Elaine Livesey-Fassel – Bequest

For Wildlife Legacy Society member Elaine Livesey-Fassel, wildlife and animal activism isn't a part-time hobby, it's a full time job. "I read the paper every morning, keeping an eye out for any coverage on animal issues—wild or domestic. Whenever something catches my eye, I write a letter to the editor. I want them to know there are people out here who are reading and share their concerns."

But that's just the beginning of Elaine's typical day. She also spends several hours online, signing petitions, sending emails to her representatives and advocating for imperiled animals. And in the evenings, she often screens recent movies that feature animals and the challenges they face. For many years since the 1970s, Elaine was a part of the nomination committee for the Genesis Awards—an awards program Elaine helped establish in the 1970s that annually recognizes individuals in the film, television and media industries whose work promotes animal welfare awareness.

When asked how she commits so much time and energy to these efforts, Elaine, now a long-time resident of Los Angeles, reflects on her childhood in northern England. "My earliest and fondest memories are exploring the outdoors on the back of a horse," she recalls. "I remember one particularly beautiful day, hearing the cold ground crunch under the horse's hooves and just feeling so connected with the animal and my surroundings.

"So when I moved to America and learned of the mistreatment of wildlife here, especially on public lands, I was incensed by the cruelty and waste of taxpayers' money," Elaine continues. "It was then that I heard about the excellent work Defenders was doing to combat the attacks on wild animals and their habitats."

Elaine says it was Defenders' strong, activism mission that inspired her support and her continued commitment. "Defenders is assertive and aggressive, always focused on action and motivating people like me to write, email, call or rally to the cause," Elaine says. "I know I'm extremely busy, I think we all are. But I don't know how to be otherwise—once I learn about animal mistreatment, I just have to do something."

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