Kate Spade’s devotion to animals will continue to endure beyond the iconic designer’s funeral, scheduled for June 21 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Redemptorist Church in her hometown of Kansas City, Missouri.
Following Kate Spade’s suicide death on June 5, her loved ones shared her obituary on Dignity Memorial, which, along with highlighting Spade’s love for animals, also asked mourners to donate to animal rescues in lieu of sending flowers to the upcoming funeral.
“In lieu of flowers, kindly direct donations to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) or to Wayside Waifs, Kansas City’s largest no-kill animal shelter and pet adoption campus,” reads the obituary.
Each of the non-profits, which are both dedicated to helping and finding homes for rescue pets, are moved by their inclusion in the 55-year-old’s funeral preparations and heartbroken over the loss of a longtime friend and supporter.
“We were deeply saddened by Kate Spade’s passing and express our sincere condolences to her family. Kate was an incredibly strong advocate for animals and a very good friend and supporter of the ASPCA over the years. We appreciate the model Kate set for those who wish to act on their compassion as she so generously did,” the ASPCA told PEOPLE in a statement.
Wayside Waifs echoed these sentiments and also promised that the gifts donated to the organization following the designer’s death will go to saving the lives of countless animals.
“Everyone at Wayside Waifs was truly saddened to hear about Kate’s passing. As her family has shared, Kate loved animals dearly,” Robin Rowland, the Vice President of Donor Relations & Communications at Wayside Waifs, told PEOPLE via email. “We are humbled her family has asked for memorial gifts to be made to Wayside Waifs, a Kansas City-based animal shelter, as a way to remember her and honor her love of animals. Memorial gifts will be used in support of our life-saving mission.”
This call for donations complements the “conscientiousness and empathy” that Spade was known for in life by her family, friends and numerous fans.