In a previous Ark we featured the chairman of CCA-USA, Jan Fredericks, but
now it is time to meet the rest of the Board, beginning with the newest member.
Mary Sepede is a pediatric patient care co-ordinator at St Barnabas
Medical Center in Livingston, NJ. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, an
international honor society of nurses, and belongs to the Society of Pediatric
Nurses. Mary also serves on the health ministry of her parish of Our Lady of the
Valley Parish in Wayne, New Jersey.
Her work with animals includes rescue of cats whenever needed and the
managing of a colony of cats at her workplace. She is a former board member of
the Friends of Wayne Animals and currently serves as the head of the cat
socialization program, as well as of humane education. She also works with the
dog population, is an adoption counselor and assists with fundraising.
She is the Vice President of God’s Creatures Ministry (founded by Jan
Fredericks) and believes that people of faith need to extend compassion to those
with four legs or feathers as well as to humans. A vegetarian for 30 years, she
is engaged in building a wildlife habitat on her property and feeding all the
creatures who visit. Time out? Any vacations that she takes are usually planned
around the migratory paths of birds or animals. St Francis is her favorite
saint, naturally, and Mary loves his philosophy of ecology and the unity of
creation. She usually asks herself ‘What would St Francis do?’
Bobbie Anderson, a mother of four, grew up as an Irish Catholic in a
small town in NE Pennsylvania, the daughter of a doctor, and surrounded by dogs,
cats and horses. She became a teacher, and after several career moves, directed
a school in Las Vegas. She became a vegetarian in 1984 and volunteered at local
no-kill shelters whenever possible. As managing editor of The Las Vegas People’s
Press, she wrote against violence, racism and animal cruelty. One of the
founding members of Nevadans for Peace, she also worked with Homeless Advocacy
and other social justice organizations.
She spent some time in Los Angeles where the Burbank City Council acted on
her suggestion of how to reduce the pet euthanasia rate at the City Shelter. She
then returned to Las Vegas, resumed teaching, and worked with the Nevada SPCA as
Director of Volunteers. She also worked for St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, and
spent a year persuading the county school board to end mandatory animal
dissection. This was achieved throughout Clark County, Nevada – the fifth
largest school district in the country.
Currently an active member of PCRM, HSUS, and Animal Acres Farm Sanctuary and
many other animal rescue and environmental organizations, in May, 2004, Bobbie
was elected as an officer with the Board of Directors of the Nevada SPCA. She
created a Humane Education course and initiated a Human Ed/Direct Action
Campaign, CHARM (Childrens’ Animal Rescue Mission) in local Catholic Schools to
save as many animals as possible from the County euthanasia list. She became an
early rep for CCA-USA, achieving the approval of her bishop, and began to
introduce numerous Catholic churches and schools to The Ark and the Junior
Ark.This work continues. She believes that while it is one thing to recognize
the abuses animals suffer, to condemn each other is never the way. The Church
must open her arms to embrace all humanity, all the earth, all the creatures.
She truly believes that only Love can melt stubborn hearts.
Ana Garcia is an ardent ice hockey fan, going as often as possible to
Madison Square Garden with her son. She is a vegan, a social studies high school
teacher, and a devout Catholic. She shares her life with four beautiful cats and
also does rescue work for the homeless ones that she can capture. She is a
member of various cat rescue organizations in her city and state, as well as
being a member of various other animal organizations that oppose vivisection,
fur, and that support the vegan lifestyle. She enjoys keeping in touch with her
animal-loving pen-pals, traveling, and learning as much as she can about various
topics while she is in other places. Whenever possible, she enjoys spending time
with family and friends and cuddling with her cats. With two master’s degrees,
one in history and the other in education, she is an ardent animal activist and
enjoys making new friends.
Maru Vigu is a professional translator and an educator. Originally
from Lima, Peru, where all her friends and family still live, Maru has been an
animal advocate since 1980, when the plight for suffering animals found its
place in her heart and mind forever. She is the Director of AN in Lima, Peru and
here in Arizona. Theirs is the first large Spanish language based-animal rights
group and that demands a lot of work since they not only have to deal with the
organizational process but also with the mentalities and culture of the
populations they work with.
She is also a member of PETA, and the Farm Sanctuary where she sponsors two
chickens; but she also works with every group that needs her help. She feels
that God has placed her on the earth for only one reason – and that is, to work
for the total liberation of animals. There is nothing more important in life to
her than that.