Meghan Markle shared an emotional note via animal welfare charity, Mayhew after her friend named Oli Juste “tragically and very suddenly passed away” earlier this year.
“I was introduced to Mayhew by my dear friend, animal behaviorist, Oli Juste. We shared, amongst many things, a commitment to animal welfare, and a deep love of rescue dogs,” Meghan wrote on Wednesday. “In fact, it was Oli and his fiancé Rob who helped care for my rescue dog, Guy, when I had just moved to the UK and he was recovering from a debilitating accident. They loved him as though he was their own.
“It was nearly four years ago, as I was exploring possible organizations to volunteer with, that Oli brought me to Mayhew,” she added. “He knew that beyond their adoption and rescue programs, their international work to keep animals safe, and their local work to find abandoned pets homes, that I would be drawn to their deep love of community, which transcended the animals themselves and extended to the people around them. He was right. I fell in love with Mayhew and soon became their Royal patron.”
“As my three-year patronage to Mayhew came to a close earlier this year, I reflected on the work they have achieved in the hardest of times—during a global pandemic with minimal resources, safeguarding staff from their stations in Afghanistan, and still resolving to remain steadfast in their vital day to day work for animal and human welfare throughout London and across the globe.”
“Every day there was another twist and turn, every week another update—which Oli and I would connect about: “What can we do? How can we do more? Look at the amazing work they continue to do,” she recalled.
“On January 15, 2022, my beloved friend Oli tragically and very suddenly passed away. It has left me, and so many others, heartbroken and reflective—knowing that the legacy he leaves for our furry friends is beautifully simple: just love them. Especially those left behind or forgotten. In his memory, we will be creating the Oli Juste wing at Mayhew, to shelter the animals who may have a harder time finding their forever homes. Because much like Oli, they will never be forgotten, and they will always be loved.”
“Though my time as patron of Mayhew has come to a close, my unwavering support has not. I encourage each of you to support in whatever way you are able. The emotional support of a rescue animal is unparalleled—as you’ll soon realize: it is not you who saves them, it is they who save you,” she concluded. “To the Mayhew community, thank you for entrusting me as your patron. It has been an honor.”
The official handle of Oli shared the tragic news on Instagram earlier this year.
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