The Ark Cat Sanctuary is a feline rescue operation located near Parks, Arizona, about 30 miles northwest of Flagstaff. Situated on 10 acres of land adjacent to the Kaibab National Forest, the Ark is a 24/7/365 operation dedicated to the rescue, care and placement of cats that are, for various reasons, in need of help or are just plain down on their luck.
It is our goal to involve the community in these efforts through the use of education and by promoting trap/neuter/release programs and other low-cost spay/neuter programs to assist in controlling cat populations. Euthanasia should only ever be used as a last resort; we endeavor to return sick cats to health and find them good homes, and encourage others to do the same.
The upcoming kitten season will be here sooner than usual. On February 7, 2018 there was a female cat in heat at the shelter. The mild winter and warm temperatures will mean early and heavy reproduction. We need a commensurate increase in the number of fosters to help accommodate all the kittens looming on the horizon.
Much of the cat reproduction occurs in the population of stray cats around Flagstaff. We are looking for people who are willing to trap stray cats, take them to the vet for spay/neuter/vaccinations, and return them to the place where they were trapped. There are sources of funding for this, so the volunteers don’t have to pay for it. Contact the Ark for information about the funding.
The Ark takes in between 700 and 750 cats each year, which represents approximately one-third of the yearly cat intake by Coconino Humane Association (CHA). On any given day, the Ark facility houses more cats than the CHA facility and the Second Chance Center for Animals facility (when it was open) combined. We focus on the most at-risk populations, which present as more fearful/feral, and come to us with many different medical issues.
We have a long track record of managing and treating disease in a large population of cats, in a cost-effective manner. Most of the cats that we take in end up getting adopted at PetSmart. Healthy adoptable animals haven’t been euthanized at CHA for five years. They are not the problem and are already being adopted. The problem is animals who need time and space to recover from health conditions, and poorly socialized animals who need time to be evaluated and worked with.
Finding good outcomes for 4,500 animals per year requires teamwork. Coconino Humane Association has been a cooperative partner with the Ark to bring the euthanasia rate for cats from 36 percent in 2015 to 5 percent in 2016 and 6.7 percent in 2017.
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