“I’ve never met an animal I didn’t like, and I can’t say the same thing about people,” – Doris Day who worked for animal welfare and rights before it was widely recognised.
It is reported that Doris Day has died at the age of 97. She is known for her films, being a wonderful animal lover and her charity the Doris Day Animal Foundation (‘foundation’). She lived with cats and dogs throughout her life. She died at her home in Carmel Valley in California. Interestingly, her foundation requested, ‘no funeral or memorial service and no grave marker’.
She was in excellent physical health but contracted pneumonia which appears to have killed her. She was a well loved individual by millions of fans. Her films are still popular and uplifting. She was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars of the 1950s and 60s. She had a very clean cut image but she makes it clear that she was acting! Although I’m sure she was a very good person. She was unfortunate in marriage.
She was known for dozens of film appearances. Perhaps her best-known film was Calamity Jane. She celebrated her 97th Birthday on April 3, 2019. She gave an interview to the Hollywood Reporter in which she said that Calamity Jane was one of her favourite films to work on.
She mentioned that she still got many love letters from fans some as young as eight-years-of-age. They said that her films made them happy and that a common thread ran through her films from feedback from fans was that they were uplifting.
Doris Day Animal Foundation
Doris Day set up her foundation in 1978 with the objective, “to help animals and the people who love them”. With respect to her foundation, she thought that her initiative, World Spayed Day, was the most important. It was instigated in 1995 when the euthanasia rate in overcrowded shelters was extremely high at 14 to 17 million dogs and cats annually. The event grew to global proportions resulting in an estimated 1.5 million animals being spayed and neutered in the first 15 years.
Day’s foundation provides annual grants for Spay Day. Her foundation’s website states that between 2008 and 2018 it granted to the Humane Society of the United States $760,000 to spay or neuter animals in need during World Spay Day. Almost 15,000 cats, dogs and rabbits were sterilised in 39 states and the District of Columbia.
In memory of her son, Terry Melcher and to “honour the professionals at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine”, the foundation awards scholarships “to students pursuing education in veterinary shelter medicine and helping disadvantaged pet populations”.
These are just two examples of the work carried out by the Doris Day Animal Foundation. She was a great lady. I wonder whether she considered her work with her foundation more important than work as an actress. I feel pretty confident that she did. The world will miss her.