Scott Howe has been Executive Director of Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF) since 2016. ARF is particularly special on the East End because so many folks have much loved pet cats and dogs that they adopted from the Wainscott-based animal shelter. In an interview with Hamptons.com, Howe let his guard down and admitted he gets a special “personal joy” when he sees and recognizes an ARFan with its owners walking about contently. However, the nature of the talk was about the cancellation of the Bow Wow Meow Ball and what ARF is doing virtually instead.
He said, “This year is unprecedented for all of us personally and professionally. The one thing that remains consistent through all of the craziness of this year has been our (ARF) mission, the animals here that count on us every day and the people in the community. That also includes our staff, so my challenge has been throughout this to honor our mission to care for our animals so that they never knew there was a pandemic, and to make our staff feel safe. We have carried on and we are evolving our mission, our programs, to meet the changing times.”
He continued by adding, “We started a food pantry, we plan to start a free or zero cost vaccine clinic and we continue to do rescue and adoption work. It is important for us throughout all this to figure out new ways to stay in touch with our friends and our supporters.”
The 2020 event, Bow Wow Meow Ball @Home, will take place on Saturday, August 15. The evening will commence at 6:30 p.m. with a Parade of Animals. There will be special guest appearances by Isabella Rossellini, Robert Wilson and Christopher Mason.
“Every year, The Bow Wow Meow Ball, since it’s been here at the ARF campus, has been the one night a year I get to see who makes ARF’s work possible through their donations. Therefore, we felt very strongly that we wanted to stay connected to people and tell our story and one of the things people love about that event and having it here is seeing our animals at dinner!” Howe noted.
He added, “That’s the whole benefit that makes our fundraiser different from any other fundraiser out here. During our fundraiser, you are in our mission that night, you are here on the campus and the animals are there. So, we started with that idea and we still want to have a parade of animals, which we always did during the dinner. This year, we figured out to send out invitations and kept our date. We want to share our staff, our animals, with all our friends because we want them to feel connected to us.”
The evening will pay tribute to ARF’s staff with the ARF Champion of Animals Award. “This year, our board of directors unanimously decided that the staff should be the only honorees of this year’s event, in recognition of the fact that throughout the darkest days of this spring as COVID-19 hit New York, our staff was here every day,” he explained. “Even when we had to close the adoption center to the public and to the volunteers temporarily, the staff was here. The dogs and cats were getting walked, training and enrichments. They were getting medical care behind the scenes and the work carried on. Right now, a lot of the restrictions are temporary and I think it’s important for all of us at ARF and our family to know that these restrictions are temporary, they are going to pass and ARF has to stay focused on the future and the animals are going to be relying on us.”
Therefore, Scott Howe is hoping the strong support ARF has received finically so far this year continues. He is thankful the ARF family understands the responsibility ARF has to the animals.
ARF will also hold a Pet Food Drive on Saturday, August 15 at the Adoption Center (124 Daniels Hole Road, East Hampton) from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Donations of unopened bags of cat and dog food (both wet and dry) and treats will be accepted. Families in need may pick up cat and/or dog food during the Pet Food Pantry Pick Up at the ARF Adoption Center on Saturday, August 22 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
For more information about Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, visit arfhamptons.org.