Animal Rescue & Care Fund, Inc. began in 1974, when a few individuals formed a new animal rescue organization. This new group became an incorporated, nonprofit organization in January of 1975 and Animal Rescue & Care Fund, Inc. was born.
We held our first board meeting on January 20, 1975 where we discussed adoption procedures, fundraising, and our feral cat trapping activities in Washington County. We also decided to write our own quarterly newsletter and we published the first issue of Animal Talk in 1977.
Our new organization faced many problems from the outset, the most critical of which was a lack of funding. As we continued to help homeless animals, our bills mounted. We held paper drives and delivered paper by the car load. We collected Santiam food labels, redeeming them at two cents each. We held bake sales at the Far West Federal Savings Bank. We held garage sales selling donated goods.
In 1983, ARCF began conducting annual free vet clinics for the pets of Portland’s homeless, in cooperation with the Pet Samaritan Clinic. To this day, ARCF and Pet Samaritan continue to offer veterinary care for the animals of the homeless.
Our volunteers have ventured into many hair-raising situations with an iron determination to rescue any animal in need. Entries into evil-smelling crawl spaces, vermin-infested basements, drug houses, and bramble thickets are all in a day’s work.
In 1996, the Grand Oak apartments burned down and ARCF volunteers searched for animals that survived the fire. All of the residents’ pets were removed alive, but some of the animals (and the volunteers) suffered from smoke inhalation. ARCF provided vet care and foster care for these animals.
In 2003, we undertook our biggest project yet – the removal of over 100 cats from the deserted Columbia Villa housing project. Our volunteers were instrumental in removing the animals and getting them to various shelters (we also took in a few ourselves).
In the past thirty years, we have rescued, fostered, and adopted out thousands of animals and dispensed valuable advice to many people in need of help. We remain a small all-volunteer organization working from our homes, never straying from our mission of serving animals in need.