Animal Rescue Friends of Idyllwild is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to helping dogs and cats in need. ARF is not a shelter and relies on foster families to house dogs until forever families are found. ARF does have a small cattery for cats in need, but can house a maximum of 10 cats only.

ARF is the only go-to rescue for mountain community residents who have found a stray dog or cat, lost a dog or cat, or who need help in rehoming a pet.

When ARF receives a call from a mountain resident who has lost pet, a volunteer (or volunteers) will assist the resident by spreading the word via social media and, when possible, will physically assist in a search. ARF also assists by posting “lost dog” signs in the area the dog was last seen.

When someone needs help in rehoming a pet, ARF cannot always take the pet into its possession. If there is room in the cattery and the cat is able to co-exist with the existing cat population, ARF welcomes it with open arms. If there is no room, or the cat will not work out in the cattery, ARF will assist the cat’s owner through an assisted adoption where ARF volunteers, through various avenues, help to find a new forever home.

When a dog needs to be rehomed, ARF cannot take possession of the dog unless a foster family is available. Herein lies the biggest challenge facing ARF.

As it now stands, ARF has only two foster families. One of the foster families is able to take only very small, house-trained dogs. The other foster family can take only a dog that will get along with their own dog. If the dog being surrendered does not meet one of these two criteria, ARF is unable to assist except for an assisted adoption.

ARF’s hands are tied. ARF cannot take in a dog (whether it is being surrendered or is a “found” stray) unless there is a foster family willing to step up and help.

Unless more mountain residents decide to open their hearts and homes to help, ARF’s program is in jeopardy. With no foster family available, stray/lost dogs brought to ARF will have to be taken to the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus as ARF has no place to house the dogs. ARF does not want to be put in this predicament of wanting so badly to help the pet, but not being able to because of a lack of foster families.

Foster families are not left on their own when taking in a dog. ARF provides all food, bedding, medical care and dog training. What are the requirements for being a foster? Foster families need to have a secure yard and be willing to work with the dog, possibly in house-training and good manners. Fosters are asked to bring the dog to the ARF House during its open hours on Saturdays and Sundays.

And in return, the foster family receives endless love from a beautiful pet and the knowledge that an innocent life has been saved. Potential fosters are encouraged to contact ARF for more information at 951-659-1122. Please leave a message and a volunteer will return your call within 24 hours.

Janice Murasko

Pine Cove