by Meredith Raimondi (CDR Director)
"No group has more fun for a great cause." That was what Angela Oakley always said about City Dogs Rescue. The truth is that no one has more fun because we had Angela and she lit a spark in everyone she crossed paths with in her life.
We sadly learned that Angela (age 44) passed away last night after a courageous fight against breast cancer.
It is impossible to summarize the impact of Angela Oakley on City Dogs Rescue. To begin, it's important to know that Angela was there no matter what. Angela was there for the dogs and the people.
Angela started as a volunteer dog walker on March 24, 2012 after she saw a Facebook post from her friend Matt Tosiello. She was the first person to ever sign up for CDR's just-launched dog walking program and after her first walk, she signed up to help every free Saturday she had available through the remainder of the summer. If it was a Saturday morning in Dupont, you could expect to spot Angela in her Blue NC Tarheel T-shirt walking a City Dog.
Once diagnosed with cancer just a year ago, Angela never stopped volunteering for CDR. From the start, she was always one of the first to raise her hand to help (especially for the less glamorous sides of dog rescue like looking for a lost dog at 11:00 PM on a weekday or picking up a dog in the middle of Maryland at 1:00 AM). I can't begin to think of how many times Angela opened her car door to a dog in need of a ride and said, "Hop in!" In her first summer as a volunteer, Angela was joined by CDR co-founders Dave and Darren on a transport with dogs from Bladen County, NC. It was the first of countless road trips near or far that Angela made for rescue dogs.
Everyone knew Angela in the City Dogs Rescue family. Countless volunteers and adopters remember her as the first smiling face that welcomed them to our community. Angela served tirelessly in her role as Adoption Events Coordinator oftentimes transporting dogs without fosters who needed exposure most and braving hot summer days or freezing cold weather. Amanda Schwartz, a fellow CDR volunteer, said that everyone saw Angela as a friend because "Angela is the best of CDR". This could not be more true. No person or dog ever felt unwanted in Angela's presence.
Angela was one of CDR's biggest cheerleaders. She probably bought more shirts from CDRKid Ethan Katz's fundraiser than anyone else so that she could share her love of dog rescue with her friends and family.
Here are some Angela-isms from her Facebook page:
On City Dogs Rescue:
Here are some of the countless dogs that Angela walked or drove for CDR:
Angela always had the best descriptions of the dogs she met and made light of their goofier qualities as well:
When asked about her favorite dog, Angela said every time she met a dog she would think, "This is my favorite dog, but they’re all my favorite." Angela never picked favorites among people or animals, but it's no secret that to all of us at CDR, Angela was everyone's favorite.
To all of us at CDR, Angela was everyone's favorite.
Angela is survived by her mom Joyce and her brother Lee. She will be forever missed by everyone lucky enough to know her. CDR will be #TeamAngelaForever.
City Dogs Rescue & City Kitties volunteers.