Ark Animal Sanctuary – Week of January 11, 2021

The Ark Animal Sanctuary is home  to approximately 25 feral cats. While these cats sometimes can be a challenge, we love them and The Ark will be their permanent home.  

Oftentimes people call looking for barn cats, but we have the mindset that we rescued these cats from a life which is very hard to say the least and we don’t want them to go back to that. The winters here are brutal and many cats cannot survive the cold. 

Don’t get me wrong there are some barn cats that have a good life in heated tack rooms and insulated buildings where they are fed everyday and taken care of and we applaud those owners.  Many of our feral cats have special needs and could never be released back like Amazing Grace, who only has 3 legs, or countless others who have no teeth. They are safe and warm, get the vet care they need and never go hungry. 

With that being said there are countless feral cats out there that are not safe and warm, who never know where their next meal will come from or if they will even eat. These cats get sick and there is no one to help them or get the vet care they need and deserve. 

Where do all of these feral cats come from?  They come from people who do not neuter and spay their cats. These cats are born outside never knowing the human touch. They become feral not because they want to, but out of a need to survive. People move away and leave their cats behind without a second thought and that cat without the love and attention and human contact they once had becomes very shy and nervous and untrusting of humans.

There is one common denominator and that is humans. We are the ones responsible for these situations.  We need to be better than this.

 Oftentimes I hear it is just a feral cat or a barn cat. Just because it is a feral or barn cat doesn’t mean you shouldn’t alter these cats. Left to reproduce they will multiply and multiply until the situation is out of control. Unfortunately in our tiny little town there are situations like this everywhere. 

Seeing these poor cats and how they live  is heartbreaking. While not everyone is in a position to help an animal, we are all in a position to take responsibility for our own animals. This means neuter and spay. This means not moving and leaving them behind. This means that even barn cats and ferals need to be neutered and spayed. This means not getting an animal if you can’t afford it.

 A few months back we were called about an injured feral cat whom a wonderful couple had been feeding and giving shelter to. When they saw the wounds they knew they were in over their head and reached out for help. When we arrived the cat was sleeping in the shelter they had provided for him so it was easy to catch him.

He was a mess. He had a laceration to his face which had become infected — one eye was closed and he had an upper respiratory infection. He was rushed to the vet the next day where he was sedated so he could be examined. His wound was cleaned up and he was given an injection of antibiotics. We named him Pierce. Pierce started to improve once he was cleaned up. He was emaciated so we knew he hadn’t eaten in a while. Every day we see improvements in Pierce, but his nasal passage is severely swollen which is a concern and we are trying to figure that out. 

In talking to the people in the neighborhood where he was found, the owner had moved away about three years prior and left him behind. He was a feral barn cat, but he was a cat and he had an owner. When the person moved they took away his food source and accessibility to shelter.

For three years he lived like this until he was finally rescued by kind strangers. Pierce will call the Sanctuary home and will get whatever he needs. The people that rescued him stay in touch and have helped out tremendously with his vet bills.

 Feral cats deserve every chance at life. They didn’t choose to be feral, someone made that decision for them by not altering their pet.  They don’t deserve to have to live out in the weather and fight for food, they don’t deserve to be denied vet care when they are sick and they certainly don’t deserve to be left behind. Please neuter and spay your pets, please don’t leave them behind out of convenience.

We are hoping that Pierce’s story will have a happy ending once we get his medical needs taken care of. Thank you for your continued support and as always thank you for reading our column.

The Ark Animal Sanctuary is located on 101 Old Woodstock Road. To contact Lorraine Monfils call 532-7387 or check out their Facebook page. 

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