In This Edition

  • Join the Pet Hug Pack®
  • Happy Tails Adoption Updates
  • A Message from the CEO
  • ARF Spotlight: Candace Conrad
  • Ensuring Mammoth’s Future Looks Bright
  • Big Bravery Can Come in Small Packages
  • Training Classes Return
  • From Gunshot Victim to Service-Dog-in-Training
  • Foster Future Service Dogs
  • Meet the Pets and Vets Class of 2023
  • Passing the Torch: A Dialogue Between Susan Lee Vick and Elena Bicker
  • Elena Bicker Forever for the Animals Fund
  • Out of the Flames and Into Our Hearts
  • Bark at the Park
  • Tribute Gifts
  • ARF Spotlight: Nanci Viera
  • Faces of Foster
  • All Eyes on Cheddar

“ARF is in a chrysalis of sorts, as we enter an exciting period of growth and new opportunities to serve people and pets.”

– Susan lee vick

Has it really been half a year since I joined ARF as CEO? These six months have flown by — as time will, it’s said, when you’re having fun. More than fun, these months have been among the most rewarding of my life. I bet every one of ARF’s devoted volunteers, supporters, friends, and staff, understands that. You know firsthand how saving and enriching the lives of animals and people makes every day uniquely joyful.

I’m often asked what’s struck me most since joining ARF. First place goes to making a rescue run to a municipal partner shelter in Fresno, CA. Tied for second, though, are dozens of small moments in which the meaning of the work we do is suddenly cast in brilliant spotlight.
Moments like crossing paths with a beaming family escorting a furry, new best friend to the car. Running across our amazing Pet Hug Pack® therapy animals delighting everyone they pass. Admiring Pets and Vets Veterans and dogs working together to earn their service dog vest. Marveling as a once shy kitten returns from foster care playful, confident, and ready for adoption. Or simply strolling through the laundry room where the big machines turn and tumble, and volunteers fold fresh, clean linens for our shelter guests’ daily needs. So much love and care goes into that humble chore! In many ways it’s a symbol of everything ARF does and means.

These small moments and scores more like them are core to ARF’s identity. At the same time, ARF is in a chrysalis of sorts, as we enter an exciting period of growth and new opportunities to serve people and pets. We will emerge with wings lifting all we are and everything we do. We’re a treasured local resource with the capacity to share ARF joy with communities in California and beyond. We’re “People Rescuing Animals … Animals Rescuing People®,” who experience and amplify the life-changing power of the human-animal bond every day.

Here’s to the magic of this and every ARF moment!

Susan Lee Vick, ARF Chief Executive Officer