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People Power: Bobbie Thompson

Starting over: Nearly 25 years ago, Bobbie Thompson read an article in the Milledgeville, Ga., newspaper about the need for volunteers at the beleaguered local humane society. Thompson had recently quit her job at a hospital, where she worked first as a nurse and then in the pharmacy, to spend more time with her husband. An animal lover, Thompson signed on as a volunteer. In the summer of 1983, she helped make the decision to dissolve the local humane society and became a founder of the new Animal Rescue Foundation Inc. (ARF). Decades later, as president and board chairman of ARF, she still works for the organization without pay.

A roof over their heads: Between 1983 and 1995, ARF worked out of the Baldwin County animal control facility. Then, for more than a year, the organization was shelter-less and resorted to using only foster homes until a trailer was donated in 1996. ARF operated out of the trailer until a move to its current facility three years ago; the building can house up to 40 cats and will soon be able to accommodate 30 dogs after the addition of a 12-dog run. Disinfection techniques have improved, and the shelter is adding a second isolation room.

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