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ARF Helps Rescue Iranian Dogs Who Need Homes

Brought to the US from volunteers, the dogs faced a ban on pets in all cities and suburbs of Iran.

The Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons in Wainscott welcomed its first rescue dogs from the Middle East, two large mixes from Iran, where dogs may become illegal to own as pets.

Coordinated by the Humane Society International, the rescue is in response to a proposed ban on all dogs in cities and suburbs of Iran.

Sara Davison, the executive director of ARF Hamptons, said other than the dogs from the Caribbean, this is the organization's first international rescue.

Named "Lampic" and "Narin," the rescues are both young, lanky, female mixes. Lampic has no vision in one eye, but otherwise both dogs appear to be healthy. Having just arrived Monday, they are currently in quarantine in the Adoption Center’s Medical Wing and will need full medical exams and time to acclimate before they can be adopted, Davison said.

The dogs came from the Vafa Animal Shelter, the first animal shelter founded in Iran in 2004. A non-government charity organization, it is located in Hashtgerd, about an hour and a half west of Tehran.

Farah Ravon, Vafa's US Representative who lives in California, said she was in charge of coordinating the advanced reservations for the dogs to fly with a traveling companion.

Ravon said she first learned about Vafa in 2009, while she was a volunteer with Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pitbulls. "I was going home to visit family and contacted the team there to visit the shelter," she said. Since then she has helped bring awareness about the organization to America. She has helped bring out more than 70 dogs.

"Luckily it's easier to bring dogs to US as only requirements are rabies certificated, up-to-date vet health certificate with required vaccinations, and microchip," she said. "Folks (some in Iran and some abroad) offer to sponsor a dog and pay their expenses to get them out, and I handle the rest — by finding a volunteer traveler, making reservations for the dogs, coordinating with team in Iran to get their documents lined up, and depending on where in US/EU the dogs are ending up in, arrange with volunteers in that city to have a team welcome the traveler and the dogs at the airport."

While attending the Humane Society International Expo in Las Vegas earlier this year, one of the representatives she met offered to connect her with reputable shelters in the US and Canada, depending on where a volunteer traveler was flying in to. That's how she ended up connecting with Michele Forrester at ARF.

"I'm humbled by everyone's kindness towards our dogs. They would never have a chance of living in a safe loving home in Iran — not that there aren't any dog lovers in Iran — there are," she said. "However, they have lots of limitations, and are not able to freely take their dogs out on walks, or to the parks — even on leash.

While the proposed ban has not become law yet, according to Ravon, local authorities harass dog owners, confiscating dogs spotted outside with their owners and even some in their homes after receiving complaints from neighbors. "You don't know how many people with pet dogs reach out to me, asking if I can help find their dog a forever home in the US. They're willing to part with their loved pets, only to give them freedom to come to US and be able to go on walks and to dog parks."

ViralGrain October 17, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Unbelievable! I will not give ARF one me cent in anyway! This business of taking in rescues from the South to now the middle east if insane when we have kill shelters on L.I., the city and people who are forced to abandon their pet because of their homes foreclosing or landlord selling the home and many other reasons. How many more animals could have been saved if the money and resources that were used to bring in the animals from the middle east were used for local animals? Unbelievable. The founding of ARF was addressing and saving pets from here. Not the South not the Middle east. If there are no more animals that need rescue here by all means rescue the ones from elsewhere. Until then stop this insanity of wasting resources, time and money by bringing more pets from elsewhere when we have more then enough pets locally that need rescue. I bet if someone was to dig into ARF really good there are people making 6 figures one way or another through these practices.
ARF October 17, 2012 at 08:52 PM
ARF is pleased to welcome its international visitors from Iran. Our first priority is always local dogs and cats and when space permits to take animals in need from trusted partners elsewhere. No ARF funds were expended in the rescue of the two beautiful dogs from Iran. Sara Davison, ARF Executive Director
K. October 17, 2012 at 09:44 PM
ARF is a very large organization and while you are entitled to your opinion, to declare that "I will not give ARF one me cent in anyway" not only makes no sense, but it makes no ''cents''. I salute ARF for using the vast network of pet lovers, dog rescuers and educators to save these 2 lovely looking gals who deserve a great life on the beach without aggression.
ViralGrain October 17, 2012 at 11:01 PM
I'm sorry but I've heard more then a few times that local people who could not care for their dogs any longer were who tried to surrender their pet to ARF and were rejected. Sorry for the typo's also. When space permits as you say. But how can space ever permit when you are constantly bringing in pets from across the country, the Coralina's and now Iran! ARF was set up to save dogs from kill shelters and give people locally who could not take care of their pet for what ever reason a safe place to leave their animal. People used to let their dogs run wild in Amagansett where there was a problem of wild dogs. One of the reasons ARF came to be. I do not salute ARF on this one. To many loving adoptable pets are being slaughtered here on LI. Allot of the dogs ARF gets and gives out have issues do to their past. More ideal dogs are at kill shelters here on LI and NY. I'm not giving one cent to an organization that will refuse local pets and save animals from local kill shelters but will for what ever reason transport mass amounts of animals from everywhere else when we have more then enough pets and pet owners locally that need to be saved. Your first priority is not local dogs and cats. If it was you would have no room to take in pets from anywhere else. Who are you kidding?
Kevin Gray October 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Nearly 800 animals have been adopted out of ARF this year. That is 800 animals that were not killed as a result of ARF's efforts. Local or not, extraordinary results for God's little creatures. ARF expanded beyond the local needs partnering with "Bestfriends," a national advocate for pets. Whatever your personal issues are for knocking an organization that does as much good as ARF does you must admit (if you love animals) that the world is a slightly more humane and beautiful place as a result of ARFs efforts. By the way ViralGrain why do you hide behind an alias?
animal lover October 22, 2012 at 05:35 PM
If you read the article, these dogs were sponsored by vafa supporters to come out to US -- These dogs would have NO chance otherwise.... Let's start from here. We are all citizens of ONE PLANET....let's be UNITED and end all the hatred ... Let's save the homeless animals - one at a time .... PEACE ....
animal lover October 22, 2012 at 05:36 PM
If you read the article, these dogs were sponsored by vafa supporters to come out to US -- These dogs would have NO chance otherwise.... Let's start from here. We are all citizens of ONE PLANET....let's be UNITED and end all the hatred ... Let's save the homeless animals - one at a time .... PEACE ....
K. October 22, 2012 at 06:19 PM
You can tell a lot about people; either as individuals or as a culture, by their attitude toward and relationship with dogs.
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