Queenie Mills Memorial Wall Dedication

Queenie Mills Memorial Wall Dedication                         

Urbana, IL – The Champaign County Humane Society’s Queenie Mills Memorial Wall will be dedicated in a brief ceremony on Saturday, June 20, 2015, at the humane society. 

The Dedication will take place at 10:00 am.  The shelter will be open for self- guided tours between 10:15 and 11:00 am. 

In 1998, with a lead gift of $40,000, Queenie Mills, PhD, established the Queenie Mills Endowment Fund with a dual purpose:  to provide for the creation of a memorial garden, where people could honor the memory of their beloved pets, and to fund future operations and capital improvements at CCHS.  The recent landscaping makeover of the humane society’s grounds and the installation of the Queenie Mills Memorial Wall bring Queenie Mills’ vision to life. 

The Memorial Wall is a stone wall leading to the humane society entrance.  It was designed and constructed by Brown Woods Landscape Architects and is designed for the ongoing addition of engraved granite memorial plaques.

 The humane society is offering custom-engraved granite plaques for $500 or $750 (depending on size), to memorialize beloved pets on the wall.  Funds raised through the purchase of memorial plaques will support the Society’s programs and services.

Humane Society Executive Director, Mary “Tief” Tiefenbrunn explained that the Queenie Mills Fund made it possible for the Society to give the shelter grounds a much needed makeover and at the same time honor Queenie Mills’ legacy.  “The landscape design and memorial wall were conceived with Queenie’s ideals in mind.  The paths, trees, and benches around the shelter offer a pleasant environment for people and dogs to spend time together.  The Memorial Wall provides what Queenie wanted for every pet owner who grieves the loss of an animal friend – a way to honor that memory with a permanent marker and to be surrounded by people who understand the depth of that loss.”   

Background:  Queenie Mills, PhD

In her professional life, Queenie Mills, PhD, was a pioneer of academic research on the human-animal bond and how interaction with pets enhances human life.

Dr. Mills retired from the University of Illinois as Professor Emerita of Child Development, head of the Department of Human Development and Family Ecology, and Director of the Child Development Laboratory.

In 1964, at the UI Child Development Laboratory, Dr. Mills started one of the country’s first intervention programs for pre-school children from low-income families.  In 1976, she conducted an exploratory research study: “Pets as Confidants:  The Resident Dog in a Sheltered Care Home.”  In 1978, she was the recipient of the Paul A. Funk Award for her development of a significant interdisciplinary program of teaching and research. 

Dr. Mills established the Pet-a-Pet program in 1978, through which volunteers took pets on weekly visits to residents of Champaign-Urbana nursing homes.  She knew that interacting with animals made people feel better, and made it part of her life’s work to provide that experience to those who could benefit the most; children and the elderly or infirm.

A CCHS board member for 20 years (1978-1998) and a woman of tremendous vision and great compassion, Queenie Mills played a major role in shaping the Champaign County Humane Society into what it is today.

In addition to her work with CCHS, Queenie Mills was an active board member and supporter of the Delta Society (now, Pet Partners), a national organization dedicated to improving human health through positive interactions with therapy, service and companion animals.