Animal Rescue Fund celebrates 15 years of compassion

The Daily News

An adoptable cat sits on a perch inside ARF. The shelter has been open for 15 years and has been a resource for the people of Muncie to find pets. DN PHOTO SAFARALI SAYDSHOEV
An adoptable cat sits on a perch inside ARF. The shelter has been open for 15 years and has been a resource for the people of Muncie to find pets. DN PHOTO SAFARALI SAYDSHOEV



For 15 years Animal Rescue Fund has rescued thousands of animals and been a home for more than 120 dogs, cats and even a pig.
 


Terri Panszi founded ARF in a tiny house with a garage on  Riggin Road in Muncie. Panszi was once the only person to take care of the animals.


“We have educated Muncie community how to take care of their pets, how to show their pets love and compassion, and we are still trying to improve the community,” she said.


Melissa Blair, director of ARF, said they have extended ARF from that tiny house to be a cat house, adoption center and Bark Park, which is open to ARF members.


Membership costs $50 and offers access to the Bark Park to walk their pets, and help other animals, she said.


“ARF believes in human education and we have always focused on younger children, starting from preschool age through elementary school,” Panszi said.


ARF is also starting a brand new program called BARC, Beginning Animal Rescue Class, which will focus on Muncie’s lower income district. 


“We are targeting high risk areas to teach children the importance of animal care, anti-dog fighting and just to have a pet and to take care of pet with human responsibilities,” she said. 


Most of the animals that ARF have rescued are dogs and cats, but there have been some pigs as well. 


“We never set a cap at the number because it’s a nonconventional rescue and always makes a room for one more animal,” Blair said. 


She said this is possible because ARF isn’t a city municipality, but rather relies on donations to operate. 


“ARF is my dream come true, but we need to do more in other directions,” Panszi said. “We need to help people and educate more who need help with their pets.” 

 

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