Our Founders and Our Current History
Remembering Our Founders
Katharine Reese was a person with a mission. She turned that mission into a lasting gift for Arkansas’s most vulnerable domestic animals. She adopted Arkansas as her home state even though she could have lived anywhere in the world. Kathy, as she was known, bought property in Pope County, just north of Russellville, in the 1990’s. The land includes grasslands for horses and cows, forest lands and several beautiful water features including an ecologically significant waterway, the Illinois Bayou. Kathy steadily added acreage as adjacent lands became available until her land holdings totaled more than 1,000 acres.
The mission that defined Kathy’s life was love of animals and love of nature. The property became the home and refuge for her beloved Welsh ponies and for dozens of dogs and cats that needed a place of shelter before finding a forever family. Kathy passed away in 2013 but her vision still lives on today through Arkansas Animal Rescue Foundation.
In 2006, Kathy, with her brother William Reese, formed a non-profit organization. The proceeds of her estate are to be used to provide funds to advance animal welfare in Arkansas through a variety of meaningful, innovative and important ways. Kathy’s legacy has the potential to make a huge impact on the future of domestic animal populations through bi-annual grants that support animal welfare and rescue groups, working with veterinarians on spay/neuter programs, identifying ways to provide financial support for broad-based animal programs and initiatives.
The Board of Trustees is committed to insuring that Kathy Reese’s legacy, and that of her brother late William Reese (1955-2018), New Haven, Connecticut, lives on in measurable ways.
To protect and enhance the well-being of animals within the State of Arkansas, to train animals to further the welfare of persons with disabilities, and to further the principles of land stewardship and protect environments within Arkansas.
Stephanie Wyatt, Executive Director
Gail Arnold, President
Andrew Currie, Financial Chair
Board of Trustees
Dr. Ruth Wilburn