ARF formed at the end of the 1990s when a group of women petitioned the Nichols Hills Town Council to give lost and abandoned animals more time to be saved before they were euthanized.
The group grew to include Lammerts, Susan Lathrop, Morgan Louise Bennett, Sally Quillian, Elizabeth Prosser and Shannon Edwards, and by 1999, they were successful in finding enough support to gain the animals more time — seven days instead of three — for adoption, reuniting with owners or going to a “no-kill” animal shelter.
Since then, ARF has rescued 909 animals, Lammerts said. Lammerts these days steers the conversation about her long history of volunteerism back to ARF and the animals it has saved since its inception. Only two ARF animals died before they were adopted, and their ashes remain in the van that transported them to and from PetSmart for years as a remembrance.
Lammerts takes calls about lost animals, meets with volunteers about fundraising and helps transport the animals to PetSmart and back to the place where they board.
“I've always loved animals. ... This is my one thing I do now,” she said. “If my body would just keep up with my head, I'd be in great shape.”