Dear friend of Loaves & Fishes,
Anneke Vos was known as the animal lady. She stood around 5 feet tall, and had a thick Dutch accent. Though she was small in stature she was ferocious and self-sacrificing in heart. She devoted her life to providing food, veterinary care, and compassion to the animals of the homeless.
Many of our homeless guests have pets for protection, companionship, and warmth. To those who may have been abandoned by everyone, often their pet is their one true and always faithful friend. When you’ve reached the end of your rope and lost all hope it can make all the difference in the world having a faithful pet that welcomes you no matter who you are, how you smell, or how grumpy you are from the cold and rain.
Anneke was one of the few who cared for these animals; the voiceless companions of our homeless guests.
Over the past two years Anneke had been raising money to build a new kennel for the animals to stay in during the day while their owners received services at Loaves & Fishes and other local charities. She passed away only weeks before the kennel, which has room for 40 dogs and cats, was set to open.
On Wednesday, February 23rd at 10am, we will hold a grand opening ceremony and dedicate the kennel in Anneke’s name. Please join us.
A few years ago, when the new kennels were just a dream, Anneke sent an impassioned hand written plea to a few fellow supporters of the animals. She said “I am 83 years old now, slightly burnt out, but it is definitely too late to give up. The animals and I made it through 26 years now and we are still going strong.”
Despite some very difficult years for herself and for the homeless, Anneke persisted, stood strong in the face of sometimes overwhelming need, and ferociously fought for the care of the animals.
It’s not often that you meet someone whom you could call a true champion of the poor, hungry, and voiceless. They are unrelenting in their pursuit of justice, yet self-sacrificing in their service. They are full of compassion for the needy, yet fierce in their opposition of the status quo. They are embracers of the lost and feeders of the hungry. They are true champions, and hard to come by.
Anneke, was one of these.
She once wrote “My dream is for a real kennel with runs instead of crates, with warm and cold water, electricity, with cold air in the summer and heat in the winter. A safe haven, with a little comfort for these animals, who only have me to beg and stand up for them.”
A safe haven is something we all seek; man or women, human or animal. As we say goodbye to Sacramento’s most fervent champion of the animals, please consider honoring Anneke’s memory by donating to the Kennel Fund to help finish and continue her legacy and make sure that every last one of us has a safe haven.