Donna Nives, a Greenwich philanthropist and co-founder of the nonprofit Adopt-a-Dog in Westchester and Connecticut, passed away on Dec. 15 at the age of 88.
Born and raised in Reading, Pennsylvania, and educated at the University of Miami, she pursued a career as a fashion knitwear designer in New York City. With her husband, Wall Street executive Fred Nives, she ran a family foundation that provided funds to organizations focused on animal welfare, social services, Jewish culture and the hearing impaired. The Bronx Zoo’s Fred and Donna Nives African Wild Dog Pavilion was named in their honor. Fred Nives died in 2015 at the age of 94.
In 1981, Nives teamed with Gloria Scheuer and Pam Fahnestock to launch Adopt-a-Dog, a nonprofit seeking to find homes for abandoned animals in regional shelters. The organization is headquartered in Greenwich and acquired a former veterinary clinic in Armonk in 2002.
Today, Adopt-a-Dog employs a 15-person staff and cares for between 35 to 40 dogs at any given time, and it also provides animal welfare educational outreach in local communities.