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The Chairman of ARF and Acting Executive Director:
Rick Lertzman

 Our Executive Director and founder was Sandy Lertzman. In her honor we tell her story: 


Sandy has been actively working in the rescue of all animals for almost 40 years. Sandy's vision for ARF and her common sense approach in creating a shared world with all animals sets the standards for ARF.


Sandy's husband Rick and their son, Matthew work with her to follow ARF's vision. Sandy also takes care of her dogs (many rescues), cats, horses, and her  "Sandy's Safe Haven For All Animals" family (at her house) of animals (deer, racoon, squirrels, geese, ducks,birds etc.) which always keeps her busy.

ARF Executive Director
Sandy and 2 of her dogs (now deceased) Ruben & Elsa

A Word From our late Director Sandy Lertzman:

Thank You for visiting us at ARF. This is a critical juncture for ARF. As animals are being abused, displaced (as development of land continues millions of animals are being displaced with no where to go), and abandoned- their rights are not being addressed by our lawmakers. ARF needs your support. We are in desperate need for volunteers.

There is a "puppy mill" industry that has become big business and are totally unregulated. This abusive business puts dogs in the most inhumane and barbaric enviroments. These puppy mills are a huge business throughout the U.S. (and the Amish community.) Humane groups have begun to fight these atrocities. In Pennsylvania- their voices were heard and reform has begun. We must speak up, in states like Ohio, where the abuse by these puppy mills are horrific. Join us in our fight to reform this industry like Pa. Governor Rendell is now enacting. 

In Ohio, thousands of deer are being massacred because they are  trying to co-exist in suburbs and urban areas. Although there are viable non-lethal solutions such as the use of Gona Con (birth control) to address these issues, the Ohio Division of Wildlife refuses the use of these products. Instead, they have allowed sharpshooters statewide to kill thousands of innocent deer. On our "Special Projects" page- we have a Petition to Stop the killing of the deer in Ohio (and everywhere!) and allow the use of Gona Con birth control. Please find the time to sign this petition online. We will present it to Ohio's Division of Wildlife.

Animal Shelters are being stretched to the limit with thousands of beautiful, healthy dogs and cats are being massacred every day. We need to find forever, loving homes. We need to teach about spay and neutering your dog or cat. We need laws to stop the abuse of all animals. Join our team of volunteers to work toward a world where dogs and cats are not massacred and each has a loving, forever home.

It takes many voices to be heard in our society. We need to band together to stop this insanity. There is strength in numbers. Join us at ARF to begin the fight to protect all animals.

We hope and pray for a 2011 that will bring us the respect, love and compassion for all creatures, big and small. May this New Year bring all of our friends love, peace and happiness.

Thank you and may God Bless You for your kind heart.

Sandy Lertzman

Executive Director


Rick Lertzman, Chairman and Acting Executive Director



24 Hour Hotline: 216.464.1300



  A Rescuers Prayer

Now I lay me down to rest
I pray my soul can stand this test
Of watching critters lose their homes
While owners gripe and cry and moan

I long for strength of spirit and
I pray they'll find a home again
Where they will know a loving heart
I can't do much, but its a start..

And spare me from the owner's pleas
About the baby's allergies
Or how they're moving out of state
Or spitefulness 'tween cat and mate

Please keep me sane while dealing with
The woman who bought as a gift
A wriggling tiny ball of fluff
That now is playing way too rough

Remind me I should bite my lip
When confronted with "he grew too quick"
"I didn't know he'd get so large"
"He seems to think that he's in charge"

Protect my heart when I hear them say
"I think we'll breed our dog one day"
Sometimes I think it'll break in two;
Each day brings trials harsh and new

And if I die before I wake
I pray one hopeless soul you'll take
My tears are gone, my faith is bare
Lord, please hear my rescue prayer.

~~ (c) 2001 TRW ~~


First it was necessary to civilize man in relation to man.
Now it is necessary to civilize man in relation to nature and the animals.
Victor Hugo


One Dog's Story
A Voice For Many


I once had a home
Where I use to play
But all my happiness
Was ruined one day
My master came home
In such despair
He moved the family away
Without telling me where

For days I wandered
Around aimlessly
What had I done wrong? 
Why'd they stop loving me?
Sure, I occasionally chewed
And I'd make a big mess
But I barked at strangers
And I tried my best

I played with the kids
Let them tug on my ears
They dressed me in "human" clothes
Throughout many years
I never ran away
And it's not in my nature to bite
I was playfully frisky
And never did fight

The only "big" dream
That I ever really had
Was to be loved, treated well
With the occasional pat on the head
I loved my warm bed
And the kisses I once got
I wasn't too much trouble
Nor demanded a whole heck of a lot

So why did they leave me?
Why'd they run away?
Why did they leave me to die?
On that melancholy day
I thought I was loved
Thought my life was worth living
Thought they desired my protection
And the devotion I was giving

I thought my wet kisses
Were just what they all needed
To cheer up their lives
When troubles weren't receding
I was part of the family
At least, I'd like to still think so
So why'd they abandon me?
Why'd they just let me go?

I'm "only" an animal
So it's hard for me to say
But even if times were tough
There's no need to leave me that way
How could they be heartless?
And not even care
Why'd they leave me to die?
And not take me somewhere

I was left on my own
No home to call mine
Left to fend for myself
Oh, how's a dog to survive?
I can't hunt for my food!
I eat food from a can!
I am my own "person"
But I am dependent on "man"

I needed to be sheltered
I needed to be fed
I needed to be loved
And patted on the head
I needed a family
I needed a good home
What kind of life was that?
Being left to die on my own

The days grew much longer
I was riddled with pain
The cold weather became fiercer
Then followed by rain
I did once manage to find
A small place to lay my head
But I really couldn't remember
The last time that I was fed

I remember it like yesterday
I had finally given up
I couldn't take any more
Death had finally come for this pup
I had given it my best
I had tried to live on
But the life that was once worth living
Had conclusively gone

I was a goner, finished
Decidedly washed up
When all of a sudden
A voice shouted "LOOK AT THIS PUP!"
On one bended knee
My guardian angel drew near
Sandy from ARF took me in her arms
And said, "Now listen here"

"You're much too precious
To be out here on your own
You will come with me young fella
To my comfy warm home
I will bathe you, feed you
And give you some love
Then tomorrow we shall go
To a place like heaven above"

It was hard for me to grasp
As I wasn't too clear in my head
Perhaps my mind was leaving me
Since my stomach hadn't been fed
But I gave her a wet kiss
Just to let her know that I said "yes"
Then I drifted off to sleep
And I don't remember the rest

The next morning I awoke
With memories of delight
I had my first happy dream
And slept all through the night
But wait!  It wasn't a dream
Because there she was
My beautiful Sandy, my guardian angel
Patting my head, giving me loves

"Okay it is time"
Her voice said with a lilt
"Your new life awaits you
Where families are built"
Once again in her arms
Her warmth my best friend
She drove me to "Heaven on earth"
Where this sad story ends

I now have a new home
I have lots of love too
But I'll never forget Sandy and ARF
And special people like you
You gave me a chance
The means with which to survive
You saw my precious soul
And kept me alive

Happy New Year 2011 from ARF
Hoping 2011 will be a year for love,respect and caring for all creatures, big and small

 Happy New Year

Contact Sandy at ARF:

Stray's Prayer

Dear God
Please send me somebody who will care!
I'm tired of running
I'm sick with despair

My body is aching
It's so racked with pain
And Dear God I pray
As I run in the rain

That someone will love me
And give me a home
A warm cozy bed
And a big juicy bone

My last owner tied me
All day in the yard
Sometimes with no water
And God that was hard

So I chewed my leash
And God I ran away
To rummage in garbage
And live life as a stray

But now God
I'm tired and hungry and cold
And I'm so afraid
That I will never grow old

They've chased me with sticks
And hit me with stones
While I run the streets
Just looking for bones!

I'm not really bad
God please help if you can
Or I have become
Just a "Victim of Man!"

I'm wormy Dear God
And I'm ridden with fleas
And all that I want
Is an Owner to please!

If you find one for me God
I'll try to be good
And I won't chew their shoes
And I'll do as I should

I'll love them
Protect them and try to obey
When they tell me to sit
To lie down or to stay!

I don't think I'll make it
Too long on my own
Cause I'm getting so weak
And I'm so all alone

Each night as I sleep in the bushes
I cry
Cause I'm so afraid God
That I'm gonna die

And I've got so much love
And devotion to give
That I should be given
A new chance to Live!

So Dear God
Please answer my prayer
And send me someone
Who will REALLY care

That Is
Dear God
If You Are Really There?

Ohio faces a serious problem. We are losing population, our youth and jobs. Much of our problems are due to the inadequate leadership in our State’s agencies. I have discovered that this was reflective in our personal experiences in dealing with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Our belief that the ODNR under the stewardship of Director Sam Speck is much like FEMA under the guidance of Michael Brown. Both are unequipped for the job they were appointed for. We have a need for competent, professional people to run our agencies and not appointments due to political favors.
In a state that has lost jobs and our youth due to the lack of technology, we can ill afford to suffer the humiliation that Ohio has endured with the ODNR under the leadership of Sam Speck. He recently stopped the proposed programs of the National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) which is a division of the USDA, that had proposed to conduct important studies in Ohio. His denial have lost us not only needed jobs and an influx of dollars, but it has humiliated Ohio in the eyes of important scientists. Ohio is quickly gaining notice in the scientific community as an area "unfriendly" to science and technology. The past director of the ODNR was known as a "friend" to scientists and had a great background to be the director of the ODNR.
Our dealing with the ODNR was both harsh and painful Because we are a humane group that supports animal causes, we were treated with disrespect. Our request for the ODNR or the ODOW to speak at a conference that addresses the deer issue was flatly denied. Then our meeting was denounced by the group. The ODNR owes respect to ALL citizens whether they are animal "fanatics" as they call us or sportsmen. We all pay our taxes and fund these agencies. They owe each citizen its due respect irregardless if we are in agreement of their policies.  More and more, I understand why I was told that you could never expect assistance from the ODNR as they are an "old boys network." To us, this is totally unacceptable. However as you look through their leadership and individuals who are in a position of authority, the truth of this belief becomes clear.
Because of its recent decisions to stop studies by the NWRC and other recent decisions, the ODNR has become a joke to important scientists nationwide. We have suffered due to the political appointments by Governor Taft. It is time that the Governor takes responsibility and brings the change necessary to the ODNR and allows the agency to return to its past reputation as a progressive organization that is responsive to its citizens.


I made and ate hot meals unmolested.
I had unstained, unfired clothes.
I had quiet conversations on the phone,
even if the doorbell rang.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I slept as late as I wanted
And never worried about how late I got to bed
or if I could get into my bed.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I cleaned my house every day.
I never tripped over toys, stuffies, chewies
Or invited the neighbor's dog over to play.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I didn't worry if my plants, cleansers, plastic bags,
toilet paper, soap or deodorant were poisonious or dangerous.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I had never been peed on
Pooped on
Drooled on
Chewed on
Or pinched by puppy teeth.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I had complete control of
My thoughts,
My body and mind.
I slept all night without sharing the covers
or pillow.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I never looked into big, soulful eyes and cried.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop a hurt.
I never knew something so furry and four-legged
could affect my heart so deeply.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I had never held a sleeping puppy just because I
couldn't put it down.
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was well.
I didn't know how warm it feels inside to feed a hungry puppy.
I didn't know that something so small could make
me feel so important.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being
A Dog Mom.


All things are bound together. All things connect." -Chief Seattle

HAPPY HOLIDAYS The card I  send to you this year 

Will not be thoughts of Christmas cheer

Or Santa riding in a sleigh

With lots of gifts to come your way


A starving dog, a homeless cat

A beaver lying in a trap

A sparrow punctured in the eyes

To win some kid a science prize


A horse that’s trampled in a ditch

To make a movie baron rich

A deer who’s struggling in a net

Await the bolt-the worst fate yet


If you believe in God at all,

Then love His creatures, great and small,

And help any way you can

A suffering beast or bird or man


If you believe these things are wrong

Then let this be your Christmas song

And raise your voice with all your might,

For only you can make it right


-Anonymous  sent to ARF by Carol Starcher 

Animal in Distress?Call the 24hr. Hotline



Animal in Distress? Call the 24 Hr. Hotline:
Animal Rights Foundation/ ARF
 24000 Mercantile Rd. #11, Beachwood,Oh. 44122
216.464.1300 E Mail: