How ARF’N began
ARF’N started out as a group of volunteers working to rescue dogs and cats at the Hernando County, Florida shelter. After spending many hours at the shelter, we became advocates for shelter reform to improve conditions and prevent unnecessary euthanasia.
Our efforts through social media and the press created public outrage at shelter conditions, and we continued to advocate for specific changes. Finally, after many months, the County changed shelter procedures, and also hired a full-time veterinarian, vet tech and animal advocate.
In the meantime, we continued to network with other rescue groups and supporters to rescue animals at the shelter.
In our first year, the shelter’s Director acknowledged that, with the help of the many rescues in our broad network, we changed the euthanasia rate at the shelter from 70% euthanized to 70% saved.
A lot of great things happened in our first year!
What does ARF’N do now?
In late 2012, the volunteers decided to formalize our commitment to animal rescue and to our network of rescue partners. We founded ARF’N, a non-profit corporation, and got federal approval as a 501(c)(3) public charity.
Our Facebook page, named “Hernando County Animal Control Friends” from when we first started, has over 5,500 “friends” and is visited by well over a hundred thousand people a week. We network directly with many additional rescue partners and supporters through emails and phone calls.
With the help of these caring friends and partners, we continue to save many animals in Hernando County and beyond. Most of these are dogs and cats, but we’ve also found rescues and homes for horses, pigs and birds. To date, the ARF’N volunteers alone have pulled nearly 200 dogs and cats from the Hernando shelter, and our partners have pulled many hundreds more.
We continue to keep an eye on the shelter, and do our best to bring changes when needed and to keep the public informed of what happens there.
We provide initial and, as needed, ongoing vet care to the animals we rescue and to many that are rescued by others. We also provide animal transport for other rescue groups.
To view a short Video to see how we Transport and receive a Rescues Please click on the link ARFN Transport Video
We hold adoption events to get homes for the one to two dozen dogs and cats that are in ARF’N foster homes, and we invite other rescue groups to bring their animals to these events.
How does ARF’N choose which animals to rescue?
Generally, the small or purebred dogs and the unusual cats would be adopted at the shelter by the public anyway. So while we always help a partner rescue any animal, we focus most of our efforts on the animals that may otherwise be euthanized. Those are the ones that urgently need help, and we network them and save them ourselves most heavily.
What is ARF’N’s adoption process?
Our adoption process includes a written application; checking on home ownership or landlord permission to have the pet; assuring the adopter gives proper care to other pets by calling their veterinarian; and a home visit with the adopter and the dog or cat to make sure the family and new pet will be a good match.
Who runs ARF’N?
ARF’N is run by the same group of volunteers that began working together in 2011, plus a number of newer dedicated volunteers. We include current or retired teachers, administrators, operations managers, nurses, homemakers and a retired attorney. We also have the free help of a local practicing attorney.