HUMAN OBITUARIES

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2000:

Vicki Moore, 44, founder of Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe, died in Liverpool, England, on December 6, from complications of a goring she suffered while videotaping a bull run through the streets of Coria, Spain, in July 1995. “It took one minute 36 seconds to get her to the hospital,” her husband Tony Moore said, “and then they operated for seven hours. The bull was shot immediately, which was good for the bull. They said he was too dangerous. They don’t like to be in too much danger when they do what they do. When I told Vicki, she burst into tears.” A former actress, Moore documented animal abuse undercover at Spanish fiestas for more than a decade before her injury, and rescued many of the animals she saw mistreated, including Blackie the Donkey, who as a longtime guest of The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth, Devon, became poster-animal for her cause. Blackie died in 1994. Moore’s longest battle was against the custom of throwing a goat from a 60-foot church tower during an annual festival in Manganeses de la Polverosa, Spain. Moore saw a nanny goat killed there in 1990, and won an order from the governor of Zamora that a goat not be thrown in 1991. Thereafter, defying such orders became part of the tradition––until this year, when the town council threatened to fine anyone who helped toss a goat. The festival was held on January 23, and the goat-toss was not done.

Linda Sholas, 48, of San Pedro, California, a longtime volunteer for the Baja Animal Sanctuary in Rosarito, Mexico, died recently from cancer in Sarasota, Florida, where she moved in November 1999 to be with family. At BAS she assisted with spay/neuter surgery when able, and later, while undergoing chemotherapy, wrote thank-you notes to donors from her home. “Linda was one of the very special volunteers whom we will miss very much,” said BAS communications coordinator Maria Elias.

Lonnie Napier, 48, father of four sons, died on January 19 in Tampa, 10 days after falling 40 feet from a tree while trying to retrieve a cat named Grogger, pet of neighbor Angela Thomas. The cat was finally rescued two days later.

Ralph Dupee, 72, of West Haven, Connecticut, died of a broken heart, according to acquaintances, while temporarily separated from his beloved cocker spaniel Ginger because her weight rose above the 25-pound limit set by the West Haven Housing Authority. West Haven animal control officer Judy Rettig was keeping Ginger on a diet at the pound, trying to get her back under the limit so that the dog could rejoin Dupee, who had no living close relatives, and visited the pound daily to see Ginger.

Ila Loetscher, 95, the renowned Turtle Lady of South Padre Island, Texas, featured on page one of the May 1997 edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE, died on January 3 in Brownsville. The daughter of a country doctor, Loetscher in 1929 became the first woman in Iowa to earn a flying license, and ––with close friend Amelia Earhart–– cofounded the Flying 99s, an association of female air racers. Loetscher discovered the plight of endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles soon after retiring to South Padre Island in 1965. Dividing her time thereafter between hands-on rescue and rehabilitation work, lobbying, and teaching children about sea turtles, Loetscher “probably recruited more people to sea turtle conservation than all the biologists combined,” Gladys Porter Zoo assistant director Pat Burchfield told James Pinkerton of the Houston Chronicle, “because of her sincere interest in and love for these animals, which was apparent to anyone who ever had the opportunity to experience one of her programs.”

Hazel Wolf, 101, cofounder of 21 of the 26 National Audubon Society chapters in the Pacific Northwest, died on January 19 in Port Angeles, Washington. A suffragette in her youth, Wolf later was active in the civil rights struggle.

Hugh Noyes, 71, the retired London Times reporter who created the Isle of Wight Rare Breeds and Waterfowl Park, died on January 3. Inheriting the 30-acre property from his father, the poet Alfred Noyes, Hugh Noyes left the T i m e s in 1982 and developed the property into “a haven for more than 40 breeds of domestic animals from all over the world,” The Times recalled, as well as for more than 100 species of waterfowl and poultry, and wildlife including guanacos from Peru and meerkats from South Africa.

Bobby Collins, 11, of St. Louis, fell through thin ice and drowned on January 22 while trying to rescue two stray dogs at Spanish Lake County Park. Collins was still grieving for his own dog, a German shepherd puppy who died in late 1999 from an intestinal disorder.

Monica Gail Williamson, 48, a homeless woman better known around Santa Ana, California, as “Indiana,” was killed by a San Diego-bound train on January 25 while trying to pull a shopping cart carrying her own mongrel and a friend’s golden retriever from tracks where it had gotten stuck. 

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