Our neighborhood is filled with pet lovers and pet rescuers, like Ann. It's the kind of neighborhood where you know the names of everyone on your block. Neighbors wave to each other as they walk by with dogs and children, and they stop to chat in front yards along the way. Yes, Mayberry does exist.
Ann was a regular in the neighborhood, walking her dogs by our house each day. We'd often have the chance to chat about the food bank and dream up ideas on how to get more food for more pets... and help more pet owners along the way. Ann was one of the most selfless people I've known, rescuing both people and their pets, and helping them get back on their feet.
Last week, Ann died suddenly and unexpectedly. The cause was an aneurysm, and she went quickly surrounded by her beloved pets. Our neighborhood was devastated, but comforted by knowing she went quickly, and we like to think, without suffering.
It seems very strange not to see Ann walking past our house everyday. The last time we chatted we were evaluating a hole in the pavement on our street. Ann had put an orange cone on the hole to alert unassuming drivers. She also contacted the city, to start the process of getting it fixed. She was like that... taking charge and looking out for the neighborhood. Ann also created our community garden, where neighbors grow vegetables in side-by-side plots of land.
Ann wasn't one to create a fuss about her own achievements, even though she was a successful business woman and mentor to others. And while the Save Our Pets Food Bank is local to Atlanta, Ann created a national directory of pet food banks and advised others how to start up their own.
A memorial service for Ann will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 17 at the Virginia Highland Church, 743 Virginia Ave. NE, Atlanta. In lieu of flowers, family and friends are asking for donations to the organization Ann founded, Save Our Pets Food Bank. You can donate here via paypal or by check.
A friend to all animals and animal lovers, Ann will remain in our hearts forever. I feel certain she's watching out over all the animals on Earth and in heaven, too. RIP Ann King, you will be missed.