Vicki Peterson's life was a testament to compassion and commitment. She cared deeply about helpless animals but did more than just fret about them -- she directed her energy toward an ongoing solution.
That solution, the Heartland Animal Rescue Team, thrives today largely because of her efforts to found and sustain the animal shelter. In its fledgling years it was run out of her home. In 1992 HART moved to its current location at 1401 Danielson Road North.
What's truly amazing is that the 51-year-old woman accomplished all of this while battling health problems that would easily have slowed down a less determined person.
Peterson died Monday of complications from a genetic disease of the liver and lungs. She underwent a lung transplant nine years ago because of her health problems. To her colleagues at HART she was a constant at the shelter, caring for animals and performing administrative tasks.
She founded the Heartland Animal Rescue Team in 1987 and became the Brainerd area's leading spokesperson for having pets spayed or neutered. As much as she loved dogs and cats Peterson was a realist who knew that their population had to be controlled.
HART will continue as a legacy to the efforts of Peterson and other volunteers who rolled up their sleeves and established a much-needed community facility.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.