By CBSLA Staff

RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — Riverside County’s animal rescue community will remember a long-time animal shelter volunteer who died of COVID-19 with a drive-thru celebration of life this weekend.

Mary Anderson, 74, of Jurupa Valley, spent her retirement helping the homeless pets of Riverside County’s shelters and fostered more than 70 dogs in the past 10 years. She died on Feb. 19 after battling COVID-19 for several weeks, Riverside County’s Department of Animal Services announced Wednesday.

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“We have had some amazing volunteers during the years, but many of us would put Mary atop the list of the best of the best,” Candace McGrew, the agency’s volunteer services manager, said in a statement.

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According to Riverside County’s Department of Animal Services, Anderson fostered at least 73 pets since 2011. However, they noted she may have fostered even more because her volunteer work predated the agency’s current database.

Anderson did not have children, but she did leave behind four dogs – 11-year-old terrier mix Siouxe, 10-year-old boxer Larry, 10-year-old Pomeranian mix Bridgette, and 7-year-old Spaniel-golden retriever mix Harry. Her family in Texas has agreed to take ownership of the dogs.

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Animal Services is inviting all animal lovers to “help us celebrate a champion of all animals.” A drive-thru celebration will take place Sunday at 11 a.m. at the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley.