From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2011:
“I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones.” –William Shakespeare
Patricia Simonet, 51, died of cancer on December 2, 2010. Earning a Ph.D. in animal behavior at the University of Nevada, Simonet from 1992 to 2000 researched topics including what children learn from live animal shows, chimpanzee play, and elephant self-recognition in mirrors. Then, recalled Robert Brost, her husband of 26 years, “While researching the meaning of sounds that dogs make, she discovered dog laughter,” the happy panting that characterizes dogs at play. Hired by Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Services in 2003 to do temperament testing and training, Simonet in 2005 demonstrated that playing recorded dog laughter in the shelter helped to calm the dogs and increased the adoption rate of adoptions. Brost and Simonet subsequently marketed dog laughter recordings, which are typically played at less than the threshold of human hearing. “While Trisha worked for SCRAPS, she also volunteered at the Spokane Humane Society,” Brost said, “training their volunteers and serving on their board of directors.” The Spokane County Board of Supervisors in June 2010 designated an off-leash area at Gateway Regional Park the Patricia Simonet Laughing Dog Park.
John Gleiber, associated with the Animal Welfare Institute since 1958, recently died. Gleiber was for 26 years secretary of the Society for Animal Protective Legislation, an AWI affiliate. After SAPL was merged into AWI in 2003, Gleiber served for the rest of his life on the AWI board of directors.
Tom Blomquist, 60, died on December 3, 2010 in Reno, Nevada, after a three-year struggle with brain cancer. Born in Wichita, Kansas, Blomquist lived in California before moving to Lyon County, Nevada, in 1992. “At that time,” recalled Sally Roberts of the Nevada Appeal, “the county animal shelter was not enforcing the law that animals older than four months had to be spayed or neutered before being adopted from the shelter. Largely through Blomquist’s efforts, county officials changed the management of the shelter and created a shelter oversight committee.” Blomquist and his former wife, a vet tech, also cofounded the Silver Springs Spay & Neuter Project.
Garry Gross, 73, died of a heart attack on November 30, 2010 at his home in Greenwich Village, New York. A dog trainer and photographer since 2002, Gross was best known for the nude photos he took of actress Brooke Shields, then 10 years old, in 1975. Shields at age 17 sued Gross for continuing to sell the photos, but the New York Court of Appeals upheld the contract Gross had negotiated with her mother.
Jean Blancou, 74, director general of the World Organization for Animal Health 1991-2000, died in Paris on November 10, 2010. Becoming a veterinarian in 1960, Blancou led veterinary aid missions to Ethiopia, Niger, Madagascar, and Senegal, then served 13 years as deputy director and director of the National Centre for Research on Rabies & Wildlife Diseases in Nancy, France. From 1988 until 1990 Blancou also headed the Animal Health & Protection Department of the National Centre for Veterinary & Food Studies in Maisons-Alfort, France. Recalled ProMed infectious diseases moderator Arnon Shimshony, “Jean was a devoted scholar of the history of veterinary medicine and the history of animal diseases, zoonoses and animal welfare. He was president of the French Society for the History of Veterinary Medicine & Sciences,” and authored a book, History of the surveillance & control of transmissible animal diseases, published in 2000.
Stephanie James, 33, a Knoxville Zoo elephant keeper, was killed on January 14, 2011 when a 26-year-old African elephant named Edie pushed her into a stall. Zoo spokesperson Tina Rolen called it an accident resulting from working “in close proximity to such a large animal.” Formerly an animal care specialist at Sea World Orlando, James also volunteered for a dog therapy program. “The zoo immediately changed how its other four elephant keepers care for Edie and its other female elephant, Jana, 30,” reported Amy McRary of the Knoxville News Sentinel. “Both will be managed in ‘protected contact,’ with keepers tending to the animals through protective barriers such as bars. Before, keepers cared for Jana and Edie in ‘free contact’ without such barriers. Keepers already work with the male elephant, Tonka, in protected contact.” Introduced by the Oakland Zoo after 25-year elephant keeper Loren Jackson was killed in 1991 while shoveling manure, protected contact has gradually become the norm in zoo elephant keeping worldwide.
William Daniel Sudia, 88, died on December 25, 2010 in Decatur, Georgia. After working in malaria and mosquito control for the U.S. Army, Sudia in 1951 became one of the first entomologists hired by the Virus-Vector Unit of the Centers for Disease Control. Sudia in 1971 identified horses rather than birds or rodents as the hosts for the mosquitoes who transmit the disease now known as Venezuelan equine encephalitis. Retiring in 1984, Sudia became known for his bird photography.
Kevin Reynolds, 52, of Brighton, England, died on January 8, 2011 after apparently hitting his head and suffering shock and hypothermia while trying to rescue his two Jack Russell terriers from heavy seas, one of whom was later found alive. Reynolds’ 13-year-old daughter entered the water to try to save him, but witnesses pulled her to safety.
Frank “Poncho” Kruse, 62, of East Bexar County, Texas, escaped from a 3:30 a.m. trailer home fire with his wife and adult niece on December 25, 2010, but returned inside to try to rescue their two dogs. Kruse and both dogs were killed.
Ilene Moore, 63, an office volunteer for the Michigan Humane Society since 2002, and a volunteer special events organizer for the Detroit Zoo, also since 2002, was found dead of what police termed “blunt and sharp trauma” on December 9, 2010 at Kensington Metropark. Her brother Marc Rosenthal, 59, of Novi, Michigan, was arraigned on December 11 for alleged first degree premeditated murder. Police said Moore was killed after arguing with Rosenthal about a financial matter.
Kathryn Cabral, 56, of Warren, Rhode Island, drowned circa December 12, 2010 in her submerged car off Route 24 near Portsmouth. A former veterinary technician and horse trainer, she later volunteered for the North Providence Animal Shelter.
Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz, 52, died on January 12, 2011 of respiratory failure. Sylvia-Stasiewicz, of Hume, Virginia, trained dogs for the late U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, of Massachusetts, and former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel, of Nebraska. At request of the Kennedy family Sylvia-Stasiewicz evaluated and trained a Portuguese water dog, Bo, who in April 2009 was presented to U.S. President Barack Obama’s daughters. Sylvia-Stasiewicz in 2010 published a book, The Love That Dog Training Program, co-authored by Larry Kay of Los Angeles.