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. AFRP offers dogs and cats for adoption at our main AFRP Adoption Center in Pacific Grove, Pet Food Express in Carmel, and 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 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. Animals adopted from AFRP are always part of our AFRP family, and can return to our adoption program for their lifetime.


  • 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 voucher program and education about the problems of overpopulation.

  • Behavioral guidance and referrals.

Board of Directors


Leigh Jeter, President

Lisa McElmoyl, Vice President

Debra Long, Secretary Treasurer

AFRP Staff

Darla Smith
Executive Director

Linda Wilsey
Adoptions Manager

Ann Artz
Graphic Designer

Dawn Bornman
Animal Program Coordinator

Tamara McKay
Treasure Shop Manager

Sarah Szody
Petco Cat Care Specialist and Adoption Coordinator

Maria Skytta
Pet Food Express Cat Care Specialist and Adoption Coordinator

Anne Greene
Pet Food Express Cat Care Specialist and Adoption Coordinator

AFRP Vet Clinic Staff

Dr. Lety Sanchez
AFRP Veterinarian

Dr. Ruby Murillo
AFRP Veterinarian

Grace Cooper

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.

What is 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.

Where is AFRP Located?

AFRP's main adoption center and offices are located at 160 Fountain Ave, Pacific Grove, CA. We are open seven days a week from noon - 5pm.

Is AFRP a "no-kill" shelter?

AFRP does not euthanize any animal just because they have been with us too long or have a treatable medical condition. We have a lifetime commitment to all animals in our care, and only euthanize severe, untreatable medical cases to relieve the suffering of the animal. By assisting the public shelters in our area, we ensure that many at-risk dogs and cats get a second chance. 

How is AFRP funded?

AFRP is a non-profit organization and receives no federal or state funds. AFRPs work is funded by private donations from individuals, foundations, and businesses. Complete financial information is available.

How do I donate to AFRP?

Donations of any amount make a life-saving difference for animals and people. It's easy to make a secure online donation. To donate by mail, please send checks to AFRP, P.O. Box 51083, Pacific Grove, CA 93950.

There are many other ways donate to AFRP, including stock, vehicle donations, planned giving, workplace giving, and more.

How do I volunteer at AFRP?

AFRP’s mission would not be possible without the time and talents of more than 300 volunteers involved in everything from animal care to events to customer service to outreach! Visit the Volunteer section to learn about opportunities and to fill out a volunteer application.

What types of animals does AFRP rescue?

AFRP  helps find homes for cats and dogs of all sizes and breeds. We are not able to help with wildlife, bird or sea animal rescue. Call your local animal control officer or contact the SPCA for Monterey County for assistance with sick or injured wildlife. 

Where does AFRP rescue its animals?

AFRP rescues dogs and cats from public animal shelters in the Monterey Bay area of California where they would otherwise be euthanized. These are animals that are sick or injured; animals that are considered too old or too young to be adoptable; shy or traumatized animals that need some extra time to gain confidence; and dogs and cats that are at risk of being euthanized because the shelters are full.

Can I surrender my animal to AFRP?

AFRP rescues dogs and cats that are at risk of euthanasia in our public shelters, and rarely has space to accept animals from the public. If you or someone you know feels they are unable to continue caring for their animal, please read the Finding Homes for Pets page to learn about AFRP's courtesy listings and other information about rehoming an animal.

If you adopted your animal from AFRP, we are here to support you through the difficult decision to return your dog or cat. Please call AFRP at 831-333-0722 to make arrangements for the return, or fill out our AFRP animal return form.

Where are the adoptable animals?

Animal Friends Rescue Project operates a main AFRP Adoption Center at 160 Fountain Ave in Pacific Grove as well as satellite cat adoption location at Pet Food Express in Carmel. Dogs are available for meetings at our AFRP Adoption Center daily from 12 - 4pm, and then return to their foster homes or boarding facility. If you are interested in meeting a particular dog, we recommend filling out our dog adoption application.

Please visit an AFRP Adoption Location to find your lifelong friend!

AFRP also hosts regular offsite adoption days with adoptable dogs and cats. Check our Calendar for a complete list of dates, times and locations.

What is the adoption process like?

AFRP’s adoption process is designed to create forever families! A team of adoption specialists will work with you to find the best possible match through conversation and discovery. The animals primary guardian must be 21 or older, complete the adoption in person, and present valid state-issued photo identification.  A home safety check is required for dog adoptions. We encourage all members of the family to be involved in the adoption process.

Read more about AFRP's adoption process.

How much are adoption fees?

Adoption fees for cats and kittens range from $0 - $150, and  dogs and puppies are $150 - $300. Discounts are available through special promotions throughout the year.

Credit or debit card, cash or checks are accepted.

What does my adoption fee pay for?

All animals adopted from AFRP receive a health exam, are spayed or neutered, given age-appropriate vaccinations, microchipped, de-wormed, and given flea preventative. Cats are tested for both FeLV and FIV.

The adoption fee covers only a small portion of medical expenses and the cost of caring for an animal throughout their stay at AFRP. Many animals have also received dental care or major or minor surgery while in our care.

Does AFRP offer dog training?

AFRP believes in the importance of dog behavior classes, but we do not offer them at this time. We encourage dog adopters to check into dog behavior classes offered in their area.

Does AFRP offer veterinary services?

Animals admitted to AFRP's program are given veterinary care at AFRP's clinic. We also network with local veterinary specialists when a dog or cat requires specialized medical procedures. AFRP does not provide general veterinary services to the public, but does provide low-cost spay/neuter vouchers to low-income pet guardians and low-cost spay and neuter services through our mobile spay/neuter clinic.

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.

Privacy Policy

AFRP will not share your personal information (name, phone number, email address, mailing address) with anyone. Information collected from you will be used solely by AFRP to send updates via email and regular mail about the work of AFRP.

If you would like to be removed from AFRP's mailing list or email list or if you would like to update your contact info, please email us at info@animalfriendsrescue.org.

All information collected on AFRP's website is collected on a secure server.