Gail Whipple, founder of Carolina Animal Protection Society (CAPS), died on Jan. 19, at the age of 83. She is known as the reason the organization has succeeded long and well. 

Whipple's daughter, Wendy Dahmer, said Whipple once started a memoir about her life, which was solely based on the dogs that had shared her life, as she was only allowed to have one dog when she was growing up and she loved to tell his story.

"We adopted many stray dogs when I was little," said Dahmer. "We never had less than three dogs in the house at any one time. When my brother and I were in elementary school, there was a dog curled up in the snow at school. We took her home and adopted her and found out shortly thereafter that she was pregnant. When she was giving birth, my mom called the school and my brother and I were allowed to come home to witness the birth. It was magical for us." 

Close friend Nancy Morris, who also worked at CAPS beginning in 1989, said Whipple was a very special lady who was tough, passionate, and compassionate. 
"I got involved with CAPS after I met her," said Morris. "Just an absolutely dedicated, passionate person about the welfare of animals." 

Morris said Whipple started all this because of a dog she saw running loose on the highway. "If you've ever ridden with Gail, you see a dog run loose, the car stops," said Morris. She said Whipple saw an ongoing issue with animals running loose, people dumping animals, leaving them abandoned, and that didn't sit well and she felt something needed to be done.

That's where CAPS came in. 

On top of CAPS, Morris said Whipple spearheaded a campaign to get Kevlar vests for the canine officers in Onslow, and she was in constant contact with the Onslow County Commissioners and Jacksonville City Council doing what she could to help make changes to the laws. 

"She was just so consumed with each and every animal that went through," said Morris.

She said Whipple was passionate about the living conditions of an animal, and she led a team of wonderful volunteers who helped her get animals taken care of. Not to mention, every bit of funding went towards the animals.