Furry Friends

February 2021 View more

In mid-December Animal Rescue Foundation (arf-il.org) reached a special milestone—1,000 pet adoptions in 2020, an amazing accomplishment considering the nonprofit had just opened its first brick-and-mortar building in July. The building now serves as an intake center, but all
of the available pets are hosted in foster homes—about 75 active in the area—which are growing due to the Stay at Home and Foster campaign (stayhomeandfoster.org) sponsored by Greater Good Charities.

“I personally stopped traveling for work so I was able to be a foster home,” says board member Susan Vertrees, who started volunteering in 2017 to get her son used to cats. “He wasn’t into it,” she admits, “but I kept volunteering.” About two years ago she took over as marketing director for ARF, and her goal is to increase the organization’s community presence in order to grow.

ARF receives a lot of its animals from shelters outside Chicagoland, namely downstate areas like Quincy. “There are volunteer transport networks that will take a van full of dogs and cats to shelters in Chicagoland,” Vertrees explains. In 2020, a total of 1,209 dogs and cats found homes thanks to placements through ARF.

Photos courtesy ARF