MILLEDGEVILLE — Longtime Animal Rescue Foundation president and founder Bobbie Thompson, now serving as board treasurer, has 30 years worth of animal saving stories. Together with a local group, Thompson disbanded the old Baldwin County Humane Society and started ARF.
“It took us a few months to do all the legal stuff,” Thompson said. “We were finally incorporated on Sept. 20, 1983.”
A stint at the county animal shelter ended 12 years later. When Animal Hospital moved to its Highway 441 location, the old facility was sold to ARF.
Thompson said the building is mortgage free by bequest.
Donations are the lifeblood of the organization. Fundraising has no beginning or end as strays and unwanted litters pour in.
Special event auctions or fundraisers like last fall’s 5K and petwalk at the Oconee River Greenway support ARF operations.
Thompson admits asking for money isn’t easy. Overall, the community generosity has been amazing though a more consistent flow would boost morale.
Large scale donations kept ARF alive when the doors nearly closed two years ago.
The 501(c)3 nonprofit’s monthly bills averaging $8,000 are steady. ARF’s Peaceful Pet Crematorium’s profits assist the shelter.
Considering that euthanized animals contaminate the soil for other wildlife, cremation is a safe and sanitary answer.
“We believe in respecting all animals living and deceased,” the ARF founder said.
Volunteers at all levels of facility maintenance, pet care and office duties are precious commodities.
“We need help all year long. In a perfect world, we could use at least six volunteers here every morning to walk dogs,” Thompson said.
After one year volunteering at the Animal Rescue Foundation’s shelter on South Wilkinson Street, ARF Board of Directors Secretary Debra Campbell said there is nothing she enjoys more.
“I haven’t regretted it for a moment. Love is like no other perk you get. If you love animals, you can’t do anything better than this,” Campbell said in regards to helping animals that can’t help themselves.