A sign on Patsy Ryan’s front door reads, “Pets Welcome, People Tolerated.”
Neighbors of the 75-year-old woman said she was the type of person who would do anything to help a dog.
Early Thursday morning, she died doing just that.
Ryan was hit by a car and killed about 5:30 a.m. on Rockwell Avenue just north of NW 63. Police Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow said the woman was trying to get a dog out of the street. The dog also was killed. Oklahoma City Animal Welfare officers said the dog was a French bulldog, and a neighbor said it belonged to Ryan’s son.
She lived in a small, close-knit neighborhood off NW 64, only blocks from where she died. A neighbor, Bonny Carinder, said Ryan was an animal lover who had three dogs.
Carinder believes Ryan was trying to save her son’s dog, Tater. Ryan took her son to the airport early Thursday morning for a flight and was going to watch Tater while he was gone.
“I took it on myself to go around and let people know what happened to her this morning,” Carinder said. “Everyone is very sad and stunned.”
Linda McCright, whose mother lives in the neighborhood, said when people in the neighborhood died, Ryan would often take their dogs in and care for them. She once had seven dogs living with her, McCright said.
“She was one of the nicest women I ever met,” McCright said. “At least she was doing what she loved to do, which was help animals.”
Wardlow said the driver whose car hit Ryan stayed at the scene to talk to police. She said investigators do not believe the driver was intoxicated or speeding.
“It seems to be just a tragic accident,” Wardlow said.
It’s not clear how the dog came to be in the street or exactly when it was hit.
At least she was doing what she loved to do, which was help animals.”