Hope fades as Oswald case goes cold, Friends proceed with shelter closure

As questions still surround the disappearance of Alice "Anita" Oswald her friends are forced to move on without her at Harmony Haven Sanctuary, a pet rescue Oswald founded years ago.

Posted: Nov 22, 2017 9:22 PM
Updated: Nov 22, 2017 10:44 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - As questions still surround the disappearance of Alice "Anita" Oswald her friends are forced to move on without her at Harmony Haven Sanctuary, a pet rescue Oswald founded years ago.


To her friends, she was Anita. She seems to have disappeared without a trace.

Jerri Laubert is a volunteer turned Harmony Haven board member. She says Anita was a fierce advocate for animals and would never abandon the dogs and cats at her shelter.

"Her heart was in it for the animals. She would drag her legless body up a hill to get to these dogs. She would never, ever abandon these dogs."

Laubert says she and others were shocked to learn Anita had gone missing. Local authorities say they're stumped.

While the search for Anita continues, Harmony Haven board members are forced to move on. They say they plan to close the shelter for good as soon as all of the animals have been moved. Many dogs and cats have already been claimed by other local agencies but some remain. Board Vice President Carol Dunham says some of the dogs are elderly and she would like them to go to a special facility or special home where they can live out there days, happily.

Both Dunham and Laubert say it has been difficult to witness the animals leaving. The sight is an indication the shelter they've worked so many years is really closing and Anita is really gone.

Laubert says Anita would be mad about the animals leaving even though she feels they are "doing right by her" as they clean the building and re-home the animals. Laubert adds, she'd welcome the fight from Anita if it meant she was back home safe.

You can contact Harmony Haven if you'd like to adopt any of the remaining animals.

Board members say it will be up to the nearby Terre Haute Sporting Clays to decide what is done with the Harmony Haven building. According to Laubert, Oswald had an arrangement with the owner of the property to run the shelter.

A Silver Alert was issued for 77-year-old Alice "Anita" Oswald November 13th after a suspected arson at her home in the 2300 block of Second Avenue. Oswald's daughter reported her missing the previous Friday when she did not show up for work at Harmony Haven. Oswald was last seen driving a burgundy 2014 Honda CRV with Indiana plate UJN699.

Anyone with information about Oswald's disappearance is asked to Contact the Terre Haute Police Department at 812-238-1661.

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