The short story
Maudie Nation and a group of people, originally incorporated ARF in 1997, with the hope to build a facility in Wayne County to house stray and unwanted dogs similar to a humane society. The corporation went dormant several years later as interest waned because they could not accomplish that task.
First Official ARF Meeting
The first official ARF meeting had 28 people in attendance and elected their first officials.
President - Juana Grover
Vice President - Maudie Nation
First ARF Clinic Held
First spay/neuter clinic was started with the rescue portion of ARF pulling animals from the pound to be vetted, fostered, and rehomed.
Annual meetings held in June through 2019 to elect officers and directors.
No Annual Meetings
Due to Covid, there were no annual meetings in 2020 or 2021, however, there were still 6 directors serving their terms.
Clinic operations suspended while relocating to current location. Vet on staff left during relocation.
Two out of town vets were hired and clinic operations resumed.
Clinic Operations Suspended
Due to travel costs, the two vets resigned. All clinic operations have been suspended while the search for another vet continues.
The long story
ARF was originally incorporated in 1997 by a group of people, including Maudie Nation, who hoped to be able to build a facility in Wayne County to house stray and unwanted dogs similar to a humane society. The corporation went dormant several years later as interest waned because they could not accomplish that task.
In late 2009 I had a horse in my barn with an eye injury. Dr. Hall was coming out 3 times a week to help me care for my horse.
My horse barn is across the road from the house and we had a gate to the barn that was closed nightly, but we also had a heat sensor alarm that sounded in the house if something entered. Because I was having to go to the barn every 4 hours, around the clock, for eye meds on my horse, the gate was left open. One night at about 9PM, the alarm went off – we assumed it was a deer but when it went off again about 10 minutes later we were suspicious! I went to the barn with 2 of our large dogs in tow to discover someone had deposited 4 kittens about 6 weeks old and their mother, along with a bowl of food, in my barn. Dr Hall came out the next day and I showed him the cats and said “Beau, whoever put them in MY barn cared about them. If I live long enough I am going to do something about these unwanted animals”. Beau’s response, “You need to talk to Maudie about ARF”. I had lived in Wayne county 11 years and had never heard of ARF.
Upon meeting Maudie, she and I went through her box of records and found what we needed to get re-started. I contacted GA Dept of Agriculture to see how we could become a licensed rescue as that had never been done. In the beginning of January 2010, the GA Dept of Agriculture rep came to my home, reviewed fencing, etc. and issued our first rescue license. I also didn’t even know there was a “pound” in Jesup nor did I know how many animals were euthanized weekly because there was no where for them to go. Ernie, my late husband, and I visited the pound and met the animal control officers, James Manning (still employed in the capacity) and Ashley Brown, and asked lots of questions. They were courteous but guarded in their answers as they did not know us or what we might be up to. I made an appointment with the Police Chief and with his help started the ability for ARF, under our license as a rescue, to “pull” animals from the pound, have them vetted, placed in foster homes and offered for adoption. Animals were pulled from the pound on Wednesdays because Wolfe Animal Hospital was closed to the public on Wednesday afternoons, therefore, Dr. Hall and Dr. Barwick donated their time to us on Wednesday afternoons to vet and vaccinate our animals and only charged us 10% over their cost for vaccines, etc. Maudie and I went every Wednesday and were able to pull maybe 2 or 3 depending on the foster homes we had available. Unfortunately, we knew the ones that were left behind would be euthanized on Friday as the pound only kept them 5 days to give the owners the opportunity to reclaim (which rarely happened).
The first official ARF meeting was held in February, 2010, with 28 people in attendance, and officers were elected. I was elected President and Maudie was elected Vice President. We realized early that part of the problem was affordable rates for altering animals. Using my SUV and a borrowed van, we began hauling dogs and cats to No More Homeless Pets in Jacksonville, FL monthly as their rates were affordable. Later, we struck a reduced rate deal with a vet in Glennville, GA and continued hauling dogs and cats there. Eventually, we met an affordable vet with a mobile unit who came into Jesup and did the surgeries at a donated location. ARF volunteers manned the incoming, recovering, and outgoing process. Again this was a once a month deal.
Eventually ARF personnel decided we should establish our own spay/neuter clinic. The late Mrs. Olene Moody Lewis donated a mobile home to us and provided a spot for it to “live” on her property. The mobile home required a good bit of work to turn it into a clinic. I was chair of the project and my co-chair was Kathy Jones, CEO of WAGS rescue (she was an ARF member at that time). We found a vet, ordered necessary equipment and supplies and our first surgery in our very own clinic was done February 25, 2014. I served as clinic manager and Tammie Kolb served as vet tech. We initially had good volunteers to work on the recovery floor and as we got busier, we were able to offer a small salary to the vet tech and recovery floor manager. In the meantime, the rescue part of ARF continued to pull animals from the pound, vet them, foster them and get them adopted. As an ARF member at that time, Kathy Jones started the “Last Chance” program at the pound and took on the responsibility of locating other rescues who could take animals from Wayne County. Animals were removed from the pound under the ARF license then transferred to other licensed rescues which drastically reduced the number of animals euthanized. Kathy, realizing the need for another rescue who might also serve surrounding counties (ARF concentrated strictly on Wayne), established WAGS. We let the Last Chance Program go to WAGS.
Annual meetings were held in June through 2019 where officers and directors were elected. THEN COVID HAPPENED.
There was no annual meeting in 2020 or 2021 but we still had 6 directors serving their terms. Early in 2021, we were asked to relocate the clinic facility due to Olene’s failing health. We still had 2 years remaining on our 10 year lease (paid $1 a year), but out of respect for Olene and her family, we began the daunting task of finding a suitable place for relocation. Tammie Kolb, the original vet tech, offered her land on 301 South in Jesup and our clinic operations were suspended until the move was accomplished. Our vet at that time found another position elsewhere, so we hired 2 out of town vets and began with surgeries at our new location in January, 2022. The vets traveled about 2 hours to reach us, but after about a year, it became too much and they unfortunately resigned in January, 2023. Since their resignation we have had to suspend all clinic services while we search for another vet, however, our original mission to rescue and rehome continues...