Rumpelstiltskin, an 11-week-old black kitten, is the 25,000th animal adopted from Tony LaRussa's Animal Rescue Foundation since the organization's founding in 1991.
Rumpelstiltskin was surrendered to a local animal shelter when he was a few weeks old, along with his littermates and their nursing mother. In danger of being euthanized because of their age and vulnerable state, the family was rescued by ARF. Rumpelstiltskin's adopter can also take credit for the simultaneous 25,001st adoption -- the kitten's tuxedo littermate, Jiminy Cricket -- starting ARF on its way toward its next 25,000 adoptions.
The 21-year-old organization has been rescuing abandoned animals from overcrowded public shelters since its humble beginnings, when dogs and cats were cared for in foster homes and business was conducted from headquarters located in the back room of the ARF Thrift Store.
That first year, 157 animals were adopted, says executive director Elena Bicker. Last year, the organization placed 1,974 dogs and cats in homes. ARF now operates from its 37,700 square foot state-of-the-art animal community center, opened in 2003.
"Although we are incredibly proud to reach this milestone, our work never stops," Bicker says. "Today, our team went out to rescue more dogs and cats to bring back for adoption. We'll continue to find them homes, one at a time, long past this milestone and the next one."