An ARF dog at the newly renovated Animal Rescue Fund's...

An ARF dog at the newly renovated Animal Rescue Fund's thrift shop cocktail party. (May 28, 2011) Credit: Gina Tomitz

After months of renovation, the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons has reopened the doors to its expanded Sagaponack thrift store with a flourish -- nine rooms of the added space decorated by notable interior designers.

Geoffrey Bradfield, Thomas Britt, Alex Papachristidis, Marshall Watson, Mark Fichandler, Peter Hallock, Thomas Samet, Priscilla Ulmann, Sandra McConnell and Sharon Zambrelli each helped design the space, which adds 1,300 square feet and was unveiled over the weekend.

The renovation of the original 1700 Dutch colonial in Wainscott was done over the winter. The rooms feature home goods from the store and pieces donated by the designers. All items are for sale.

"We can't live without our pets," said Bradfield, of Manhattan, who designs interiors for homes all over the world and showcased a "Writer's Lair" for the thrift shop. "I have my own dog, a Yorkie named Mr. Willoby, and I love him very much."

ARF is a nonprofit organization founded in 1974. The shelter, which is the biggest on the East End, takes in more than 700 cats and dogs a year, including from municipal shelters, and strays and pets given up by their owners.

All animals are cared for by ARF's medical staff, with each animal spayed or neutered, vaccinated and checked for health problems.

Papachristidis, who lives with his family and five dogs in Bridgehampton, called ARF an "amazing cause." He designed a chocolate brown and white dining pavilion, with a Moroccan settee and one of his own designer carpets, all donated.

"Being an animal lover, I support such a wonderful place that helps animals," he said as his Yorkie, Theodore, rested in his lap.

Officials at ARF said almost 20 percent of its operating budget comes from funds raised by the thrift shop, which had revenue of $6.9 million in 2009, according to its federal tax-exempt filings. In areas like the Hamptons, hand-me-downs can be of great value. In fact, the contents of a private estate in Amagansett have been donated to ARF, officials said.

"We love the idea of recycling things that others donate," said ARF's executive director, Sara Davison, "just like we recycle these wonderful cats and dogs."

A group of 200 guests got the first look at the decorated rooms Saturday at an invitation-only preview cocktail party. The thrift store opened its doors to the public Sunday.

For the pet set

ARF, the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, was founded in 1974; the thrift store opened the next year. ARF also funds humane education and community outreach programs.

At ARF, animals are cared for on a 22-acre property, where cats sit pretty in three open catteries with screened-in porches, and dogs enjoy a kennel with 48 indoor dog runs and 12 outdoor runs. There is a medical wing with an operating room.

The shelter charges $100 to adopt cats; $150 for dogs; and $200 for puppy mill dogs or pure breeds.

ARF executive director Sara Davison said her group has found that people who pay a fee for an animal tend to care for the pet better.

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