By Sara Hendrickson

Rosalie Revesz, a dedicated donor and supporter of the Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation (SASF) since the organization’s founding in 2010, passed away earlier this year. She had been a tireless advocate for Seattle’s abandoned dogs and cats, adopting over 10 animals throughout her life and giving generously of her time and money—she attended numerous auctions and other fundraising events—for many years. Rosalie’s spirit lives on in a bequest made to SASF on behalf of her estate.

Rosalie grew up in the greater Seattle area and lived here her entire life, with the exception of the two years she spent finishing her accounting degree at New York University. After graduating, she became a CPA, working for US Bank, Antioch University and, most recently, Boeing. But her real passion—as evidenced by the number of pets she had, the time and money she invested in them, and the way she treated her dogs and cats like equal members of her small family—was making sure she did everything in her power to improve the quality of life for all the stray animals that wandered into her heart and her life.

Rosalie never had dogs or cats as a kid. According to her daughter Laura, Rosalie’s parents had emigrated from Europe, and “to them, pet ownership just wasn’t normal.” But Laura, who works at Amazon and lives in Seattle with her Boston terrier, can’t remember a time in her life when Rosalie didn’t have furry friends around. “Pets,” Laura says, “were not just pets,” they were family members. Often when asked how many children she had, Rosalie would say three, including her two dogs with Laura in the count. Laura remembers her mom going frequently to the Seattle Humane Society to drop off donations of food and old newspapers.

Some of the animals came to her, and some she sought out. If Rosalie found a cat or dog as a stray, she always tried to find the owners, putting up signs and enlisting the help of neighbors, animal shelters, and humane societies before taking the new addition in as her own. Pets, she believed, always needed to feel comfortable and at home. One time, she had a cat who appeared to favor the neighbor’s yard and house more than her own. Keeping the best interest of the cat in mind, she approached the neighbors and mentioned that the cat seemed happier with them. Would they like to adopt it? In other cases, she extended her generosity to pets that she wasn’t expecting, making sacrifices to take them in if it seemed their best life would be had with her.

Even when she was very ill, Rosalie made sure that her two dogs would have the best life possible after her passing. The larger of the two, Liza, now lives with the dog walker who took her on outings to the park once Rosalie was no longer able to do so herself. The other dog, Nikki, who Rosalie found wandering around Rainier Avenue about three years ago, is now living with Rosalie’s best friend and her hound, who is one of Nikki’s best friends.

Before Rosalie became ill, she and Laura had talked about opening a specialty pet store together on Mercer Island. Laura speculates that Rosalie may have even gone back to school to become a vet.

Rosalie’s legacy lives on not only through the animals she’s already helped, but through the many others who will soon benefit from her generous bequest to SASF.