A Breakfast Full of Bark

By Jasmine Bonilla

Special to The Collegian

Animal Rescue of Fresno hosts annual Sweetheart Breakfast to raise proceeds

Katie Eleneke / The Collegian. A puppy on the grounds of the Animal Rescue of Fresno (ARF) facility. The puppy is new to the group and does not yet have a name.

Katie Eleneke / The Collegian.
A puppy on the grounds of the Animal Rescue of Fresno (ARF) facility. The puppy is new to the group and does not yet have a name.

The Animal Rescue of Fresno (ARF) will host its annual Sweetheart Breakfast on Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m.

Pre-paid tickets cost $10 for adults, $6 for children. Adult tickets at the door cost $12 and $8 for children.

Pancakes, eggs, hashbrowns and fruit are some of the breakfast items offered and baked-goods will be on sale.

The breakfast will be held on the facility grounds with Valentine’s Day themed decorations and baskets filled with trinkets and items will also be on sale.

Running on its eighth year, the event is a sell-out almost every year and is still going strong said event coordinator Julie Benton.

“Every year we’re scraping the bottom [of our bowls],” Benton said. “We have a pretty solid group of supporters that come out for it which is great.”

One of the activities offered at the breakfast will be a tour of the facility, and on-site adoptions will be available the day of the event.

ARF is a nonprofit organization run purely by volunteers.

It relies heavily on donations and the money raised through events like the Sweetheart Breakfast.

ARF was founded in 1998 by a group of community members who were concerned about a high number of homeless dogs that were dying at the time.
Home to roughly 100 to 110 dogs, ARF rescues dogs from shelters that are overpopulated with dogs or are unable to provide for dogs in other aspects.

They rescue around the Central Valley, as far north as Sacramento and as far south as Hanford.

Fresno State has provided volunteers to ARF from learning classes for humanities, fraternities and sororities for community service hours.

The students go through orientation and are a part of morning or afternoon crews who execute various tasks for ARF such as maintaining clean water, feeding the dogs or helping with events.

Erika Rocha, a seven-year volunteer, said that students often come in thinking their time will be spent playing with the dogs but they also gain practical skills.

“I think they learn a little bit of structuralism and leadership,” Rocha said. “A few of the dogs get adopted by the students. That’s always fun, to see who falls in love.”

Diann Hobbs, a volunteer of two months sees a difference between dogs in other animal shelters and dogs at ARF.

Hobbs said because ARF is a no-kill shelter, it provides the dogs with a more hospitable environment.

“They’re [the dogs are] happier,” Hobbs said. “They get more attention and a big yard to run around in.”

Katie Eleneke / The Collegian. A puppy at the Animal Rescue of Fresno licks another dog on the grounds of ARF.

Katie Eleneke / The Collegian. A puppy at the Animal Rescue of Fresno licks another dog on the grounds of ARF.

Part of the experience of volunteering is helping potential families give a permanent home to the dogs.

On Friday during Valentine’s Day, a family will be picking up the new dog it adopted.

“It’s very rewarding,” Hobbs said.

Benton said that although a majority of the year ARF has Fresno State student volunteers, ARF welcomes more year around.

“We’re actually short volunteers right now,” Benton said. “We could always use extra hands.”

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