It is with great sadness we must say goodbye to our friend, Ingela Levett.
We met Ingela in the fall of 2002, when we adopted big Vito
from Rawhide Rescue. Apparently Rawhide went to NYC to get Vito from the Animal Shelter and brought him to NJ to find him a home. He has been with us 6 years, is the sweetest most obedient dog you can imagine, and in 2006 he earned his Therapy Dog Certification - which allows him to go to the Hospice and Nursing Home to visit people. (Nothing like a 140 pound bullmastiff to bring a smile.)
Without Ingela, it would not have been. Without Ingela, the 2,000+ dogs she rescued between 2001 and today may have been euthanized in shelters. Without Ingela, a certain autistic child I know might not have his furry friend.
Rashmika and I grew to know Ingela over the past 6 years. She devoted every waking hour to Rawhide Rescue. No matter how tired, or ill, she might be she was never too tired to rescue one more dog.
Ingela's devotion is what inspired us to do our annual "Ride For Rawhide"
; how could we not help her to raise the money she needed to rescue and care for these dogs?
For a long time, I didn't really know Ingela had a life before Rawhide Rescue; I just assumed she had always done this. I didn't know she was the Information Management Director at Bristol Myers Squibb, where she worked for 30 years; but when I learned that it made sense - the drive, the organizational skills, the people skills. After retirement, she founded Rawhide Rescue.
Ingela went into the hospital a few weeks back, having been diagnosed with lukemia. Apparently, in the hospital, she contracted a staph infection, then pneumonia, and passed away this morning.
Countless dogs and families are a living testament to Ingela's efforts. I greatly admire the impact she has had on so many; who am I to judge, but it sure seems like a life well spent. I will miss her dearly.
ps.Ingela's Obituary & Funeral Arrangements
The family has asked for donations to Rawhide Rescue
in lieu of flowers or other gifts.