OBITUARIES

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1998:

Leo K. Bustad, DVM, 78, died
from pneumonia on September 19 in Pullman,
Washington. Born in Stanwood, Washington,
Bustad earned a B.A. in agriculture at
Washington State University in Pullman in
1941, and on the same day became a lieutenant
in the U.S. Army. He married Signe
Byrd, a WSU classmate, in June 1942 at Fort
Benning, Georgia, shortly before shipping out
to fight in Italy and Germany. Captured by the
Nazis, Bustad spent 15 months at a Germanrun
prison camp in Poland. Reunited in June
1945, Bustad and Byrd thereafter remained
together until her death in March 1998.
Postwar, Bustad returned to WSU to earn an
M.A. in animal nutrition (1948) and his DVM
(1949). From 1948 until 1965, Bustad did
invasive radiation research on animals at the
Hanford National Laboratory, often collaborating
with faculty of the University of
California at Davis. Bustad himself headed
the radiobiology and comparative oncology
labs at U.C. Davis from mid-1965 until 1973,
helping direct work involving as many as
1,200 beagles at an off-campus location now
listed as a top-priority Superfund toxic waste
cleanup site. The experiments ended in 1986,
when the last beagle died. The dogs’ radioactive
remains were removed to Hanford in
1990. Rheem Araj, a beagle care technician
1972-1973, alleged in a 1994 lawsuit while
fighting a life-threatening lymphoma that news
coverage of the carcass removal was the first
word she received that she might have been
extensively exposed to radiation. Araj further
alleged that the radiation was responsible for
her cancer. ANIMAL PEOPLE found no
information about the outcome of either the
case or her illness. From 1973 until 1983,
Bustad served as dean of the WSU College of
Veterinary Medicine. Upon retirement, he
became president of the Delta Society, founded
in 1976 by Michael J. McCulloch, a psychiatrist
in Portland, Oregon, who pioneered
the use of animal-assisted therapy. Keeping
his main office at WSU, as dean emeritus and
professor emeritus of veterinary physiology,
Bustad moved the Delta Society to Renton,
Washington, where it maintains the National
Service Dog Center and carries out other programs
on behalf of service dog users and pet
keepers. Recipient of various humanitarian
awards late in life, Bustad wrote two books,
Animals, Aging, and the Aged (1980) and
Compassion: Our Last Great Hope (1990), as
well as co-authoring Learning and Living
Together: Building the Human-Animal Bond.

Helen Altfillisch, 71, remembered
by Associated Press writer Chet Brokaw for
hosting “probably the last privately owned
herd of wild horses in South Dakota” on her
8,000-acre beef ranch, died in May while trying
to pull a mired colt from silt behind a stock
dam. Meade County sheriff’s deputy John
Rhoden and colleagues found her remains,
and those of of the colt, surrounded by “an
honor guard of animals––wild horses, prairie
dogs, and a coyote,” Brokaw wrote, covering
the October roundup of the 300-odd horses for
auction to pay liens on the Altfillisch estate.
“Miss Alfillisch’s friends and relatives had
worried that most of her horses might be sold
tor slaughter,” Brokaw reported, “but many
were bought by companies that supply bucking
stock for rodeos. Local ranchers also bought a
lot of the animals.”

Alice Stacy, 99, died on October
26 at home in Boston. Stacy was remembered
for resisting relocation by a developer in June
1988 because she wasn’t allowed to take her
Afghan hound Goodboy with her––whom she
had rescued from local drug dealers. Goodboy
died suddenly from stress, before TV cameras,
as authorities came to evict her. In August
1988, the Boston city council passed “The
Goodboy Law,” guaranteeing senior citizens
in public housing the right to keep their pets.

Lim Cheng Choon, 59, was shotgunned
by a Singapore Primary Production
Department dog-killer on November 2 as he
knelt between two strays to feed and pet them.
Lim’s brother, retired Environment Ministry
employee Lim Cheng Khoon, 68, told T h e
S t r a i t s times that his family hadn’t seen the
victim in 20 years, but had “heard he was
looking after the abandoned dogs in the vacated
villages in Pungol,” apparently supporting
himself with odd jobs. A sister who underwrote
his work died in 1996. Lim was the second
human victim of the dog-killers in recent
years: retired bus conductor Ong Kim Tor,
71, survived a September 1996 shooting.
Trained by the Singapore Police Academy,
the PPD dog-killers are supposed to shoot only
dogs they cannot snare with catchpoles. Each
killer is accompanied by three people who are
supposed to warn people and vehicles away.
“All shooting has been suspended, and procedures
for the use of firearms will be reviewed,”
the PPD said.

Ryan Ferris, 14, of Delco,
Pennsylvania, alerted his mother Roberta, 50,
brother Matthew, 18, and sister, Bridget, 12,
to a pre-dawn housefire on November 6, and
helped them escape by leaping from a secondfloor
window, but was killed by burns and
smoke inhalation while trying to carry two cats
down from the third floor. The cats were also
killed. Matthew Ferris is reportedly in critical
condition. The two family dogs got out alive.

George Eric Hansen, 50, died
September 22 of an apparent heart attack while
hiking with his wife of 27 years, Rose Marie
Gaines, in Nevada County, California. Said
Sacramento environmental consultant Jude
Lamar, “Snakes don’t have a lot of friends,
but Hansen was a dedicated friend. He was a
rarity: a biologist with backbone.” Hansen in
1997 was named environmentalist of the year
by the Environmental Council of Sacramento
for his work to protect the giant garter snake.

Suzanne Barthell, 62, died from
cancer on October 13 in San Francisco. A
social worker and therapist for 30 years in the
San Francisco school district, Barthell and her
daughter Adrienne Forstner-Barthell became
San Francisco Zoo volunteers in 1984. Later
appointed to the San Francisco Zoo Advisory
Committee, Barthell fought the 1993 turnover
of zoo management to the privately funded
San Francisco Zoological Society, and
opposed bond issues for improvements which
she claimed were too extravagant. “Her loss
means one less independent voice––one less
person who put animals and people ahead of
corporate interests,” fellow San Francisco
activist Jeff Sheehy told Savannah Blackwell
of the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

Jonathan Levin, 31, was memorialized
on October 24 by the dedication of the
Jonathan & Julius Playroom for dogs at the
new Bide-A-Wee Golden Years Retirement
Home in Westhampton, New York––a pet
hospice which already has a waiting list of
2,000 applicants ready to pay $10,000 per animal
to assure lifetime care for their pets after
their own passing. Levin, an English teacher
at the William H. Taft High School in the
Bronx, son of Time Warner CEO Gerald
Levin, was killed by a burglar on May 30.

Tammy Martinez, 27, of Clifton,
Colorado, was struck by two vehicles and
killed on October 7 just after dusk, while
attempting to rescue a dog who had been hit by
a previous vehicle. The dog was also killed.

Beaker B, 14, female greencheeked
conure, companion of International
Fund for Animal Welfare pet rescue project
coordinator Kristina Hemenway since the age
of eight weeks, died on October 15. “In her
younger years,” Hemenway remembered,
“Beaker enjoyed the color and excitement of
bird shows, and brought home prizes from
Maryland to New Hampshire. Her vocabulary
of about 12 words served her purposes.”
Later, at the IFAW offices in Yarmouth Port,
Massachusetts, “she made many new friends,
who brightened her last days by dropping by
for a visit and an organic fruit cup.”

Shayna, a brindle and white racing
greyhound found abandoned in a cemetery in
1991, “stopped running like the wind on
September 17, was diagnosed with bone cancer
on September 18, and died on October
10,” wrote Massachusetts Citizens Against
Dog Racing founder Greta Marsh, who credited
Shayna with inspiring her to pursue legislation
to ban greyhound racing. For information,
write to POB 882, Lanesboro, MA 01237.

Ruby, 25, the Phoenix Zoo elephant
who learned to paint with her trunk in
1988 and earned about $450,000 for the zoo
through the sale of her art, was euthanized on
November 6 due to advanced infection resulting
from a uterine rupture that killed her fullterm
male calf. Surgeons attempting an emergency
Caesarian to remove the dead fetus
determined that Ruby could not be saved.

Canto, 6, a black-and-tan German
shepherd handled since 1994 by Fort Worth
police officer Ken Robertson, died of smoke
inhalation on September 24 after Robertson’s
car caught fire due to a wiring defect while
Robertson and other members of the canine
unit pursued a suspected burglar. Spotting the
fire, Robertson and fellow officers smashed
car windows to reach the trapped dog, as the
electrical fire jammed the door locks, called
firefighters, paramedics, and the canine unit
veterinarian, and spent about 45 minutes giving
Canto CPR and oxygen, all to no avail, as
Canto was apparently already dead.

Mego, 16, a golden palomino-overpaint
trick horse trained by George Taylor of
Cleburne, Texas, died on August 20 in Las
Vegas, a day after being treated for colic. A
frequent performer at casinos and rodeos,
Mego appeared with country music stars Lynn
Anderson, Tanya Tucker, and others, and on
TV and in movies with the late Chuck Norris.

Beatos, 22, the German-born
Trakehner black stallion who starred in a 1989
television ad for Lloyd’s Bank of London and
later starred in a music video by the group East
17, died in mid-October of a heart attack at the
Hallegenna stud farm on Bodmin Moor,
Cornwall, where he sired more than 300 foals.

Banjo, 42, burro mascot of the
Wightwood School in Branford, Connecticut,
since 1973, noted for Christmas pageant roles
at the nearby Stony Creek Congregational
Church, died of kidney failure on October 22.

J.D., 19, of Saguaro Lake,
Arizona, who with his sister of Alamo Lake
was the oldest bald eagle in Arizona, died
September 12, either of unknown natural
causes or wounds inflicted by another bird. A
hiker spotted J.D. in his apparent death throes.
Arizona Game and Fish wildlife manager
Mark Weise attempted a rescue, but arrived
too late. J.D. sired and helped raise 30 eaglets.
There were just 20 bald eagles in Arizona
when he hatched; there are now 72.

ZorZor , 33, a pygmy hippo captured
in Liberia, resident at the Tucson Zoo
since 1979, was euthanized on October 15 due
to pain from spinal degeneration.

Pang Pang, 16, the oldest red
panda in Japan, donated by the Beijing Zoo in
1982 and resident at the Nishiyama Zoo in
Sabae since 1985, died on September 28.

Toto, 37, African elephant matriarch
at the North Carolina Zoo, died abruptly
of an unknown cause on September 29––the
sixth N.C. Zoo elephant in 20 years to die suddenly
for no evident reason. Toto came from
the Knoxville Zoo in 1995. The N.C. Zoo still
has three African elephants, including Toto’s
daughter, Little Diamond, age 20.

Mumbi, 37, a female lowland
gorilla brought to the Lincoln Park Zoo in
Chicago from Cameroon in 1963, was euthanized
on October 10 after 18 months of treatment
for kidney failure appeared futile.

Jackson, 27, male polar bear at the
Erie Zoo in Erie, Pennsylvania, since coming
from the Cleveland Metropark Zoo in 1974,
was euthanized on October 13 due to liver cancer.
His mate Nikisha, 34, the third oldest
polar bear in the U.S., appeared to be mourning,
said zoo spokesperson Scott Mitchell.

Sally, 14, and Turbo, 13, two of
the three bottlenose dolphins at the Oklahoma
City Zoo, died suddenly of pneumonia on
October 27. Sally and Turbo had been leased
from Marine Animal Productions, in Gulfport,
Mississippi, since 1990 and 1994, respectively.
Discontinuing dolphin exhibits, the zoo
will reportedly send the last dolphin, Sandi,
11, back to Marine Animal Productions.

Winston, 17, male beluga whale
captured in northern Manitoba in 1984 for the
Aquarium for Wildlife Conservation in New
York City, on loan since 1996 to the Mystic
Marinelife Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut,
died October 11 after an unidentified two-day
illness. He and three female companions,
whom he failed to impregnate, were to move
to a new one-acre outdoor tank in early 1999.

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