Dog Lovers Find Home for Pooch After Owner Killed in Cab Crash

By Andrea Swalec on May 30, 2012 7:17am 

Stevens' 3-year-old terrier, Moose, was adopted by her neighbors after her death.
Stevens' 3-year-old terrier, Moose, was adopted by her neighbors after her death.
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Randall Sell

WEST VILLAGE — After Bleecker Street resident Lori Stevens was struck and killed by a cab while she walked her dog earlier this month, neighbors and friends united to make sure the pooch she loved wasn't left homeless.

Stevens, 70, was hit by a taxi while crossing Jane Street near Hudson Street the evening of May 2, police and fire officials said. She died May 3 from blunt impact head injuries, the city Medical Examiner's office confirmed. 

Neighbors at 350 Bleecker St., where Stevens lived for 40 years, remembered the retired nurse and former scuba diving instructor as caring to her neighbors and devoted to her 3-year-old terrier Moose, who she sometimes pushed around the Village in a stroller. 

"Lori was crazy about her dog," said Helen Katz, Stevens' friend and neighbor of 25 years, who has been cleaning out Stevens' first-floor studio. 

"She would do anything for you," Katz added, recalling that Stevens referred neighbors to doctors and would walk their dogs for them if they were ill. 

Stevens previously worked at Bellevue Hospital, St. Vincent's Hospital and New York Downtown Hospital, Katz and neighbor Janet Tidwell said. She had no survivors and retreated upstate in the summers to a cabin made from a former schoolhouse, they said. 

About 40 of Stevens' neighbors at 350 Bleecker St. — which the New York Times called "the social building" in a September 2010 profile of the multigenerational, mixed co-op and rental complex — held a memorial service for her last week, said Katz, 75. Dog owners she met on walks in the Village also attended, neighbors said. 

"It's a real community," Katz said about Village dog owners. 

Thanks to the generosity of the community, Moose, who Stevens was reported to have been holding as she was hit, has a new home in the same building, neighbors said.

Stevens' neighbors Randall Sell and Edward Gilligan took in the dog after her owner's death and said the dog is adapting to living with their 8-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Buddy. 

"We had been thinking about adopting a second dog and we knew someone had to take care of Moose," Sell said. 

In addition to finding a new home for Stevens' pet, her neighbors set up a street-side memorial to her, beseeching drivers and pedestrians to be more cautious. 

"Please be careful. And cars, SLOW DOWN. Please, SLOW DOWN," a sign posted on the southeast corner of Hudson and Jane streets reads. 

Sell, a public health professor, said the accident serves as a reminder of how cautious drivers need to be in crowded areas.

"It was an accident, but we heard that he was driving too fast," he said. 

The driver was not charged in the crash, police said. 

Just a week before the collision, Stevens, Katz and another Village residents had been their dogs together along the Hudson River, Katz said. 

"We were saying, 'I'll see you this day and that day,'" she said, "and then she gets knocked out."

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