The following was a lead editorial in the Raleigh News & Observer.
It's said among pet fanciers that there are dog people and cat people. Randall B. Terry Jr. was a dog person who had nine golden retrievers and loved them like family. That love, and a generous vision and hope to help all animals and their owners, has been realized near the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. N.C. State University's new veterinary medical center, replacing the facility next door, might be mistaken for the animal version of the Mayo Clinic - if not for the Mayo Clinic, period.
The facility, which cost $72 million and has 110,000 square feet, will provide research, ground-breaking types of treatment, teaching laboratories and a lot of comfort for pet owners from near and far who come to the vet hospital and secure the services of caregivers from the College of Veterinary Medicine to have their precious pets treated.
For those whose pets fall seriously ill, N.C. State's facility has been the last resort. And in so many instances, the endings to those tough cases are happy ones.
The new facility, with its ultramodern operating suites and treatment rooms, really tells a story of the evolution of veterinary medicine. Once the local vet performed simple procedures. Many times pets with serious illnesses simply couldn't be helped much.
How times have changed. Veterinary hospitals now do surgery, cancer treatment and perform just about every other kind of procedure, including heart valve replacement that regular hospitals do on humans.
NCSU's facility currently is ranked third in the United States, and its history is rather brief compared with that of many others. But in the new center, veterinarians will be able to do all those things.
University officials do not exaggerate when they cite the hospital's value as an economic draw for this region. Anyone who's ever taken a pet to the facility can attest that the pet owners there, with just about every pet that had a relative on Noah's vessel, hail from all over the country. When they experience the treatment at N.C. State, they are eternally grateful.
Which brings us back to the breath-taking generosity of Randall Terry. One of his dogs, Nike, was successfully treated at the hospital years ago, and Terry thereafter decided that he wanted to help with a state-of-the-art facility that would be nationally recognized. He gave millions. N.C. State raised millions more, and is still working on that.
As a recent picture in The N&O illustrated, Randall Terry got his wish. The photograph could have been from the inside of an O.R. anywhere - spotless, high-tech and ready for routine or emergency procedures. The facility is as envisioned, spectacular.
The entrance to one of the specialty clinical service pavilions at the Randall B. Terry, Jr. Companion Animal Veterinary Medical Center.