Ark Animal Sanctuary – Week of August 24, 2022

2 years ago

Everyone has a different perspective on animal sanctuaries or shelters. Many think we are there to serve them. That we are a place to take in any and all animals. We are there for their convenience  to surrender their animals when they no longer want them, or to take in the litters they had because they failed to neuter or spay their pets. 

I don’t think they even stop to wonder where the money comes from to care for all the animals or who paid for the building that houses them. They don’t stop to think about who works to care for the animals and get them the vet care they need. They don’t think about any costs that animal rescues incur.  All they think about is getting someone else to care for the animal they thought they wanted. 

In the past few weeks the calls we have been getting are overwhelming. Calls about pregnant cats or newborns with no mom. People moving and they can’t take their pets, or relatives checking into nursing homes and they can’t take their pets and their families don’t want the pets.

We even had one person want us to drive her to Bangor for her cats and another wanted us to take her cat to the vet and pay the bill.  I think one person even made the comment that neuter and spay is not the problem, that people dropping off their pets is the problem. I am not sure that makes a whole lot of sense. If more people would neuter and spay then there would be no unwanted litters to drop off. Neuter and spay is always the solution .

I thought I would take the time to educate you on how  our sanctuary runs. We are all volunteer based, with no paid employees. Most of us work full time jobs as well as volunteer at the sanctuary. We have no guaranteed income.

There is no town or state funding. Our money comes from donations, grants, fundraising and a lot of hard work. We are a dedicated group of individuals determined to make a difference in the lives of animals. 

Saying no is not in our DNA but sometimes we have no choice. Our facility has the capacity to hold 65 cats and we are well beyond that number. We have added on rooms, converted our kitchen into a maternity ward. We have cats in the laundry room and the furnace room. 

Please understand when we say we are out of room – we are out of room. People have gotten mad and even rude to us instead of stepping up to the plate and helping that family member that can no longer keep their pet.

Have we become so caught up in our own selfish needs that sometimes we forget to just simply be kind and help others? There are so many animals out there that need help and we will try to do everything we can, but we need your help. We need you to be kind and understanding. We need your patience and we need you to understand that we are an informational resource for you not a financial  one.

Animal rescues work on a shoestring budget. The volunteers work unbelievable hours. Their dedication is second to none. We are not here for your convenience. We are here for the animals. When you knock on our door for help please show us a little respect, we will listen and try to help in any way we can. 

You may not like our answers and decisions, but please understand if we have to say “no” there is a very good reason. We cannot take on anymore when we are out of room. If we do say “no,” realize there is always another alternative and it begins with you.

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 207-532-7387 or check out their Facebook page.