The Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons had its best year ever, both in terms of the number of adoptions and fundraising.
In 2012, ARF's adoptions were up by 39 percent over the previous year, according to Jamie Berger, the director of marketing and communications. It set up 1,023 adoptions; 382 dogs, 338 puppies, 82 cats, and 221 kittens. In 2011, there were 620 adoptions.
“We are really excited about these numbers knowing that lives are at risk, the more animals we can place into loving home, the more animals we can rescue who are in jeopardy of euthanasia at other shelters in the country,” said Sara Davison, the executive director.
The animal rescue organization also took in 1,088 dogs and cats this year, including a total of 750 dogs, 363 of which were puppies, and 338 cats, 254 of which were kittens.
Berger reports that "a very small percentage" of adoptions were unsuccessful. Sixty animals were returned, or 5.5 percent of the total intake, she said.
Free adoption programs haven't seemed to help much with adoption numbers, but a special promotion with a local restaurant did. Some black kittens found at Café Max in East Hampton ended up at ARF through its Operation Cat Program. "Max and Nancy Weintraub of Café Max helped us promote these kittens found on their restaurant property by offering an adoption incentive for them with a Café Max gift certificate. That seemed to help the kittens get adopted," Berger said.
Also notable in 2012, the new Mobile Adoption Van hit the road Memorial Day weekend and was out every weekend since, in addition to some weekdays, resulting in 174 adoptions in just six months.
ARF's operating budget is $2.2 million, or $2.4 million if the Thrift Shop in Sagaponack is included. Our events for 2012 were flat however donations for the year were up.
The organization fundraises in different ways, such as the Beach Ball gala each summer, the Designer Showhouse at the Thrift Shop, the garden tour, and the dog walk in East Hampton Village. Then there are the pet calendar page sales, adoption fees, dog training classes, ARF merchandise sales, revenue generated from the Thrift Shop, and general contribution.
Last month, the organization was awarded the prestigious 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, the country's largest independent evaluator of charities for good governance, sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency.