In Loving Memory
We all lost a fearless animal advocate this year with the passing of our friend Odette Moren. Over her 40 plus years in animal rescue, there is no situation in which Odette would hesitate to speak up and negotiate for the welfare of animals in the community.
Born in France and immigrating to the United States in her early 20's, Odette spent her career teaching French and later operating Alouette, a quaint French bistro in Palo Alto. Alouette (meaning lark in English) was a perfect representation of Odette's spirit – she flew through life tirelessly, managing her restaurant while simultaneously helping people with their cats, kittens, dogs, birds, and probably even a skunk or two! Her efforts were ceaseless, and she often walked the streets of Palo Alto after closing her restaurant to feed a myriad of eagerly waiting cats. For many years, Odette rescued and found good homes for countless cats and kittens, never accepting setbacks, never taking “no” for an answer.
Despite the sudden onset of her illness, the day after receiving her diagnosis (and before treatment) Odette immediately established a trust to ensure the care of her animals, as well as to provide for other animal rescue organizations and endeavors. In addition, she created a scholarship fund for under-funded high school seniors on their way to college.
We will miss you Odette – your spark and fire were the light of many lives.
Thanks to Peninsula CatWorks for permission to use this Memoriam.
The entire animal world lost a dedicated and passionate warrior with the passing of Sylvia Bancroft, at age 93. After an early career as a dancer, service in the United States armed forces during World War II, a doctoral candidate in experimental psychology at Stanford University, Sylvia immersed herself in the fight for animal protection. “In our society animals have pitifully few rights,” she said. “I would like to persuade our society to give them some.“
With a few like-minded people, Sylvia started the Humane Legislative Network, to alert constituents when legislators were voting on California bills affecting animals. They were instrumental in passage of the law banning greyhound racing in the state.
Later on, she founded the Humane Education Network which focused on alleviating the plight of animals used and often abused in research and testing laboratories. A signal success was the passage of the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act, the only Federal law in the U.S. that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport, and by dealers. Sylvia was the driving force behind the Animal Protection Information Service, an online resource for animal welfare advocates working to influence legislation to ensure the humane treatment of animals.
Working late into the night seven days a week, refusing to yield to the challenges of a body no longer able to keep up with her passion for the work, Sylvia literally gave her life in the service of animal advocacy. With her passing, all animals have lost a dedicated and tireless voice. Everyone who knew her can never forget her. She established a trust in favor of her two favorite animal welfare organizations so that the work will continue.