Welcome to Our Website!

In this website you will find all the information that you need regarding our organization, from our mission to the adorable pets that are up for adoption. Not sure if you want a life-time commitment? Then you can help us by being a foster parent. And of course, you can always help us with donations.  Thanks for visiting us!

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The Joy of Adopting an Adult Dog

The other day, feeling blue in front of the computer, reading the sad news of one of my friends who passed away, my foster dog approach me. Tita, who I have been taking care for over four months now, probably felt my sadness. And when I looked at her I saw this huge kindness in her eyes. It reminded me of “puppy eyes.” But Tita is not a puppy; she is an adult dog looking for a family who will adopt her. I remember thinking “who will not like to adopt you? You are adorable!” And then I thought about another one of our adult dogs who needs a home: Briggs.

Tita

Tita

The story of Briggs is long and complicated. About four years ago, when I was only a volunteer at ARF, I remember taking him to PetSmart in Hatillo, see if anyone would adopt him. Briggs was so big and looked so intimidating, that people failed to see how harmless he was.  This is a dog that would never hurt a fly. Somehow he got adopted by his foster parents and for all these years we thought that Brigss was safe.

Briggs

Briggs

However, the people who were taking care of Brigss decided to move back to the mainland. At that time they said they were going to take Brigss with them, and then, the day before leaving, they called and said they were going to leave him behind. My heart dropped to the floor. “How could anyone do this?” I was angry, but afterwards a wave of sadness invaded my whole body. “Who will love Brigss now?”

Charlie

Charlie

Briggs and Tita are just two of the many dogs whose chances of getting adopted are slim just because they are adults. We also have Charlie, a well-trained dog who would be perfect in any scenario! But again, Charlie is not a puppy. Puppies are cute, I know it, and everyone wants them. But sometimes we miss the joy of adopting a dog who already knows the pain of being abandoned, and are able to give you their most loyal love once you rescue them. These kinds of dogs really appreciate your love and they can show it simply by looking at you. You can see the affection and the gratitude in their eyes. And when you realize that’s what it is behind those puppy eyes, you melt. It is pure unconditional love like no other.

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They Are Back! Low Cost Sterilization Clinic

Dr. Cruz and his amazing team will be coming back to Rincón on Friday February 5th, 2016, to sterilize and vaccinate 30 dogs! We have 20 spaces open for  residents of Rincón. The cost for sterilizing your dog will be $65 if your dog is vaccinated; if your dog does not have its vaccines up to date, then the cost will be $85. It is mandatory that your dog is vaccinated and you must bring proof of that. Call 787-629-1246 to reserve your space.

Mobile Vet Team: (from left to right) Rosita Sanabria, Dr. Jose A. Cruz, Armando Cruz, Samir Ruiz, Paloma García, and Legnie Santos.

Mobile Vet Team: (from left to right) Rosita Sanabria, Dr. Jose A. Cruz, Armando Cruz, Samir Ruiz, Paloma García, and Legnie Santos.

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Bye bye, 2015…. Hello 2016!

Another great year. So many animals (mostly dogs) that were rescued… So many beautiful people who adopted them. We started doing trap-neuter-return (TNR) practices with dogs. We also hired the services of Dr. Cruz and his team to do the first mass sterilizaton of dogs in Rincon. We are gratetful for everything, but mostly grateful for our supporters. We could not have done this with your donations. From the bottom of our hearts, Thank You!

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Closing the Year with a Big Bang

Mass sterilization on December 13, 2015

Mass sterilization on December 13, 2015

It was the perfect day. For months we were trying to organize a mass sterilization and finally we were able to do it. On December 13, 2015, 24 dogs (12 males, 12 females) were spayed and neutered. Some of them were fosters, some of them were somebody’s pet, and many of the were TNR (trap-neuter-release). This was the biggest step of our organization towards the effort of reducing dog overpopulation.

Dogs in their kennels waiting to be sterilized.

Dogs in their kennels waiting to be sterilized.

We started early, around 7:30 am, and the day went smoothly. One by one all dogs were taken care of, until 4:00 pm. At the end of the day we were tired, but extremely happy. This would not have been possible without the mobile veterinary services of Dr. José A Cruz and his amazing team. There are not enough words to describe how glad and honored we are of teaming up with them. From everybody at ARF of Rincón, we say THANKS!

The amazing team! Left to right: Rosita Sanabria, Dr. Jose A. Cruz, Armando Cruz, Samir Ruiz, Paloma García, and Legnie Santos.

The amazing team! Left to right: Rosita Sanabria, Dr. Jose A. Cruz, Armando Cruz, Samir Ruiz, Paloma García, and Legnie Santos.

Contact Information for Dr. Cruz: cruzveterinaryservices@gmail.com

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When a Rescued Dog Inspires an Award Winning Poem

The story of Boogie was sad from the beginning. We were told that a Shih tzu was thrown out of a moving car on February 27th, 2015. It took us over 24 hours to find him, covered in fleas and ticks; his hair was only knots. Similar, it took us several hours to give him a haircut, and he did not like us touching him. We rushed him to the veterinary and we learned that he had anaplasmosis, a tickborne disease, and he needed treatment (that lasts for 30 days) right away. We named him Boogie.

Boogie getting a haircut the day he was rescued (Feb 28, 2015).

Boogie getting a haircut the day he was rescued (Feb 28, 2015).

After finishing his treatment, we placed Boogie for adoption. We learned that he was an amazing (and funny) dog. He liked to play with other dogs but he absolutely loved to play with cats. And he has regained his trust in humans. Elizabeth Haukaas, a poet living in New York, saw Boogie’s picture in our Facebook page and fell in love with him. She traveled to Puerto Rico only to meet him, which gave us a huge relief as it was a sign that she could really give Boogie all the love that he needed; he has suffered enough in his short life. I cried when they traveled back to New York, as I too, have fallen in love with him.

Elizabeth meets Boogie (April 14, 2015).

Elizabeth meets Boogie (April 14, 2015).

The love that any of us feels for a dog is an amazing feeling. Here is a little (or big) creature that looks at you as you are the whole world; and you can’t help it…. you whole heart melts. And it fills you with the urge to do something creative. It motivated Elizabeth to write a poem about him, titled “Rescuing Boogie”, which won a poetry contest.

Part of the announcement of the winners of the contest.

Part of the announcement of the winners of the contest.

Amazing love inspires us to do amazing things. And sometimes a rescued dog is able to rescue us.

************************************************************************************Note: We cannot publish the poem due to copyright protection.  For more information about the contest, go to http://www.newletters.org/writers-wanted/writing-contests. 

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ARF’s Spay & Release Program Kicks Off with Mama Hines

In an effort to reduce the overpopulation of stray dogs and cats, ARF of Rincon officially initiated its Spay & Release Program in August 26, 2015.  The first beneficiary of the program was Mama Hines, a female Labrador mix who recently gave birth to puppies near the Hines House in Los Almendros Beach.

Mama Hines and her puppies.

Mama Hines and her puppies.

Mama Hines’ puppies have already been picked up and taken to the vet. These puppies were sent to the states by a rescue organization from another town which already new about the puppies. It was Mama Hines turn. However, due to lack of space, we couldn’t pick up this sweet dog and foster her. So we decided to do the next best thing: spay and release Mama Hines. We talked to the neighbors who were feeding her, instructed them not to give any water or food the night before (as all dogs have to be on an empty stomach for the sterilization procedure) and the next morning Mama Hines was taken to the vet to be spayed. After a couple of days and making sure that she was strong again, Mama Hines was released in the area where she was found. She is wearing a tag that indicates that she has been spayed and she is up for adoption.

Tags for the Spay & Release Program.

Tags for the Spay & Release Program.

Mama Hines showing off her tag!

Mama Hines showing off her tag!

Is not the ideal situation, but we have to do everything possible to reduce the number of puppies that are born in the streets every year.  We have talked about a Spay & Release Program for months before this and until now, we never felt that it was necessary. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Although it is sad that we still have not found a place for Mama Hines, we are hopeful that this program will bring benefits to the town of Rincón. We are also working with other organizations to come up with a plan to collaborate together and we have also been reaching out to the College of Veterinarians of Puerto Rico for their support.  If you want to adopt a dog from the ARF’s Spay & Release Program, just call the number on the tag; we will meet with you to give you the dog’s records, sign the adoption papers, and for you to return the tag. No fee is necessary, although a donation is always welcomed. Remember that your donations help us keep doing our work for these wonderful creatures. If you are willing to foster a rescued dog, please let us know. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Mama Hines at Los Almendros Beach.

Mama Hines at Los Almendros Beach.

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ARF of Rincón – Understanding Our Mission

Animal Rescue Foundation of Rincón (ARF of Rincón) was founded in 1997. It started simple: by feeding the strays and offering pet owners help in sterilizing their furry friends. Today, over 18 years later, we continue to educate pet owners of the importance of sterilization and we rescue stray dogs and cats so we can find them homes. As in any other situation, rules are necessary in order to be successful. We believe is important to explain these rules and the reasoning behind them so everybody understands why we do things the way we do it.

  1. We have to focus on Rincón. ARF is supported 100% by donations. These donations come from people who live in Rincón or come here to visit. We do not think is fair to use these donations to help animals from other towns. In addition, other towns have their own rescue organizations, so overlapping is not desirable. We are more than happy to assist other rescue organizations, but we cannot put our own rescued animals aside so we can assist others. You start by cleaning your own house first.
  2. We know we cannot rescue them all. The overpopulation of strays in Rincón (and all Puerto Rico) is overwhelming. The rescuers from ARF of Rincón know that they key is sterilization – we know it – and we want to educate everybody about it. However, we know that we are being reactive instead of proactive and we absolutely hate it. No matter how much we try to focus our efforts in spaying and neutering, there is always a stray dog or cat that needs our immediate attention, so we (sadly) deviate from one of our main goals. That’s why sometimes we have to say “no” when somebody calls about a stray animal. This leaves us to our next rule.
  3. Is okay to say “no”. If you ask any animal rescuer what they would wish for, they would say to have a house with a big yard so they can rescue all the stray dogs and cats. We truly wish for that. So until one of us wins the lottery, we sometimes will have to say “no” when you call us about a dog or cat. Believe us, we want to say yes, but our space is limited. Remember, we are not a shelter; we rely on the help of good people who offer their own houses to foster a dog or a cat. When you call us about a dog, we probably already know about it, but we have to wait until one of our spaces is available before we can pick up the animal.

Being an animal rescuer is an intense job; we see a lot of sad scenarios and it gets to us. We get frustrated, sometimes we even get angry, but we continue to do it because nothing beats the face of a dog when it has found his forever loving home. We hope that understanding our work will help you understand our decisions. And please consider helping us in return; we need a lot more people with big hearts so we can continue our mission.

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ARF of RINCON is a BARKBOX Charity Partner!

It’s official! ARF of Rincón is now a BarkBox Charity Partner!  Pet lovers can sign up for BarkBox. When you sign for up for BarkBox, every month you will receive a box in the mail with four or more carefully selected products and presents for your dog – anything from toys, bones and all-natural treats to hygiene products and innovative new gadgets. A portion of profits from each box will go to help ARF of Rincón in continuing assisting doggies-in-need. BarkBox also makes a great gift for a fellow pet lover.

To sign up just click on the icon below and it will direct you to the page; there follow the three easy steps and done! Thanks for sponsoring ARF of Rincón.

BarkCo-RescuePartner1

 

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Mama Beach and her Puppies; dumped in front of ARF’s office

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014, was a rainy day. One of those days that you want to stay in bed and, if you are lucky, cuddle with your dogs and cats. But there was work to do, so staying in bed was not an option. When we got to ARF’s office there she was, a skinny female dog with her 6 puppies. It is a sad sight; a sweet mama dog dumped with her babies on a weather like that. We named her Mama Beach.

Mama Beach dumped with her puppies in front of ARF's office.

Mama Beach dumped with her puppies in front of ARF’s office.

Mama Beach was dumped along with her puppies. Her puppies were placed in a box with two clean towels. They did not have ticks of fleas. Somebody was obviously taking good care of this family. We ask ourselves “why anyone would do something like this?” as we think on how we assist all our foster parents.

Mama Beach nursing her puppies.

Mama Beach nursing her puppies.

We will not lie; it is frustrating. ARF of Rincon is not a shelter and we have no space for this kind of situation. We depend on nice people who open their homes and their hearts and agree to foster our animals. And right now we need more people like that. Also, we are only opened three days of the week, so Mama Beach was lucky that we were able to see her the same day she was dumped. Furthermore, if a person feels like he or she is in a tight situation, we will help them; there is no need to dump the dog or cat. ARF of Rincon will work with anybody that agrees to foster a dog or cat until the animal gets adopted.

We were able to place Mama Beach and her puppies in a foster home. She is a very good mom – she likes to clean them when they are dirty, nurses them when they are hungry, and protects them from other dogs. Mama Beach trusts us humans with her puppies, which is good because that way we get to cuddle with them. One curious fact: Mama Beach has a short tail; we thought it was because of an accident but three of her babies have short tails too!

If you can help by fostering or adopting, please call us at 787-823-7167 or send us an e-mail (arfrincon@gmail.com). You can also help us by donating via Paypal. Any help (small or big) will be greatly appreciated.

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