I recently ran across an archived article highlighting one of Oro Valleys wildlife rehabilitator pioneers, Sarah Golby.
A women who knew no boundaries when it came to helping wildlife went on to become documented in Barbara Marriott's, Legendary Locals of Marana, Oro Valley, and Catalina, Arizona and the subject of the biography, Javelina on Her Doorstep: Sarah Gorby's Lifelong Quest to Save Wildlife
Book by Lorna Kraemer and RaMar Gorby Oregon; and posthumously in a beautiful article for Sports Illustrated noting her unwavering devotion for all things wild.
Known for turning her home and surroundings into an "arc in the desert" for wounded and abandoned wildlife, it was not uncommon for one to find mountain lions, bears, javelina, and a variety of other critters in her house.
Author Kraener recalls that though Sarah wasn't a huge fan of domesticated cats, "bobcats were another story. She (Sarah) didn't keep a list, so we don't know how many she raised and released, but we do remember this fellow -- Trucker, the most famous bobcat of all. (Source)
Sarah was also known for becoming the first licensed rehabilitator for the Arizona Fish and Game Department. Though she devoted so much of her heart and life to the preservation and rehabilitation of wildlife, many agree that she publicly should have gained more notoriety for being a contemporary hero of early Oro Valley and Northwest Tucson for nearly thirty years. In August 2012, after her death, she was awarded a "merit award plaque" for the Arizona Game and Fish Hall of Fame.
Read about the selfless journey of a passionate woman in the unconventional but extraordinary tales of Sarah Gordy, including her rough beginnings as a young girl residing in a Pennsylvania mountain shack, and how her eventual role as rehabilitator caused her to lose her other and more conventional jobs.
If you're interested, Pima County libraries had twelve copies of her biography, as of August 19, 2013. You can also find the book on various websites. The author's Facebook page also has some interesting stories and comments from those who knew and loved her. And please feel free to share stories about her here. We are fortunate to have had her champion the desert wildlife.
Heather Nenadovich has lived in Oro Valley for 6 years. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Arizona. She loves gardening, nature, art, and travel. Currently her two young children fill up most of her days (and nights) with chaotic bliss. Oro Valley favorites: memorial bench at the entrance of Romero Canyon Trail in Catalina State Park, Toscana Studio and Gallery, OV Fall Festival, the gumption and determination of OV residents!