It is with great sadness that the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation announces that one of its founding members and former president
, 89, passed away on Sunday, June 16, 2019.
“Shirley was the real deal and a true pioneer for animal welfare in Missouri,” said Alliance Executive Director Bob Baker. “She founded the Alliance in 1990 and has been fighting for the welfare of animals for over 40 years. Her advocacy work in the legislature led to many of our existing animal welfare laws including laws against animal cruelty, dog and cockfighting, and puppy mills. We would have few protections for animals in Missouri if not for Shirley’s persistence and dedication.”
“The animal world is deeply saddened by the loss of Shirley,” said Alliance Vice President Brook Dubman. “She was not just a friend to the animals, but a friend to all who knew her. Shirley was a true champion for the animals and a beautiful soul. The animal community is mourning the loss of its fearless fighter and best friend.”
During her work with the Alliance, Sostman participated in dozens of investigations into animal cruelty and helped expose the harsh realities and brutality of puppy mills. She regularly attended dog auctions to shine a light on the inhumaneness and to try to rescue the dogs. As a result, she saved hundreds of dogs from abusive and neglectful conditions throughout her career.
In 1994, Sostman founded
, Missouri’s largest legislative advocacy day for animal welfare at the Capitol Building in Jefferson City. Today, animal advocacy groups and people from all over the state attend.
As a volunteer, Sostman continued her tireless work for animals. She volunteered for the Humane Society of Missouri, Stray Rescue of St. Louis, the St. Louis Zoo and the Missouri Department of Conservation Powder Valley Nature Center. Her volunteer work included making presentations to schools, youth groups and civic groups regarding the need to help animals and to protect their habitat.