Earlier this week, Pasadena Humane honored Robert “Bob” Fidler for his decades of board service and lifetime appointment as an Honorary Advisor.
This is a special designation given to former board members who have distinguished themselves through their dedication to the community and Pasadena Humane’s mission of compassion and care for animals.
As I shared with Bob, I can’t think of anyone I know who has a bigger heart for the animals.
Bob tears up when he recounts the first time he walked into Pasadena Humane in 1992 and beheld what he saw as a beautiful garden for dogs. That day marked the beginning of Bob’s love affair with Pasadena Humane and the animals in our care.
Bob’s distinguished leadership encompasses numerous accomplishments. He had the vision to grow the Wiggle Waggle Walk into Pasadena Humane’s largest annual fundraiser, drawing thousands of animal supporters to walk around the Rose Bowl.
He led other fundraising initiatives and co-chaired the Campaign to Save Lives, which raised millions to build the new Animal Care Center, dedicated in 2014.
When Pasadena Humane featured a float in the 2003 Rose Parade to commemorate the organization’s 100th Anniversary, Bob proudly rode on it down Colorado Boulevard. Joining Bob on the float was his dog Argus, a black lab/Newfoundland mix adopted from Pasadena Humane.
Argus was the first of many shelter dogs lucky enough to join the Fidler family. Alongside Bob, they served as ambassadors for shelter pets.
Bob and Argus were part of a widespread campaign promoting pet adoption. The 1+1 = Love banners appeared on buildings around town in the early 2000’s and helped spread the word about the beauty of the human-animal bond.
Gus, a yellow lab mix, was the next to join Bob and his wife, Mary Ann. Gus also became a poster dog for Pasadena Humane. He was the face of the Wiggle Waggle Walk and regularly accompanied Bob to meetings and events. Gus was part of the Fidler family for 11 years.
After Gus passed away, Bob and Mary Ann waited a year before they were ready to bring another dog into their hearts and their home. In 2015, they adopted Molly, a senior golden retriever, through the shelter’s Seniors for Seniors program.
As Bob explained in a promotional video for the program, “Mary Ann and I were becoming seniors ourselves. And we just thought it would be best in our family if we had a doggy that wanted to go at the same pace we do.”
Thanks to Molly, Bob became an advocate for adopting senior pets. “Senior pets are wonderful. They are very calm, very kind…they are just happy to be with us,” he shared.
The celebration Monday evening to honor Bob could not have been held at a more fitting location…the Rosemont Pavilion, where our 2024 Rose Parade float, “Feed the Love,” sponsored by Hill’s Pet Nutrition is being built and decorated.
Like Pasadena Humane’s 2003 float, our 2024 float will showcase shelter ambassadors. The dogs riding on the float all have been adopted from shelters or are available for adoption.
Pasadena Humane human riders will include board members, staff and volunteers who are excited to share the message of the love and joy shelter pets can bring to our lives.
If you would like to be a part of creating our float, please join us at Behind the Roses on December 28 for a luncheon, VIP tour and opportunity for an up-close look at all the floats at Rosemont Pavilion, and hands-on decorating of Pasadena Humane’s float with fresh flowers.
For more information and to purchase tickets, please see pasadenahumane.org/floatparty
Dia DuVernet is president and CEO of Pasadena Humane. This blog post originally appeared as a column in the Pasadena Star-News on December 15, 2023.