Animal Rescue Foundation names new executive director |

Animal Rescue Foundation names new executive director

Jim Rathell

Jim Rathell has been named the new executive director of Animal Rescue Foundation of Colorado (ARF), the nonprofit organization that rescues cats and dogs from euthanasia, life on the street and other dire situations throughout a four-state area. ARF brings animals to the Roaring Fork Valley, places them in foster homes and searches for people who will adopt them.

Founded in 2003, ARF has rescued and found homes for more than 100 dogs and cats in the past year alone.

Rathell, a 20-year-resident of the valley, has had an extensive career in marketing and sales and is also a member of the board of directors of Snowmass Western Heritage Association, producers of the Snowmass Rodeo.

He represents manufacturers of modular homes, including Bar Vista, based in Berthoud, and is working with many local contractors, developers and architects on projects from Aspen to Grand Junction.

Rathell says that as long as he has lived in the valley he has owned shelter dogs. He and his wife, Chris Kelly, who has also been named a new member of the ARF board of directors, own a hound/German shepherd mix named Cara that they rescued through ARF four years ago and a terrier mix, Nick, also a rescued dog.

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“I’ve owned dogs and cats just about my entire life and can’t imagine living without their companionship and love,” Rathell said. “It will give me great pleasure to be involved with an organization that not only saves animals but brings joy to new owners.”

ARF operates without a permanent shelter and relies on foster homes to shelter the animals until a permanent home is found, which takes on average about four weeks. The group holds several fundraising events throughout the year, including a Dog Jog to be held mid-valley later this year.

ARF will be one of the 20 vendors on hand for the opening celebration of the new Alpine Animal Hospital May 22, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Carbondale. ARF volunteers will be available to talk to prospective volunteers, adoptive families, foster home applicants and contributors about how they can become involved.

Anyone who wishes to serve as a foster home, or volunteer in any other capacity, can contact Rathell at 618-5747 or Marcy Bogner at (303) 810-7891.

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