It is with great sadness that we announce the recent passing of IPFD Content Manager Ann Milligan, of Indio, California. Ann’s sudden passing came as a shock to all of us at IPFD, and our thoughts are with her family in this difficult time.
Many of us worked alongside Ann since IPFD’s early days, and her knowledge, energy, and boundless dedication to our mission will be greatly missed.
But it is former IPFD CEO Dr. Brenda Bonnett who really knew her best, and she has shared her thoughts below on Ann – both as an extraordinary person and dog lover, and on her impact on IPFD and the broader dog community.
On the sudden and unexpected passing of Ann Milligan, IPFD Content Manager
As those in the Bernese Mountain Dog group have said in their tributes to Ann, she was never one to want the spotlight or even basic recognition. A job well-done was her reward. Pat Long recommended Ann to me when I was looking for a computer literate dog person to assist with the start up of DogWellNet.com and the International Partnership for Dogs. What I got was a brilliant dog person with a logical, rational, insightful mind, an expert technician, a person with an eye for detail, and a clear view of the big picture. She became the cornerstone of those developments, although many people may not even know her name. Her technical and web knowledge underpinned everything we did. But, as Pat also said, her true passion was sharing information. Many was the time when I complained about things and she would say ‘If we really help even one dog breeder who is trying to do the right thing, it is worth it.’ I am afraid I was never quite satisfied with helping one or two people, but Ann’s devotion to the health and welfare of dogs and her steadfast dedication to reach breeders kept me going.
I, like some lucky others, spent countless hours on Skype or Teams with her – and yes, there was lots of ranting. But always lots of laughing and fabulous creativity as we fed off each other’s energy. She was tireless. For many years she worked double the hours we were able pay for because it was fun, exciting, and we could see the results of our labours. She had a unique combination of technical ability, artistic skill, and she was a wordsmith. Add in her extensive knowledge of all things dog, dog breeding, and an understanding of people who were drawn to dogs and you understand - she was special. Outside of work she was a kind, caring, and compassionate person who cared for those close to her and for others who were in need. To quote her colleague Adam Conn, “She was a friend, a mentor, a partner, a sounding board, a source of strength, a source of comfort, and one of the most devilishly funny people out there. She didn't pull punches and didn't expect you to either.”
Those of us working closely with her let her know that she was a gem. But there are probably many – hundreds or thousands – who have benefited from her knowledge, expertise, and caring and sharing without even being aware of her input. I have lost a dear friend, and an excellent colleague. But the dogs have lost a champion this week.
Brenda Bonnett, DVM, PhD, former CEO, IPFD
Ann was a supporter and advocate for the Morongo Basin Humane Society, a "no-kill" shelter in Joshua Tree, California. Her family asks those who knew Ann through her work in the dog world to please consider making a small online donation in her memory.
The IPFD/DogWellNet.com Team