Ark Animal Sanctuary – Week of November 29, 2023

Lorraine Monfils, Special to The County
3 months ago

The past few weeks we have once again rearranged the sanctuary trying to utilize every square inch of space. We have had large crates donated to accommodate the influx of cats. We are now officially out of space.

We have taken in two strays from the North Road, one cat living in an abandoned house that was so matted it had to be shaved and one cat missing most of an ear. The phone calls keep coming and there is no end in sight. We do not like refusing cats, but we cannot take on more than we have space for or more than we can financially afford. 

Shelters and sanctuaries do not have an endless supply of space or money.

We know that educating the public about neutering and spaying is one of our most valuable tools, but there are days when we feel like we are banging our heads against the wall.

Many rescues have given the public access to low-cost neuter and spay clinics. People are allowing their animals to reproduce at an alarming rate and there is no way rescues can keep up. We are working round the clock to remedy a situation that we have no control over.

We have been outspoken about keeping your cats inside. Indoor cats live long, healthy lives, while indoor/outdoor cats have much shorter lifespans. They can also contract diseases such as FIV, leukemia and FIP. They risk being hit by cars and being attacked by predators.

We have also been outspoken about barn cats. Just because it is a barn cat does not mean it does not need to be altered so it cannot reproduce. Many barn cats are feral. That is not the life they chose, it is the life we humans chose for them. Cats don’t have a voice. They cannot tell us when they need help, when they are hungry or when they are sick.

We tell the stories on our Facebook page to educate you and to be the voice for those that find their way to our doors. We don’t do this to shame people, but to be their voice and tell their stories. We make it about the animals. If anyone takes offense to the stories we tell, maybe they need to ask themselves why they are offended.

We have tried to educate everyone on having access to vet care. In today’s world, many vets are not accepting new clients because they too are overwhelmed. Yet people are getting pets without even checking into vet care. The end result is, because they are not already on file with a vet, they now have no access to vet care or to neuter and spay.

The world is changing and things that we took for granted are no longer so. We need to change or things will only get worse. Everyone in animal rescue is in it for the long haul. We are not going to stop preaching until things change. Our voices will only get louder.   

Thank you for your continued support and, as always, thank you for reading our column.