To help our friends and donors get to know more about our board members and lead volunteers, we’ve been featuring them in the AARF Spotlight! Today’s focus is on AARF Co-President and Foster/Training Coordinator Betsy Duer!

What was your first pet? I’ve always grown up with dogs, but the first family dog I really bonded with and remember was our Welsh Terrier, Chester. I loved that dog to death, and my love of dogs really blossomed while we had him. After he passed away and I moved out on my own, I fostered for a year or two before I adopted my first dog, a Cardigan Welsh Corgi mix, Gwen. Seems I have a thing for the Welsh breeds 🙂 I’ve had her for about 7 years and can’t imagine life without her.

How did you get involved in rescue? I developed a little bit of a fear of dogs after an incident in 2005 and realized I wasn’t going to get over this fear unless I continued to be around dogs. I met SallyAnn Jennings and started fostering — that way I didn’t have to commit to adopting a dog because I wasn’t ready for that step yet but I could continue to be around many, different dogs and slowly heal, all while helping them find their forever homes. I’ve always said that that fosters heal me as much as I heal them. It was true then, and continues to be true now.

What drew you to AARF? I knew both Sally Ann Jennings and Arika Pevenstein, who founded AARF, as well as some of the other founding members, so that’s how I initially got involved with AARF. Outside of that, I loved the spirit that AARF had, and what a well organized rescue it was. I knew I wanted to be a part of this fabulous team with these amazing women.

What’s your favorite thing about AARF? The volunteers! We have amazing volunteers and fosters; many have become an extension of my family. I’m constantly blown away by the amount of time and effort our volunteers put into saving the lives of animals, whether it’s fostering, transporting, marketing, fundraising, answering emails, etc. Someone is always stepping up during a time of need, while others are constantly working behind the scenes. Our volunteers are truly incredible and we couldn’t do it without them!

Where do you want to see AARF go? I would love for AARF to continue to grow and expand, both through the number of volunteers and fosters that we have as well as through our presence in the area. But I also think there’s a great need for us to help educate the community. Hopefully AARF can team up with some other great organizations in our area and grow the educational aspect of our rescue.