Spotlight on Animal Heroes:

William “Bill” Lloyd

What do you say about the loss of a man who embodied compassion, dedication and integrity to the cause of preventing and relieving cruelty to animals for his entire working life. We all, and especially the animals, lost a champion this spring with the death of Bill Lloyd at age 73.

Bill Lloyd receiving NYSHA's Special Award for Leadership
Bill Lloyd receiving NYSHA’s Special Award for Leadership.

His outstanding achievement was his leadership as the Shelter Manager of the Humane Society of Port Jervis/Deer Park. In that capacity, he not only ensured that all animals in need were provided with care, but also in the 1980s, he instituted an in-house spay/neuter program that succeeded in preventing the births of thousands of unwanted animals. Thus, not only were shelter animals spayed/neutered upon adoption, but a low-cost program was made available to the public’s animals, and spay/neuter became the norm in the area.

Bill started working at the Port Jervis shelter as a teenager, and over the years rose to become the shelter manager, a post from which he did not retire until 2012. During those years, NYSHA cannot recall a time when Bill did not respond when asked for help with a cruelty case. The most infamous one in which he and his shelter played a key role was the Fricchione dog fighting case in Orange Co., NY. Bill’s shelter kept 18 of the fighting dogs seized in the case for almost a year until Fricchione was convicted. It put a great strain on the shelter budget, but Bill said that it was the right thing to do and he did it.

NYSHA also called on him to hold a big Rottweiler who we brought to him late at night on New Year’s Eve after the police executed a warrant late in the day in a hoarder case. In this and the many other cases, Bill always helped and never left an animal with no place to go. Over the years, he worked with police, veterinarians, and humane agencies to address cruelty cases and bring relief to the animals, even if it meant leaving his bed in the middle of the night. He really cared for animals more than he cared for himself.

As far as his personal companion animals, he loved goats and had several over the years, and liked to spend his down time with these sociable, intelligent creatures. He felt that so-called farm animals had as much love to give as cats and dogs, and he advocated for their humane treatment.

After he retired from the shelter where he had dedicated his life and left part of his soul, he briefly joined the NYSHA Board, but health issues got in the way, and he felt he had to leave. We missed him, but knew it was the best choice for him. Unfortunately, his health took a turn for the worse, and we have lost him.

We asked the person who helped care for him toward the end of his life, what his legacy was, and she said. “The impact he made on other lives is his legacy.” She added, “He deserves a statue of himself with animals, but he just wanted other people to carry on his work for the love of the animals. He was humble and kind and I miss him so much.”

We would only add that Bill Lloyd has now crossed over that Rainbow Bridge to be warmly greeted by all the animals he helped over the years, who preceded him to that peaceful place.

New York State Humane Association Humane Review, Vol. XL, Fall 2022.