|Monday, 15 October 2012 00:00|
Kathleen "Cookie" Briney: 1949-2012
Volunteer and Advocate to Shelter Animals
Animal Services employees and shelter animals lost a dear friend and advocate on Thursday (Oct. 11, 2012) when Kathleen "Cookie" Briney died of cancer. She was 63.
Ms. Briney had been a long-time animal advocate in the Coachella Valley. Everyone knew Ms. Briney by the nickname she preferred to her birth name, "Cookie."
She first approached Riverside County Animal Services in 2004 during what was then her early retirement years. Ms.Briney was not the type to sit around, though, and told shelter workers that she wanted to volunteer. Ms. Briney assisted as a volunteer at what was then the county's desert shelter in Indio.
Ms. Briney had just been driving by the Indio shelter one random day when she decided to stop in to see how she might be able to assist. She never left.
When Riverside County and desert city partners constructed and opened the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in ThousandPalms in 2005, Ms. Briney continued her efforts to be a voice for the desert's homeless desert pets. She worked as an adoption counselor, an adoptions supervisor and a volunteer services coordinator.
She started to earn some recognition in the community after many appearances on live television at Coachella Valley news stations. She appeared on TV to showcase some of the pets needing loving families.
Understanding that not every animal can be saved, Ms. Briney, colleagues say, always treated each pet with dignity and love.
Animal Services Director Robert Miller said he will remember Cookie as a hero for unwanted animals. He said he smiles when he thinks about staff meetings and how Cookie came to the meetings always holding a small dog or two.
"Cookie was a loyal and dedicated employee of Animal Services and I will always remember Cookie with a puppy in her arms or walking around with a small breed dog at her side," Mr. Miller said. "Cookie was a true champion for rescuing and adopting homeless animals into new loving families. She will be dearly missed by all of us who knew her."
Briney died at her home in Thermal, with her husband of 33 years, Bob, by her side. Her son, Albert Hinojosa, a former animal care technician at the Coachella Valley Animal Campus, was also present.
Kathleen Briney was born on July 6, 1949 and lived her whole life in the Coachella Valley. She worked in customer service for GTE before she and Bob Briney owned and operated their own business, Muffler World in Indio, for many years.
Bob Briney met "Cookie" at the Branding Iron bar and restaurant on Dec. 16, 1978. He said he knew would marry her. Almost one year later, in November 1979, the couple married.
Ms. Briney was the second oldest of five children of Karl and Beulah O'Malley. Ms. Briney is also survived by her mother, Beulah O'Malley, two brothers, Tim and Jeff O'Malley, and a sister, Lynn Ramos.
Three pets, all from the Coachella Valley Animal Campus, also survive Cookie. They are: Tiffany, a 9-year-old black poodle mix; Harley, a male 8-year-old Bichon and Bear, a 4-year-old terrier mix that Ms. Briney originally fostered from the shelter before Bear became a permanent resident.
A memorial/celebration of life ceremony is scheduled on Thursday, Oct. 25, from noon to 3 p.m., at the Indio Elks Lodge 1643, 46-301 Madison Ave., Indio, 92201. The Elks Lodge phone number is 760-347-1643.