Message from Sonja on ARF's 10th Anniversary

Many people ask and ponder the question "What is my purpose in life?". Well, for the last 30 years there has been no question what my purpose is. I started helping people place dogs and cats in new homes in the 80's. Having been raised on a dairy farm, I have always had many and various pets, hence my affinity for animals.

Now reflecting on ARF's 10 years of operation, on all of the support from businesses and members of our community, on all of the animals we have helped, I never dreamed this commitment would become so important to me. Even when I have been overwhelmed and considered giving up, I could not when I thought about the dire situation many helpless animals in our area face on a daily basis. Yes, even in our blissful Wimberley community, there are hundreds of animals who need our attention whether they are lost, abandoned, injured or mistreated. More importantly, the issue of pet overpopulation and responsible pet ownership is an ongoing endeavor that must be addressed through education, particularly on a local level.

Most Wimberley residents know what ARF does: keep track of lost or found pets; provide medical and basic care for animals that are found; help place abandoned or unclaimed dogs and cats in new homes; and for the past several years provide low cost spay/neuter programs for the community. Additionally, we provide pet food and veterinary care when there is a financial hardship for a pet owner.

With the dedicated help of such individuals as Judy Bowman of the Blue Willow store on the Square, we have literally placed hundreds of cats and kittens through our collaborative work to find good homes for these animals. Since we do not have a shelter, we depend on many devoted individuals in our community to foster unwanted or unclaimed dogs that are found in our area. These special people care for these animals until we can find them a permanent home.

Ten years is a long time, and ARF has grown and come a long way, with a long way to go before we can have a true shelter here. Our goal and dream is to first build a cat shelter, then hopefully and dog shelter in the outskirts of Wimberley. We are doing the best we can now, and hope to have more volunteers and donations in the future to continue and grow.

Fireworks Can Create A Nightmare for Your Pets

After almost 10 years doing my ARF rescue/lost and found operation, I have learned firsthand what fireworks do to dogs. Some are not bothered, but many are--the vibration from the fireworks can be really painful to their ears.

This is also the case with gun fire or thunder. Every year when loud noises occur, many of our beloved pets are lost and sometimes never found.

Many lose their lives or are severely injured by cars or experience the hazards of just being out in the wild. During the hot summer months, a lost dog can easily become dehydrated and die from the heat. Some are stolen while others are found and kept because they are good dogs. The original owner may never know their fate.

We hope to make dog owners more aware of this problem. During fireworks activities or storms, please take extra precautions so that your dogs are secured in a safe place. When animals are frightened, sometimes they run frantically not realizing where they are going.

ARF is in the process of acquiring a chip reader used to scan dogs and cats who have had the identification information implanted in their necks. When we find a lost animal with this ID, we can immediately contact the owner. Additionally, it is always wise for your pets to wear collars with ID tags. If you need a tag, ARF can supply one for you with our local number. We keep track of the tag numbers and make every effort to be on call 7 days a week in order to reunite dogs with their owners.