As a young girl growing up in Chicago, Illinois, Wanda Muntwyler was surrounded by pets in a family of animal lovers. She and her sisters frequently gave a home to neighborhood strays, supported by parents who insisted on respect for all living creatures. After reaching adulthood, marrying and moving to Oak Park, her interest flourished with the encouragement of her husband who cared for abandoned animals at his south side business. Recognizing this family tradition in her later years, she established a foundation that would extend her family's efforts to strengthen the human-animal bond and to prevent animal cruelty. Although Mrs. Muntwyler died in September 2000, her work to benefit animals continues through her generosity.