Altus animal advocate remembered for her dedication, while fighting cancer

Altus animal advocate remembered for her dedication, while fighting cancer

ALTUS, Okla. (TNN) - The Altus Animal Welfare Association is mourning the loss of one of their biggest advocates, Brenda Mahan.

Brenda Mahan was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother.

And she showed that same love for animals when she began her career working with the Altus Animal Welfare Association in 2016.

President Kim Rumschlag said she was a go-getter from the start, after seeing how bad of a condition the shelter was in.

“She starting researching our ordinances, and things like that, and she found out that the city was supposed to have an Altus Animal Welfare Committee. She looked into these things and helped with redoing ordinances, and things like that,” Rumschlag said.

Brenda then started writing letters to city council members, expressing her concerns about the shelter.

That mindset helped the Welfare Association get about a half-million dollars for welfare programs in the area.

“She started our relationship with the City of Altus, and now we work so closely with them, and we have such a good relationship with them. That I don’t think there’s anything we can’t do in animal welfare here,” Rumschlag said.

She said Mahan would do anything the welfare needed.

Mahan did all of that while battling lung cancer the last four in a half years, before passing away on New Year’s Day.

“Although that happened, she was still an advocate for animals, and she did do what she could when she could, and when she wasn’t doing her treatments, and helping out finically before we started getting grants, and things that we now have. Brenda was always a supporter of us, and the mission, and definitely helped where she could,” Rumschlag said.

She described Mahan as an enormously compassionate person.

“She just exhibited it and rescued several of her own personal animals, and with transporting, and being a foster, fostering animals that’s very hard. I can hardly do it because I can’t let them go, but it takes a strong person to be able to do that because you love them just like you would a foster child, and then you have to give them to their new family, and Brenda did that a lot,” Rumschlag said.

She said she’ll miss having Mahan around but plans to pick up right where Mahan left off.

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