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A.A.A.R.F. volunteer saves the lives of furry friends

The Gift of Giving
By: Michelle Miller-Carl, Journal News Editor
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Editor's note: This is the first in a series of 12 stories on volunteers in our community. The stories will be published as a countdown to the holiday, in honor of the 12 days of Christmas. Volunteer: Cassie Reeves Organization: Auburn Area Animal Rescue Foundation (A.A.A.R.F.) Hours: Adoptions are held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday through Sunday at 11940 Masters Court, Auburn and at www.aaarf.petfinder.org. Contact: (530) 887-5577 Q: What does your organization do? A.A.A.R.F. rescues and rehabilitates homeless animals. Between our shelter and foster homes, we could have 25 to 30 dogs or 200 cats and kittens at a time. We have about 25-30 active volunteers caring for animals in the shelter and foster homes. Q: Why do you volunteer? I’m one of the founders of AAARF, and before that I volunteered for Placer SPCA. I saw a need for a group like this in Auburn, and we are an all-volunteer organization. Q: What are your highlights or challenges to volunteering? My favorite thing is giving these animals another chance. We take a lot from the Placer County shelter when their adoption time runs out and they’re facing euthanasia. Knowing you saved those lives is the most rewarding thing of all. The difficult thing is finding homes and finding people. I wish people would just find a way to make room for one more animal, and find room in their heart for just one more. Q: What do you do when you’re not volunteering? I work! All of us also work, so it is a juggling act. I work for Diamond Well Drilling, I’m an administrative assistant there. With the freeze we’ve been extremely busy. I also have four dogs and four cats, and foster puppies and cats. There are many little mouths to feed. Q: How can people volunteer their time or money? We take donations of time, talent and treasures. We could use more adult volunteers. We have a lot of young people, but you can’t have them here without supervision. Fostering is something families can do, but everybody in the family has to buy into it. Donations help, even sponsoring an ad in the paper to feature an animal. This year we’re also doing a sponsorship (where people can give the gift of supporting a pet). With a donation, you get a full-color frame-able certificate that can be made out in anyone’s name as a gift.