There are 118 animals with me at ARF today. I am the only person sitting at a desk. In the rest of the building there are 20 men and women doing transformational work with the animals in our care. They are cleaning, preparing food, performing exams, and giving medications. They are not simply walking dogs and emptying litter boxes. They are making sure every animal gets exercise and enrichment, which includes training, agility, puzzles to exercise their noses and minds, and one-on-one time with people.
Our goal is that ARF’s cats and dogs never feel the uncertainty and anxiety we humans share in this new reality of COVID-19.
My personal concern is to balance the commitment of ARF’s staff with their safety. Since the beginning of the month, we focused on seeing as many highly-adoptable animals as possible adopted in anticipation of closures, quarantines, and isolation. I know there is a very real possibility that our local community will need for us to help animals whose caregivers become ill or face extreme economic hardship. For this reason, we will work with our incredible family of volunteers to place additional dogs and cats in foster homes.
Even with all its expertise and passion, ARF cannot do its work without your help. We closed the ARF Thrift Shop this week to protect our employees, volunteers, and the public. In addition, our annual fundraising events like the Designer Show House, which fund 25% of our operating costs,
must be postponed and re-imagined for better days ahead.
Please, if you are able, consider making a gift today to keep ARF open and our focus on our mission unwavering. You can make a donation online at give.arfhamptons.org
Thank you for all you have done to support ARF’s mission, especially now as we continue to evolve to meet new challenges and needs. I promise to stay in touch with you in the coming weeks, and I hope you remain well and safe.