services we offer.”  Dana Bensinger, OCCF Executive Director.