KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Georgia Petsch poured herself into being a voice for neglected animals and a loving hand for those who needed a kind touch.
"She was this kind, wonderful person," Petsch's best friend, Blythe Edelman, said. "She cared about animals, she cared about people and she cared about people that needed help. She was there to reach out and be their hero, and I think that's so big."
Petsch's family and friends want her to be remembered for that, not for the tragedy that claimed her life. She was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds in the home she shared with her husband Friday in the 300 block of West 98th Street.
The Jackson County Prosecutor's Office charged Brandon Petsch, her husband, with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in connection with Georgia's homicide.
Brandon, who was found unresponsive in another room of the house and remains hospitalized in police custody, left an apparent suicide note. The note details an argument the couple had and the writer admits to shooting Georgia three times.
"It was very shocking to wake up to that phone call," Edelman said. "To find out she had been in fear and pain, I think is the hardest part. Just knowing that not only did he take her from us, but he took her from us in such terrible way."
Georgia worked at Johnson County Developmental Supports, an agency that helps adults with developmental disabilities get jobs and live productive, healthy lives. After she got off work, she volunteered at the Rescue Project as the outreach coordinator, keeping track of every animal they visited.
Andrea Knobbe worked alongside Georgia every day. She said the organization could not run without her.
"It's surreal that she's gone," Knobbe said.
Georgia performed a variety of roles for the Rescue Project, including frequent outreach venturing into the streets with Knobbe. The Rescue Project has helped 1,000 animals in the last year.
"We would go out on the streets and immediately she saw an animal, stop the van, pull over and it wasn’t even a question whether she was going to help," Knobbe said.
She was key in saving so many lives, her friends said. Now, they are left to wish they could have intervened to save hers.
"She was a strong person and so I never thought, I don't think her family or her friends thought, that she would ever have something like this happen to her," Edelman said.
The homicide/attempted suicide has left Georgia's family and friends with many questions, including if there had been ongoing issues of domestic violence.
Friends are now taking care of Georgia's two dogs, Elvis and Violet.
The Rescue Project is raising money in Georgia's name to donate to the Rose Brooks Center, a domestic violence outreach that helps families and their pets escape their abuser.