In this new series, Women at Work, Laura Edwards chat with women working in unusual,…
Ever wanted to help save a life?
The ACT Rescue and Foster Inc. (ARF) is a small non-profit community organisation that focuses on rescuing dogs of all types from pounds in the Canberra and Queanbeyan region. These dogs are usually on the euthanasia lists (dogs that are going to be put down due to overcrowding or because no one has come along yet that wants them), so ARF provides loving foster homes to look after the dogs until new permanent homes can be found.
“Saving one dog will not change the world, but for that one dog their world has changed forever,” says Beverley Margosis, DAS Liaison Officer for ARF. ARF has been doing some amazing work around Canberra and the surrounding areas and have rescued and re-homed over 2,600 dogs since being founded in 2001. With 200 members and 35 foster carers improving the lives of dogs in need a little love, ARF is the place to go if you want to save some very important lives.
Every week, volunteers head to Domestic Animal Services and pounds to test the temperaments of dogs that are due for euthanasia in the next week and gather all the information about the dogs they can before making informed decisions about potential foster homes and where each dog should go.
Each foster family has a criteria about what they can and are able to take as a foster pet – such as whether they have enough room for big dogs, smaller dogs, young dogs or old dogs.
Taking on a foster dog is a huge responsibility – Fosters develop connections with the dog and many times the dogs experience life and live alongside other beloved household pets. Foster parents also help create great ‘doggy citizens’ and teach them the basic commands of sit, drop, wait and how to walk on a lead.
“Sometimes your house may get chewed, but the rewarding aspects of fostering outweighs the negatives and that knowing that you are making a small difference in a big problem is positive in itself,” explains Beverley.
ARF not only helps re-home these amazing creatures, but they also focus on educating the community about responsible dog companionship and work with local pounds to achieve, develop and implement “minimum destruction” policies and procedures – making sure every dog gets their day.
If you want to help ARF out, there are many ways you can get involved. You can become a foster carer by heading to the ARF site and filling in the application form or you can help by donating any blankets, towels, collars or leads that you might be able to part with.
You can become an ARF member for $15 a year, get involved in raising funds for ARF or checking out ARF events, and you can even purchase one of the amazing calendars ARF sells starring their very own rescue dogs.
Find out more about ARF here: fosterdogs.org
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