MIDLAND, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- 19-year-old Veronica Sanchez, of Midland, was shot and killed by a co-worker in 2022; she died just months before she was scheduled to begin college classes and before she could make her mark on this world. However, Veronica’s family said they won’t let her death be in vain, and plan do to all they can to ensure Veronica’s legacy lives on. 

The teen was an animal lover; she fed stray cats and kittens across the city every day and rescued about 45 cats over nine years. Her mom said she would bottle feed her rescues every two hours because she cared for them and wanted them to have a shot at life. That’s why Veronica’s mother, Jennifer Sanchez, has partnered with Fix West Texas, an organization that offers affordable services, such as vaccinations, spay and neuter surgeries, and microchipping, to pet families across the Basin. 

Today, Jennifer and her friends and family, as well as an entire community, came together to support a cause that Veronica loved. Fix West Texas held its fourth annual golf tournament and honored the slain teen at the same time. 

“Today is our 4th annual Big Swing Golf Tournament….all the money that we earn here goes towards our capital campaign and as you may have heard, we have broken ground to build a permanent location off 191 between Midland and Odessa, so all the funds that we raise today will go toward helping us complete that project so we’re super excited. We have a hole (on the golf course) that’s in honor of Veronica. She (Veronica’s mom) got a ton of donations in honor of Veronica so it’s just a great partnership to have; her daughter loved the cats and now Jennifer is just carrying that torch on for Veronica,” said Fix West Texas’ Beth Meeks.

“I recently partnered with Fix West Texas…to help keep her legacy alive about her love for animals. Veronica stood for what Fix West Texas stands for, caring for all these homeless animals. She was an advocate for so many years even when she was only 19, she was an advocate, she was really born for animals. So, it was the right thing to do to honor her memory. I know she’d be honored to be a part of this. You want your child here, but there’s nothing that I could ever say or do to bring her back, so the next best thing that I can do as her mom is to keep her memory, her advocacy for animals going. That’s the next best thing I can do,” Jennifer said.

In addition to helping local animals, Veronica’s story also inspired local lawmakers to make changes at the state level: Veronica’s Law, or House Bill 915, will go into effect September 1. The bill establishes a 24-hour hotline to report workplace harassment or violence. Reports will be anonymous and will be referred to local law enforcement for investigation. All businesses in Texas will be required to have a poster in the workplace with information about the hotline; those posters must be displayed by March.

To learn more about Fix West Texas, and how you can help the organization give back, visit this website