1997 Inductees

1997 NJVMA Animal Hall of Fame Inductees


Chelsea, a five-year-old domestic shorthair cat. Adopted from a shelter and unnaturally shy, Chelsea had never meowed until the night her Lyn fell asleep after a busy holiday gathering and forgot to extinguish her dining room table candles. Chelsea felt the fire brewing on the table and leapt onto Lyn, meowing at the top of her lungs. Chelsea’s voice awakened Lyn in time to douse the flames and save everyone from harm. Owner Lyn Nelson, Veterinarian Dr. Marguerite Hoey


Ginger, a 10-year old English Setter. Ginger is the constant companion of Joan Boucher, who is severely crippled by cerebral palsy. Ginger is with Joan 24 hours a day and will help her get up from the floor when she is not able to manage as well as retrieve items for her. In addition to providing physical assistance, Ginger gives Joan a healthy attitude and complete devotion, demonstrating the true meaning of “companion.” Owner Joan Boucher, Veterinarian Dr. Sandra Fargher


Midnight, a six-year-old Labrador. Midnight is a vital part of the Mercer County Prosecutors Office’s narcotic team. His handler, Sgt. Al Paglione, credits Midnight for participation in over 700 searches, resulting in the seizure of more than $190,000 in controlled dangerous substances, as well as $288,000 of seized US currency. Owner Al Paglione, Veterinarian Dr. Mary Moon


Topaz, a three-year-old Golden Retriever. Topaz and her owner Alice Crans, perform therapeutic visits for frail, infirm, and bed-ridden long-term care residents. Topaz also visits psychiatric patients and has begun visits with preschoolers who are taught proper, gently behavior with animals. One patient with whom Topaz visits said her tensions disappear and tranquility moves in when Topaz arrives. Owner Alice Crans, Veterinarian Dr. Beth Hunton


Presented to Michael, a thirteen-year-old collie, who was born blind and deaf. Despite these severe disabilities, he has greatly enriched the life of his owner, Ruth Hankins, through his extraordinary warm and loving disposition. Michael not only learned his way around the house, but he learned the art of play, knew how to bark, and showed his “maternal”side as he helped clean a new litter of kittens. Ruth said Michael is more than a companion, he is her teacher and champion. Owner Ruth Hankins, Veterinarians Dr. Joyce Koch and Dr. Carolyn Self