Animal Friends Rescue Project (AFRP) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (tax ID 77-0491141) that is based in Pacific Grove, CA. We are dedicated to finding good permanent homes for abandoned, stray and abused companion animals and ending the pet overpopulation crisis through focused spay/neuter programs. We work with our local community and animal shelters to identify and assist the dogs and cats most in need of a helping hand.


Founded in 1998 by four compassionate individuals, AFRP started with a handful of volunteers, a garage office space and a modest adoption corner at a local pet store in Pacific Grove. Since that time, AFRP has grown into an amazing organization with over 400 active volunteers, a dedicated staff and a hard working board of directors.

Our Services


  • Saving at-risk companion animals. We are a foster-based rescue group that provides a safe and loving space for homeless companion animals that are waiting to be adopted. We primarily focus on helping local shelter animals that are at risk of being euthanized because they are sick or injured, are considered too old or too young to be adoptable, are shy or traumatized animals that need some extra time to gain confidence, or need a place to go because the shelters are full. We primarily rescue animals from Monterey county, but also assist animals from Santa Cruz and San Benito counties when possible.


  • Offering advice and assistance. Since AFRP is foster-based and does not own a kennel facility, we are limited in our ability to accept animals directly from the public. Instead, we offer advice and assistance to help people find new homes for their pets through our Compassionate Surrender Program and our website courtesy listings. We are only able to take animals from the public on a case by case, space-available basis. We give priority to residents of Monterey County.


  • Facilitating dog and cat adoptions. Adoptable dogs and cats are advertised on our website and are available for meet and greets by appointment once an online application has been approved. Some of our cats and kittens are available at our adoption locations at Pet Food Express in Carmel, and at Petco in Monterey. We also hold regular weekend adoption days at various locations throughout the year. Check our calendar of upcoming events. All potential adopters go through a thorough screening process to make sure that each companion animal finds the best possible match.


  • Offering behavior resources. AFRP offers referrals and ongoing advice for adopted dogs and cats to help them stay in their homes.


  • Providing a safety net. AFRP has a lifetime promise to each animal that is in our care. We do not put animals down because they have medical needs or have been with us too long. As a foster-based rescue, we will give any animal adopted from AFRP special consideration should they need to be returned. The return of the animal will be based on space, foster availability, and a medical, and behavioral assessment.


  • Spay/neuter assistance. AFRP strongly believes that offering affordable spay/neuter programs plays a crucial role in reducing the numbers of homeless animals entering our overburdened local shelters. We offer low-cost spay/neuter vouchers for low-income pet guardians and sponsor low-cost and free spay/neuter clinics throughout the year. 


  • Transporting at-risk shelter animals. Our Loads of Love Transport Program saves an additional 500 - 1,000 local at-risk shelter animals per year by driving them to animal welfare organizations that have space for them and where they are quickly adopted.


  • Helping feral/community cats. Our feral/community cat volunteers work tirelessly to provide Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) services to reduce the numbers of free roaming cats in Monterey County. We have a limited number of humane traps available for rental.
  • Placement of Homeless Animals into good permanent homes.

  • Major and minor medical care, including spay/neuter for the animals in our care.

  • Spay/neuter program and education about the problems of overpopulation.

  • Behavioral guidance and referrals.

Board of Directors


Debra Long, Board President

AFRP Staff

Darla Smith
Executive Director

Dawn Bornman
Operations Manager

Aliah Ibarra
Volunteer Coordinator

Savannah Keen
Animal Program Coordinator

Ann Artz
Graphic Designer

Stephanie Pfieffer
Treasure Shop Sales Lead

Tamara McKay
Treasure Shop Sales Associate

Sarah Szody
Petco Cat Care Specialist and Adoption Coordinator

Maria Skytta
Pet Food Express Cat Care Specialist and Adoption Coordinator

Opening (more info)
Pet Food Express Cat Care Specialist and Adoption Coordinator

AFRP Vet Clinic Staff

Dr. Samantha Martin
AFRP Veterinarian

Luz Moreno

Gina Magdalena
Vet Assistant

Victoria Bruno
Vet Assistant

Darla Jo VanSchuyver
Client Services Representative

Frequently Asked Questions

Please see below for answers to some of AFRP's most Frequently Asked Questions. If you do not see your question addressed, please contact AFRP.

Founded in 1998, Animal Friends Rescue Project (AFRP) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Pacific Grove, California. We are dedicated to finding good permanent homes for abandoned, stray, and abused companion animals and ending the animal overpopulation crisis through focused spay/neuter programs.

Financial Documents

AFRP's most recent 990 tax returns are available to view online. Download a PDF version (you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed) by clicking on the buttons below.