Talk Back: In Memory of Two Animal Champions

By on December 2, 2010 with 0 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

The cause of protecting animals lost two tremendous public servants recently, and today, we honor the memory of these civil servants with your thoughts and expressions of condolence. Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer David Grove was shot and killed by a poacher, reminding us of the dangers faced by wildlife law enforcement officers. Among your comments:

I am a resident of Penna [Pennsylvania]. I find this killing despicable. We need to crack down on poachers and protect our game officers from all harm. —Sandy Horvath

My utmost sympathy to the Grove family for their loss, as well as ours. —Desiree

What an honorable unsung hero. I pray the creator will reward his work in a heaven filled with warmth and the glory of nature that he so revered. —Tracy

Along with the best anti-poaching laws and all the equipment to enforce these laws, there needs to be punishment that will be a deterrent. I'm talking ample jail time and hefty fines. People learn when things cost them, dearly! My condolences to the family of this wonderful officer. —Kathleen Shecter

Just a few weeks after being diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer, Dr. Dean Wyatt passed away in early November. Dr. Wyatt worked for nearly two decades as a federal veterinarian assigned to oversee slaughter practices in the meat industry and to uphold the standards of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. He conducted that work with independence and distinction. It was a tip from Dr. Wyatt that spearheaded The HSUS’s investigation into the Bushway calf slaughter plant in Vermont, which revealed shocking cruelty to baby calves and shuttered the plant.

As the HSUS family continues to mourn Dr. Wyatt’s passing, here are some of your thoughts and messages of sympathy for his family:

Knowing Dr. Wyatt for several months was truly wonderful for Vermont animal welfare advocates. We worked with him on the horrific Bushway Packing case. He was our advisor, teacher, friend, and endless source of inspiration. We are all greatly saddened by his death. He was the true voice, advocate and hero for the animals. This is a great loss. —Katherine A. Collins

It's so unfair that he should suffer cancer after all he has done. Please convey deep gratitude for his courageous efforts, undertaken under terrible duress, and a pledge from this person to keep his name alive as one of the true heroes in this country. —Kate Fuller

The world has lost a strong, brave soul and tireless advocate for mercy and truth. I read every word of Dr. Wyatt's testimony at the hearing on the enforcement of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, after he stepped in to try to prevent sickening abuses at the Bushway slaughter plant. It was riveting and heartbreaking. I don't know how Dr. Wyatt had the courage to look brutal cruelty in the face day after day, but I will be forever grateful for his service. My thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Wyatt's family in their time of grief. —Kelsey

Clearly this man was a person of greatness, and a colossal blessing to Earth's animals. My thanks to Dr. Wyatt, and condolences to his family and friends. —Denise Wilson

The death of Dr. Dean Wyatt makes me incredibly sad. Dr. Wyatt became an inspiration for me in his steadfast resolve to protect the unfortunate animals abused by the slaughterhouse system. His honesty in reporting animal abuse as he saw it and his willingness to advocate for those animals in spite of the threats to his professional life made him a star in my opinion. What better use can there be for a veterinary degree than to protect animals from abuse? I am also a veterinarian. I only hope I can be as courageous as Dr. Wyatt was. … He will forever serve as role model for all of us who are striving for better treatment of farm animals. Thank you, Dr. Wyatt, for witnessing, for caring, and for speaking out. —Dr. Deb Teachout, DVM

I can only hope and pray that people will learn from him and in his honor continue to fight like he did and not be afraid to push the boundaries as he did to fight for what was right despite the consequences. Rest in peace Dr. Dean Wyatt and from above keep protecting those animals! —Emily

I read about the testimony [Dr. Wyatt] gave to Congress and his work. I was overwhelmed with happiness to see someone step forward and take a stand. Now, because of him and the HSUS, I have decided to spread the word about inhumane practices. I don't do much other than post videos and talk to people. But I know that has left an imprint on them. Rest in peace Dr. Wyatt. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family and friends. And thank you. —Angela Whiting

I am very saddened to hear of Dr. Dean Wyatt's death. His courageous work, against the pressure of his own superiors who are supposed to help defend animals, is greatly appreciated. His family should be proud of his unwavering principles. Let's hope his work will inspire others to follow in his footsteps for greater welfare for animals. —Kristin Green

It is a sad commentary on American agribusiness that an individual like Dr. Dean Wyatt is so unusual, which he certainly was in the very best sense of that word. For a man to do his job, and a difficult one at that, with such courage and integrity should be loudly applauded and praised. To know that instead of recognizing his invaluable service and high standards his “superiors” harassed him and denigrated his efforts is appalling, and a disgrace for the American public on whose behalf they serve. —Victoria

It is truly rare to find a person whose courage and principles do not erode when unspeakable professional and personal repercussions batter them relentlessly. Dr. Wyatt was one of the very few. I grieve this devastating loss and wish to send my deepest condolences to his family. —Adriana Pagano

Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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