ARF's mission is to rescue stray and unwanted dogs and cats from First Nations and rural areas and place them in loving, permanent homes while providing programs to reduce pet over-population.
ARF's vision is to promote and encourage responsible pet ownership and to ensure humane treatment, compassion and respect for all dogs and cats.
In 1992, Dr. Laurie Flavin, a Calgary chiropractor, began placing stray and abandoned dogs from Calgary Animal Services in suitable homes.
In 1994, Laurie (known as the “Dog Lady”) was approached by the Animal Control Officer of the Siksika Nation (near Gleichen, Alberta) and was asked if she could take some stray dogs and find homes for them. At this time, Laurie became aware of the huge dog and cat over-population problem in First Nations communities in Alberta and decided to take on the enormous task of rescuing those dogs and cats and finding homes for them.
Once she started, it became apparent that one person alone could not handle the influx of dogs and cats, so Laurie, along with the help of two friends, decided to form a charitable organization and in July 1995, the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) of Alberta was formed.
The Animal Rescue Foundation is a volunteer-based organization and is a registered non-profit charity. ARF rescues dogs and cats from First Nations and rural areas and places them into temporary foster homes where they are vaccinated, de-wormed and spayed/neutered prior to adoption. ARF also provides spay/neuter and educational programs to residents of First Nations communities as part of the effort to reduce the population of unwanted animals.