The Ark Cat Sanctuary is a 24/7/365 no-kill operation dedicated to the rescue, care, and placement of cats and kittens that are in "at-risk" situations either at a municipal shelter, home environment, or on the streets.
Situated on 10 acres in the midst of the Kaibab National Forest 35 miles northwest of Flagstaff, AZ, the cats live in two buildings, a horse barn that has been modified for the cats, with five separate rooms, and a house with a large sun room. Each facility has access to “cat fenced” landscaped outdoor habitats with lots of opportunities for the cats to do cat stuff, climbing trees and hiding out in bushes while being safe from the predators that are native to our area. The outdoor enclosures range in size 800 to 1000 sq ft.
The cats are grouped in the different rooms by age, temperament and by how fast they eat! We have one room devoted to what we call “the speed eaters” and another room for a group of feral cats with a tame cat who teaches the feral cats that people are okay and that they are safe here.
The bright habitat rooms are wood paneled, insulated and heated to ensure that the cats are comfortable during our harsh winters. Each room has lots of hiding places and climbing furnishings to meet basic cat needs for high places and privacy.
The most critical operation of the Ark is the medical rehabilitation of sick cats from public humane facilities which would otherwise be euthanized. Due to factors ranging from lack of funding and lack of space and the danger to other animals, many cats that have minor treatable illnesses are euthanized rather than treated. These are cats with maladies often no more serious than the common cold, but that is enough to disqualify them from adoption and condemn them to euthanasia. We bring these cats to the Ark and nurse them back to health so they can be returned to both public and private adoption venues. Local humane society and veterinary personnel all work closely with us, knowing that many cats can be saved through our intervention and together we have been successful in saving many cats.
Another significant part of the work that we do is with other animal welfare, shelter and rescue organizations in the local Flagstaff area. We provide temporary refuge to cats and kittens at peak overpopulation times, keeping them in a safe, happy home environment until numbers thin out, allowing them to be adopted through these organizations rather than being euthanized.
Many of the cats that we take in would not have much of a chance at municipal shelters. Often they are “shy” cats who get really frightened in a caged environment, hence they do not “show” well in the shelter setting. Others are older than the optimal age to easily get a new home. We take in some cats with behavior or health problems as space permits.
Quite a few of these cats, with a little time, understanding and love, turn out to be very adoptable. The shy cats especially can become wonderful companions, responsive to the love of a forever family.
The Ark always has cats available for adoption. Cats, like people, are individuals with unique personalities and we work hard to find the perfect fit of family and cat. We guarantee the satisfaction of the new family with the adopted cat. We will take back any cat that does not fit in as expected. This policy is a vital part of the adoption contract at “The Ark.”
We regularly talk to others about how we accomplish what many have called amazing results, as there really is no magic to it. We are happy to help others with the problems they have with their cats whether it be health or behavior issues. We speak to school children, church groups and many other social organizations to teach them about cats and about humanely dealing with the problem of cat overpopulation. We endeavor to get other people directly involved in dealing with this through proper care of their own cats, through spay and neuter education, through trap-neuter-release programs for feral populations and through just giving a damn about a tragic problem. We advocate secure outdoor facilities for cats and are happy to consult and advise anyone who wants to build such a facility for their cat.
“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.” - Jean Cocteau ♥