A Special Breed

Editor

Jack Houvouras

“Animal lovers are a special breed of humans, generous of spirit, full of empathy … and with hearts as big as a cloudless sky.” – John Grogan

On Oct. 21, 2013, the Huntington community lost a woman who was a dreamer. Her goal was to find a loving home for every lost, abused or forgotten dog and cat in our region. She dedicated the last 10 years of her life working toward that end and, in doing so, made a difference in the lives of countless people and their pets in our community. Her name was Sue Brown.

After losing her cherished cocker spaniel Chloe in 2003, Sue founded Little Victories Animal Rescue – the first and only no-kill shelter in the Tri-State. What began as a meeting of four people in her living room transformed into an organization that today includes 17 employees, 500 volunteers and 114 acres of land and buildings that provide shelter to over 150 dogs and cats.

Sue Brown was my friend. Looking back, I can’t recall exactly how our friendship formed. Maybe it began in 2004 when she called to thank me for a small article I published on her efforts in this magazine. Maybe it grew through the dogs I agreed to foster while we worked together to find them permanent homes. Perhaps it developed out of the cover story I published on Little Victories in 2009. While I may not be able to pinpoint when or how the friendship began, I certainly know when it wascemented – that was when my dog passed away in 2012. Sue was there for me as I struggled with my own grief, and I will never forget her generosity, empathy or heart.

I lost my friend Sue in the fall after a short battle with cancer. She was just 65. Before she died we had numerous talks about the future of her beloved organization. She asked me to join her board of directors, and as she grew sicker her only concern was Little Victories’ long-term sustainability. At one point she looked me in the eye and said, “Please don’t let my dream die.”

This is a critical time in the history of the charity. As such, I challenge each of you to join me in the work needed to ensure that Sue’s dream does not die. Whether it’s volunteering at our facility in Ona, fostering a dog or cat in your home, organizing fundraisers or donating money, we need your help. Please contact me if, like Sue Brown, you are one of the special breed who loves animals.

You can reach me at jack@huntingtonquarterly.com. For more information about Little Victories you can read about the organization in this edition of the magazine or visit www.littlevictories.org.

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