Ark Animal Sanctuary Week of February 14, 2024

2 months ago

I have debated about writing this article because we don’t want to upset people and discourage them for reaching out for help. We need to stop worrying about the people and focus on the animals. 

It has been on the news and all over Facebook that shelters and sanctuaries are at their breaking point. There is no more room, but the phone calls keep coming. People are getting angry when we say we can’t help. Some have even threatened to open the door and just let them out. If you do that, that is on you. If you can lay your head on your pillow at night and be OK with that, then so be it. 

We don’t refuse animals to be mean. We are completely out of room. We have a waiting list  of people wanting to surrender animals. Right now we are only taking in medical emergencies.

How did we reach this point? It all goes back to the need to neuter and spay. Don’t get an animal if you can’t afford it. Don’t get an animal if you are not on file with a vet. Don’t get an animal if you haven’t gotten approval from your landlord. Animals are a lifetime commitment, and if you can’t commit to that then please don’t get an animal. Pets depend on their owners for proper vet care, flea treatments, food and shelter. They deserve that.

Paul came to The Ark with fleas and some missing fur.
(Courtesy of Ark Animal Sanctuary

People criticize our adoption procedures. It’s a two-page application. And yes, you have to be on file with a vet. We check references and with your landlord. Why? We have pulled these animals off the street, some so sick and hurt they wouldn’t survive without help, and we invest the time and money into getting them healthy. So we are surely not going to hand them off to just anyone. They have already been there and done that. Needless to say, that is how they ended up with us.

Animal rescues are not a given, where if you don’t want a pet anymore they can just bail you out. It is your responsibility to find an answer to your problem. If we can help, we will, but when we tell you we are full, don’t stop there. Be a responsible human and keep going until you find an answer.  

I can preach and preach and I know my words will not matter to most tomorrow, but everyone needs a wake up call and everyone needs to pay attention or this situation will never change. Animal rescues are being put to the test and we will continue to preach until this madness stops.

Just to be clear, the Ark has no guaranteed income. Our money comes from donations, fundraising and grants. That big beautiful building we have came at a cost of a lot of blood, sweat and tears. There are insurance bills, heat, electricity, vet bills, supplies and so on. No one gets a paycheck. We are all volunteers.

We are doing the best we can, so please don’t get angry with us because we have limitations. Right now we have a wait list, and as I mentioned before we are only taking in animals who need emergency vet care.

This past weekend our volunteers got together and cut our desk area in half to create another cat room. We counted our pennies to get the materials to do this. Why? Because there were four medical emergencies that walked through our doors. So if we are willing to do this for your cats, I have one question: What are you willing to do? 

I hope you don’t stop at a phone call. There is no room, but we can add you to a list, because these animals deserve so much better. That animal is your responsibility. Find a solution.

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