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ARF, FFAR and animal shelter team up to give dogs a second chance

Posted: September 8, 2015 5:09 p.m.
Updated: September 9, 2015 1:00 a.m.
Tenell Felder/C-I

Camden Resident Sheryl Duncan waits to place one of her foster puppies, Petey, on the ARF van.

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Forty-six foster and shelter dogs got a second chance at finding a forever home Friday afternoon thanks to a collaboration of the Animal Rescue Fund (ARF) of the Hamptons, N.Y.; Fostering Foster Animal Rescue (FFAR) of Camden and Kershaw County’s Walter M. Crowe Animal Shelter.

Friday afternoon’s pickup took place at a local residence just over the Sumter County line past Boykin. Twenty of the dogs were fostered and another five were strays collected by or dogs directly surrendered to FFAR. The remaining 21 were all from Walter M. Crowe.

ARF provided two transportation vans, one to collect dogs from Fostering Foster and another to collect dogs directly from the shelter. The vans made the trip back to New York so all the dogs can eventually get adopted. FFAR Director Andrea Walker said ARF’s decision to pull animals directly from the shelter was an uncommon occurrence. 

“The shelter is moving next week, so they need as many animals out of there as possible,” Walker, who is also a Chronicle-Independent contributing columnist, said Friday. “Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons is on Long Island and is a no-kill organization. They, of course, rescue animals in their area, but they partner with us to help us rescue animals, too. Fostering Fosters will take the dogs from Walter M. Crowe then ARF takes them up (north) and finds them the best homes possible.”

FFAR is a non-profit animal rescue organization working to save the lives of shelter animals by partnering with rescues in Vermont and New York to get animals adopted. Dogs are selected and placed in foster homes to prepare them for adoption. Walker said some states to which foster dogs are transported require they be out of a shelter for a certain amount of time before they can be adopted.

“We have to pull them out of the shelter and have them in foster homes for at least two weeks. Those 14 days gives us time to make sure they are disease-free and ready to transport. It also gives them time for socialization. Usually, dogs in the shelter have been pets before. However, sometimes they have not been indoor pets or house trained and foster homes offer work on that,” Walker said.

She said organizations like ARF give animals a chance to find a home rather than be euthanized.

“They will absolutely get a home up there or they will live at ARF forever,” Walker said. “They are just a wonderful organization, they help significantly with medical costs.”

FFAR also partners with Walter M. Crowe in order to move dogs into a rescue situation where they have a better chance to find a home.

“Jessica Caughman is the rescue coordinator at Walter Crowe and she lets me know which dogs are appropriate to pull out of the shelter. She works with us and other rescues to save lives,” Walker said. 

Foster moms and dads also play an important role in saving animal’s lives. 

FFAR foster parent Missy McCutcheon brought her foster dog, Ruca, a small black Chihuahua mix, to be transported to find a new home Friday afternoon. McCutcheon fostered Ruca to help her become socialized around people.

“I have two dogs that are rescue dogs of my own and I knew I had room for one more (to foster). As hard as it is to let them go, you have to look at it that they get a second chance,” McCutcheon said. “I’ve had several other dogs that have gone to ARF and have gotten wonderful, wonderful homes. Some of the people I keep in touch with via email and they send me pictures of my foster dogs.”

Kim Ferguson is a first-time foster parent with FFAR, though she and her family fostered dogs before recently moving to Camden. The Fergusons currently have two dogs of their own as well.

Ferguson brought her foster dog, Ryan, for transportation.

“He spent his whole life in the shelter, so he was learning about things like the dishwasher, kids playing in the yard … bikes. He’s been a great dog,” she said. “I did some research on some of the rescues and found out about Fostering Foster from my vet … you have to trust your rescue group. I felt really good about it, this is my first time so I’m going to keep at it.” 

ARF sends a van and transports the dogs from Camden back to New York once a month. The van is equipped with medicine, food and even chew toys. Each animal has its own compartment. 

ARF volunteer Jamie Forrester was one of the van’s drivers. His wife, Michele, is ARF’s senior director of operations and partnership programs.

“We do over 60 percent of our adoptions off this (van) because it gets us out into the community. Getting this out into the public is so important. We do a lot of events and pet expos.” Forrester said.

To learn more about fostering shelter animals through FFAR, call (803) 900-0369 or email


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