Theresa McCraw, victim of domestic violence, honored
For a few brief minutes Saturday afternoon there was a strange calm and quietness in the air at the former Mt. View Kennels off Mountain View Road near Sunshine.
But when a small dog on a lease arrived with her master and spotted other dogs, spontaneous barking began and suddenly, it sounded and felt like Theresa McCraw’s former kennel.
The delightful sounds of puppies and dogs were often heard at Mt. View Kennels when pet owners were dropping off or picking up animals.
But on Saturday as about 50 people and several pets stood on the grounds, McCraw was remembered for her love of animals and people during a Domestic Violence Awareness ceremony.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and McCraw’s family and friends chose the opportunity to show their love and concern for victims of domestic violence.
McCraw was murdered last Dec. 17 at the kennels and her ex-husband, husband, Michael Huette McCraw, is charged with the murder.
McCraw would have celebrated her 59th birthday on Oct. 20 and her grandsons, Zechariah, 7,
SEE FAMILY/PAGE A5
and Sebastian, 5, stood with their mother and father, Chip Hoppes and Michelle Hoppes, and sang “Happy Birthday.”
Chip made brief remarks in his mother’s honor and memory and also offered a prayer.
He said McCraw was a friend to so many, but he had the privilege of calling her “mom.”
Hoppes said, “As we celebrate her, let us remember all victims of domestic violence.”
As he prayed, he asked for strength and endurance to carry on as they continue to deal with the pain in their lives left because of violence to his mother.
“Maybe this awareness will help stop this ... we want justice for all,” he said.
In addition to her family, several of McCraw’s friends and volunteers with the Community Pet Center attended and as they stood around, they talked about their friend and how much she truly logs dogs and cats.
Many attending had trusted McCraw with their pets over the years.
“We all loved her ... I think about her all the time ...” said Donna Almond.
Bill Coxe, attending with his dog “Jack” said McCraw always kept his pets until he got so many, he had to started hiring a house sitter.
Ellen Montgomery, a friend of 31 years, arrived for the weekend event from Baltimore, Md. She met McCraw many years ago at Fast Foods, Inc.in Forest City.
“We became fast friends,” she said. Even moving back to Baltimore,
McCraw began the kennel business first as a hobby, but more and more people began asking her to keep their animals and it became a full time job.
She had gone to the kennels on the Saturday morning she was killed.
Susan McAlister and Lynn Faltraco of the Community Pet Center also attended, holding bright purple balloons and remembering their friend.
“All up and down the Eastern Seaboard, Theresa touched the lives of people and their pets,” said Faltraco.
Friends said McCraw put their animals’ pictures on the the Internet so family members could see them while on vacation.
Another said McCraw even wrote letters from the pets to their masters.
And friend said said when her dog wouldn’t eat because she was lonesome, McCraw hand-fed the dog, often climbing into the large cage to keep the dog comfortable.
After the more than 250 purple balloons were released, folks stood around and watched them fly away. But when a few were caught in the pine trees, the grandsons expressed disappointment.