“Unwanted” animals and strays fill up the ARF building. The facility includes 12 dog runs, cat and dog isolation rooms and office space.
New animals spend two weeks in controlled isolation with a dedicated ventilation system.
Animals receive exercise and socialization in addition to veterinarian care. No animal leaves ARF without being spayed or neutered.
A $100 adoption fee covers the cost of food, shots and spay or neuter.
Sometimes, that fee is the lone money coming in for vet bills, according to Thompson.
Luckily, nearby vets at Animal Hospital and Old Capitol Pet Care provide discounted services to ARF.
“If we did not have our veterinarians that supported us with early spaying and neutering, vaccinating and testing them and doing everything right, there would be no way we could do what we do,” Thompson said.
Often, staff members find animals abandoned out front.
“We are going to take care of these animals because apparently people think they are throwaways,” Thompson said. “We need money to improve animals’ lives.”
At the current rate, ARF only does one fix per week. A perfect world would enable the shelter to spay or neuter every animal.
ARF aims to educate the public that the majority of unregistered animals shouldn’t reproduce.
“If people took the time and money when that puppy was four months old, the cost of the surgery is minimal. If they do it before females go into heat, it reduces their chances of prostate cancer to zero,” Thompson said. “Spaying and neutering and roaming animals all go hand and hand. That’s how they get their litters of puppies and kittens.”
Until the end of the month, ARF has a reduced cat adoption fee of $25. Animals are also placed on Petfinder in hopes that the right home walks in the door.
ARF understands special needs of each potential pet.