MSPCA-Angell’s Animal Hall of Fame Dinner Honors Human, Animal and Young Heroes

October 23, 2012

BOSTON, Oct. 23, 2012 – The MSPCA-Angell today unveiled the human and animal award recipients who will be honored at the annual Animal Hall of Fame dinner, co-chaired by longtime animal champions John Talbot and Dorr Begnal.  The event takes place Thursday, Oct. 25 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.  MSPCA-Angell President Carter Luke will join WCVB-TV (Ch. 5) Co-anchor and event emcee Heather Unruh to honor this year’s Spotlight on Compassion, George T. Angell Humanitarian, Human Hero, Animal Hero and Young Hero Award recipients.


“This annual celebration marks a very special time when we honor the exceptional accomplishments and compassion embodied by these exemplary individuals,” said Carter Luke, President, MSPCA-Angell.  “I’m very excited to join the hundreds of attendees who will gather this year to raise a glass to the remarkable human and animal recipients of this year’s awards.”


The 2012 Animal Hall of Fame Award winners were nominated by people who felt their tireless work on behalf of animals should be recognized by the MSPCA.  The MSPCA then selected the winners based on the hundreds of nominations received.  A summary of this year’s winners is as follows:


Spotlight on Compassion Award: Loretta Swit

Accomplished actor, singer, dancer and artist Loretta Swit, perhaps best known for her role as Maj. Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan in M*A*S*H, is a lifelong animal advocate who has been deeply involved in adoption and spay/neuter campaigns; the movement against wearing fur; the fight to abolish puppy mills and many other animal protection efforts.  She is the 1st Vice President of Actors and Others for Animals, an honorary Board member of The Wildlife Waystation, Chairperson for the Hooved Animal Rescue Protection Society and has acted as a spokesperson for The Farm Sanctuary as well as the Humane Society of the United States.  For her ceaseless humanitarian efforts she has been named Woman of the Year by both the Animal Protection Institute and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.


Ranald Munro, BVMS, MSc, DVM, Dip Forensic Medicine, DipECVP, MRCVS: George T. Angell Humanitarian Award
Ranald Munro is the former Head of Pathology at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency and former president of the World Society for the Protection of Animals.  He is currently Honorary Professor of Forensic Veterinary Pathology at the Royal Veterinary College and an Honorary Fellow at the Royal School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh, where he specializes in forensic pathology in free-living species, companion animals and livestock.  He is the co-author of the acclaimed Animal Abuse and Unlawful Killing, a textbook considered essential reading for veterinary students, which deals specifically with non-accidental injury to animals.  Munro has worked with numerous colleagues in animal welfare societies, veterinary colleges, government laboratories, police departments and conservation bodies throughout the world.


Mayor Gary Christenson and Councilor Barbara Murphy of Malden, Mass: Human Hero

The 2012 Human Hero Award will be presented to Mayor Gary Christenson and Councilor Barbara Murphy—both dedicated public servants who have made Malden a model for other municipalities by doing extraordinary work when breed-specific legislation was introduced in their city.  Councilor Murphy took time to weigh the research and the arguments and, despite stiff opposition, joined the Mayor in returning the discriminatory proposed legislation to the City Council unsigned, but with proposed amendments that would advance the well-being of animals in Malden.  The Human Hero Award is sponsored this year by Robert L. Beal and Mountie Jr.


Lilly the Pit Bull: Animal Hero

In May of this year Lilly pulled her unconscious owner away from an oncoming train.  Her owner was unhurt but Lilly sustained critical injuries and surgeons at Angell Animal Medical Center had to remove her front leg.  Lilly’s story raised enough funds to offset the cost of her own care, and that of others animals through the MSPCA’s Pet Care Assistance program.  The personality-plus eight-year-old Pit Bull has become a beloved celebrity in her own right and a symbol of the selfless devotion dogs show for their human friends.  The 2012 Animal Hero Award is sponsored by 


Raina Baier, Becca Davis, Emily Marget and Sophia Smith: Young Heroes

Each of these four young animal advocates raised funds and worked diligently to champion legislation that would effect important and positive changes for animals.  Raina, Becca and Emily showed extraordinary commitment to the issue of pets and domestic violence, testifying in the Legislature, and Sophia testified eloquently at a public hearing for legislation that would prevent chaining elephants and the use of bullhooks.  All of these Young Heroes possess dedication and poise far beyond their years.  The Young Hero Award is sponsored by Dorr Begnal and John Talbot.


The Animal Hall of Fame event is made possible through generous support from individual donors and corporate sponsors.   Anyone who wishes to sponsor the event or purchase tickets may do so by clicking here.



The MSPCA-Angell is a national and international leader in animal protection and veterinary medicine and provides direct hands-on care for thousands of animals each year. Founded in 1868, it is the second-oldest humane society in the United States. Services include animal protection and adoption, advocacy, humane education, law enforcement, and world-class veterinary care. The MSPCA-Angell is a private, non-profit organization. It does not receive any government funding nor is it funded or operated by any national humane organization. The MSPCA-Angell relies solely on the support and contributions of individuals who care about animals. Please visit