Ark Animal Sanctuary – Week of October 10, 2018
HOULTON, Maine — The Ark is currently at capacity. Everyday we receive phone calls from people asking us to take their cats and many people get upset with us when we have to say “no,” we have no room. They don’t understand why we simply can’t make room for one more. Some people have even commented on Facebook portraying us in a negative light. Believe me, it pains us to have to say “no.” In a perfect world we would be able to take everything, but this is not a perfect world. I guess in a perfect world there wouldn’t be homeless and abandoned animals either.
Each cat that walks through our front door costs approximately $200 to get altered, have a full set of vaccinations, testing and parasite control. That is a lot of money for an organization that has no guaranteed income. Some of the cats we take have serious medical issues and those cat costs can rise into the thousands. We have made a commitment to get every animal that comes to us the medical attention it needs and if that means surgery then we find a way.
We have also taken on the monumental task of the trailer park across the street from us. It is an issue that has existed for many years and no one has ever tried to clean up. To date we have pulled close to 30 cats from this area, and we now believe we have a handle on the situation. We are working with the management and they have implemented a pet policy requiring all animals to be altered. This is huge, not only for the trailer park but for all of the residents in that area. There will be no more sick kitties dying under trailers. There will be no more unwanted litters being born. We feel good and very proud about this accomplishment.
If you take the 30 cats we have rescued from there and multiply it by 200, that is $6,000 spent in just that on area. There were several cats that were very sick requiring extra medical attention and there were also a few surgeries. This is an additional cost on top of the $6,000. Where did all of this money come from? It came from a lot of fundraising, donations and just plain hard work.
This community has been very generous when we put out a plea for food and litter, the next day the donations start showing up. This saves us money because we don’t have to buy supplies, and that money goes to help our vet bills. Our volunteers work tirelessly to care for these animals. They give their time freely and they give their love unconditionally to each and every animal that walks through our doors. They are instrumental in finding these animals homes and they love what they do.
All we ask is that the next time you make a phone call asking for us to take your pet or someone else’s, understand we are not saying no because we are trying to be mean, we are saying no because the animals already in our care are our first priority and our facility has no more room. Contrary to popular belief we are not required to take your animals, we are only here to help as much as we can.
Right now, we have two litters one litter has four babies that are about four weeks old. We also have a litter of seven that are about 3 weeks old and another pregnant mom ready to deliver any day now. Add this to the number of adults we have is 57 that puts us at 68 cats!
Ask yourself some questions, what can I do to help make a difference? Before you pick up that phone to try and re-home your pet think about the consequences, better yet before you even get a pet ask yourself the questions can I afford this pet? Can I afford to be a responsible pet owner and get my pet altered? What will happen to my pet if I can no longer take care of it? For responsible people owning a pet is a lifetime commitment.
At The Ark we make a commitment to every animal that passes through our front door all we ask is that you do the same when you decide to become a pet owner.
Please join us on Oct.20 for Strut your Mutt and an open house at the sanctuary, for more details call Lorraine at The Hollywood pet salon at 532-7387.
Thank you for your continued support and as always thank you for reading our column.