Claremore woman plans walk to honor her daughter

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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 7/31/2013 5:19 pm Published: 7/31/2013 4:19 pm

A Claremore woman is taking a unique approach to honor her slain daughter.

She's walking nearly 20 miles with a donkey and a dog by her side.

Vanessa Haynes was laid to rest at the Lone Elm cemetery, but she does not have a headstone. It's something her mother desperately wants for her daughter.

Pamela Haynes knew she had a long road ahead of her, but she said it was worth it.

In an effort to raise the $1,100 needed for a headstone for her daughter's grave, she decided to walk from her home to the cemetery.

The money that people donated for her walk will help buy the headstone.

"You don't go in thinking that you'll bury your child before you. You never think that," she said.

Her daughter, Vanessa, was murdered during a robbery in 2008 by gang members; leaving Pamela shattered and without a way to properly honor her child.

"Today is the day that she was murdered at 4:35 in the afternoon and I started leaving Monday at 4:35 in the afternoon," she said.

She brought along Vanessa's donkey, Charlie and her dog named Jack.

Pamela wanted to bring the donkey and the dog with her is because her daughter Vanessa loved animals and she wanted to bring them to her grave on the anniversary of Vanessa's death.

On her second day of travel she was stopped by Animal Control and told she couldn't continue.

"I would have been there this morning for her and that would have been a very memorable moment," she said.

She set out late Monday afternoon hoping to get to the cemetery by Wednesday, the anniversary of Vanessa’s death.

With Charlie and Jack next to her she began to make her way through Claremore, only to be stopped by animal control.

“I was told that I could not take the animal through Claremore without a permit,” she said.

Devastated, Haynes went back home.

“I was initially very concerned for her safety because it was a very busy time of day that she was traveling through town,” said Jean Hurst with Claremore Animal Control.

FOX23 did some checking and according to Claremore city ordinance, it is unlawful to ride, drive, hitch, tie or place any domestic animal on any sidewalk within the corporate limits of the city or to interrupt travel. This does not include dogs or cats.

The city said Haynes Pamela can call them and let them know ahead of time if she wants to try again, but will need to stay off the main highways and sidewalks and can only use back roads.

An account has been set up at the RCB bank in Claremore for donations to pay for the headstone.

So far Pamela has raised about $200, she's $900 short of her goal.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Pdeaver - 8/1/2013 11:15 AM
1 Vote
In the Tulsa world article it sounds like animal control supervisor Jean Hurst gave two different stories.

Pdeaver - 8/1/2013 10:45 AM
1 Vote
I recently had a problem with code enforcement in claremore and told to contact my chairperson, so after a lengthily email and weeks later, they don't even respond. I still have the email, still waiting on an answer. They really don't care unless your a church or a good ol' boy. So they got rid of me at city hall telling me to contact my chair, and then they do not respond. This lady's story is terrible, it's time to step back from your desks and look at reality claremore 'officials'.

Mayor Maynot - 8/1/2013 12:50 AM
3 Votes
I know it's a little presumptuous of me to suggest this: put the donkey into a trailer haul em up to a short ways from the grave site and finish the trip like that. Not exactly the way you planned it I'm sure. Life throws curve balls. Try not to strike out.
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