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Fund set up in memory of slain North Union Township dog lover

| Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 12:11 a.m.
Lisa Tupta of North Union Twp.

A woman who will be remembered for her quick laugh and good heart, Lisa Matheson Tupta will be sadly missed by all those whose lives she touched.

Tupta was known for her kindness and her quick smile, but she was best known for her love of her dogs, which were always by her side.

“She just loved those dogs,” friend Maria Swimmer of Uniontown said. “She always had them with her.”

Tupta died on Jan. 28 from stab wounds she suffered during an attack in her North Union Township home. Henry Crawford of North Union Township is charged with her murder.

To keep Tupta's memory alive while helping support the four-legged friends she so loved, Swimmer and other friends and family members decided to set up a memorial fund in her honor. They are asking people to donate to the Fayette Friends of Animals in Tupta's memory.

“I just felt that I wanted to do something,” Swimmer said. “I think that helping the animals at Fayette Friends of Animals is something that she would have appreciated.”

Fayette Friends of Animals is a no-kill shelter in Uniontown that takes in dogs and cats in hopes of finding homes for them.

“We place over 700 dogs and cats every year,” Fayette Friends of Animals board secretary Carol Majernik said. “We appreciate all of the support that we get.”

Terri Zidek, Fayette Friends of Animals board treasurer and volunteer, said the money donated in Tupta's memory will be greatly welcomed.

“We really appreciate when people do things like this for the shelter,” Zidek said, adding that the money donated at present is not set aside for anything special. “We'd like to meet possibly with some of her family to talk to them to see what their wishes are. We'd like to see if they have anything specific in mind.”

Zidek said that if a substantial amount of money is donated in Tupta's memory, then it may be used for one big project or used for general purposes at the shelter, but all funds will be of great value.

“I just felt that this can't be it, I just can't let this be the end,” Swimmer said. “I wanted somehow to keep her memory going, keep her memory alive.”

Swimmer said she hopes to be able to organize an annual walk for dog owners and their pets in Tupta's memory.

“If we have an event every year, then we can hold it in her memory and keep her memory going,” Swimmer said.

Checks can be mailed to Fayette Friends of Animals, P.O. Box 1282, Uniontown, PA 15401 and write “In memory of Lisa Matheson Tupta” in the memo line.

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.

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