The sign in the yard read “Doggie Heaven.”

The heavy scent of urine and constant barking said “Please, help us.”

And we did. Choking back tears, hearts breaking and at times gasping for air, we strived to make a difference. Among 25 plus dogs and cats living in horrid, unhealthy conditions, every bark only meant “Please, take me. Take me.”

The bravest came forward first, to sniff the outstretched human hand; many followed, some hid, a few continued barking, still unsure.

And the choices had to be made.

As our hearts still linger with the ones we left behind, ARF would like to introduce the Anza Rescue Gang to Idyllwild.

Names, ages, and medical conditions, if any, will be made known at a later date. They each will have their diva day and complete vet visits within the next 2 weeks. But most of all, they need to be loved forever. Please help these orphans and ARF in our struggle to ensure everyone is healthy, socialized and loved.

ARF has many cats and dogs available for adoption or fostering. Go to and click on Petfinder. All pets are spayed, neutered, and current on shots. ARF is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call for appointment on any other day at (951) 659-1122. Email and donation opportunities are at or email [email protected].

Creature corner is sponsored this week by Brent Skean. To sponsor the column, call Shane Fender at the Town Crier, 659-2145.