Remembering an everyday hero

Sandy Nelson
June 11, 1956 -- July 28, 2012

A hero is an individual who consistently and continually sacrifices their own needs in the interest of others.

In 32 years as a Humane Society employee and, eventually, Executive Director, Sandy touched many in this community. Many community members remember Sandy for bringing the happiness and companionship of a pet into their lives. She gave hope and a voice to countless homeless, abandoned, and sick animals. She was a true life saver.

When Sandy passed away in 2012, she left unfinished work at HSSV. Before she died, she was in the midst of planning for the cat wing addition that she’d dreamed of for our new building. After shepherding the Shelter through its early days in a converted horse barn and seeing it through the move to our improved facility, Sandy left the cat wing as perhaps one of her only unfinished goals in life. It is up to us to carry out her vision, and we continue to work to make her dream a reality. Fundraising for this memorial expansion continues today, and donations are gratefully accepted. 

Sandy was an animal lover from day one. As a young child, she was constantly bringing home injured or homeless animals and offering them care. Helping animals was Sandy’s passion, and in her early 20s she took a job cleaning kennels at the Humane Society of Skagit Valley. Her eagerness, altruism, perseverance, and determination help Sandy prove herself as an employee. Her love of animals molded her career, and she rose to the position of Humane Society Executive Director.

Words cannot convey how much Sandy meant to everyone. She was truly an inspiration to all. Sandy always gave selflessly to all people who had the honor and pleasure of knowing her and to all the animals. She was a magnificent and incredible person through and through. She is, and will always be, missed by so many.

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