They wait patiently for someone to notice them, someone to whom they can show unconditional love and loyalty for a lifetime. Some wait for only hours, and some wait for years.
This week, if they were lucky, some dogs and cats at Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons have found what they’ve been waiting for: a home for the holidays.
In an effort to encourage pet adoptions during this festive season, Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, better known as ARF, waived its adoption fees through December 24 for dogs and cats that had been living at the shelter for longer than six months. The organization also is holding a pet food drive to help support local food pantries and residents.
“We like to help out the food pantries, because people donate food, but sometime they forget that these families have pets, and we like to help them out too,” said Jamie Berger, ARF’s director of marketing and communications.
At ARF, pets in waiting are treated like family until they find a family of their own. The expansive Wainscott facility has dozens of dog runs, cat houses and a staff of caring professionals who spay, neuter, microchip and socialize dogs and cats to make them adoptable. They have veterinarians on staff and volunteers who engage the animals in playtime.
Ms. Berger said that ARF has so far adopted out only a few animals since the “All I Want For Christmas Is You” campaign began earlier this month, but added that the effort to find homes for all of ARF’s residents is constant throughout the year. She said this year’s campaign is to help the older animals that families often overlook when thinking of welcoming a new pet into their home.
“It’s a way to bring attention to the animals that have been here a little longer” Ms. Berger said. “We just wanted to make sure they get a little extra attention.”
ARF’s pet food drive, which began in early December, will continue through the new year, as the organization is always in need of pet food and pet supplies. They can always use blankets, towels and toys, as well. Ms. Berger said the pet food drive has been successful.
“People have been really kind,” Ms. Berger said. “They’re not just bringing in food. They’re bringing in toys for the dogs. Just so the animals can have a merry Christmas too.”
ARF also offers free clinics and dog training classes. The shelter is open every day from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.