2012 Pet Hero Award Winner - Sony Schotland, Co-Founder
of ARF of the Hamptons and Southampton Animal Shelter
Founder's Award of the Year
When Sony Schotland left her homeland in France and arrived in the United States as a teenager, she was already an avid animal lover. Little did she realize that this affinity would lead her into a lifetime commitment! Over 50 years ago she started a campaign to prevent our Long Island animals from being euthanized by horrible methods. With the help of three others; Barbra Posener, Dorothey Wahl and Cleveland Amory, an animal organization was founded in the Hamptons that is now recognized as being one of the finest in the nation, the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons. Most everyone knows it by the acronym, ARF. Sony served on ARF’s Board for 37 years before she faced an even greater challenge.
Being recognized as a leader in the pet community, the town of Southampton asked Sony to serve on their advisory committee relating to animal issues where she met Susan Allen, another member of the committee. The town suddenly announced that due to fiscal difficulties the shelter would be shut down. the scope of the peril for the 225 animals living there at the time was incredulous The town’s only involvement as requested by law would be to pick up strays , These strays could have been euthanized if they remained unclaimed for more than five days. And yes, that includes lost and missing companion pets with loving families trying to find them.
When a benefactor generously offered to privatize the shelter for a few years, Sony joined in this new seemingly impossible challenge and helped enable the newly formed Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation (SASF) to become self-sufficient. After all, no single individual can afford to maintain an entire shelter. Confident that ARF was established, financially independent and well-organized, Sony took the leap and joined Susan Allen in this new, seemingly impossible challenge.
Sony has donated her wisdom, heart and personal finances to animal welfare. Seldom has a day gone by in the last fifty years that she has not worked on and off rescue and shelter premises to save countless animal lives. We commend Sony for her life’s work and the progress she continues to make for animals. Sony, you are awesome!
Pet Hero Awards