Susan Leisure, executive director of Atlanta Animal Rescue Friends in Stone Mountain city, answered five questions from Patch about the organization - including what's on its holiday wish list and its ongoing needs:
Does AARF have a special 'holiday wish' this year -- a need you'd
like taken care of before the start of 2013?
We have some ongoing renovation projects that might take longer than
the end of the year, but our two primary "holiday wishes" for our
facility are: 1) to finish our dog adoption room, and 2) to renovate
our cat adoption room. For the dog adoption room, we still need to add
in the HVAC system (about $1200) and finish the outdoor fence area
(about $1500). For the cat adoption room, we need new cat trees and
scratching posts, which is a much smaller investment (about $500).
Our foster program needs more fosters! Our goal for the beginning of
the year is to recruit three new foster families a month. Interested
folks can fill out a foster application on our website at
Approximately how many pets have been helped by AARF's programs and services in 2012?
Our foster program has house 74 pets so far this year, and we have 2
pending adoptions, so we expect that number to inch close to 80 by the
end of 2013 Through our spay/neuter program, we have helped almost 200
pet owners in DeKalb County get their pets fixed this year.
Is there anything new or different that AARF will be doing in 2013?
During 2013, we hope to expand our foster program and increase the
number of pet adoptions. We'll also be adding regularly scheduled
low-cost vaccination clinics in 2013, which will be a great resource
for pet owners in our area.
What's your favorite success story of 2012?
We count all of our adoptions as success stories, but one of our
favorites is Rime's adoption story. This sweet pit bull mix was at the
county shelter and had run out of time. She had heartworms, so her
adoption options were very limited. She joined our foster program and
began her heartworm treatment. One of the vet techs at the clinic
where she was being treated fell in love with her and decided to adopt
her. Rime went from death row at the county shelter to a happy and
healthy member of a loving family within just a few weeks.
How can people help AARF on an ongoing basis?
One of the best ways that our community can support our work is to buy
their pet supplies at AARF Pet Central. All of the proceeds from our
store support our adoption and spay/neuter programs. In addition, we
always have volunteer activities if folks want to get involved.
Interested volunteers can sign up for our volunteer list at