Welcome to the Ark!

The Ark Cat Sanctuary is a feline rescue operation located in Elk Springs 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 different reasons in need of help or are just plain down on their luck.  Whether because of health care issues, behavioral problems, an existing home that due to circumstances could no longer keep them or myriad other situations, most of our cats would have otherwise been euthanized or would simply have disappeared through the cracks.  We know from experience that when these cats are given a second chance they become wonderful members of families and both give and respond to the kind of love that families bring.  They are all individuals with unique personalities and we work hard to find the exact situation that they can go to that will give both them and their new family a good fit.

Our mission, simply put, is saving kitties.  We exist to be a part in humanely dealing with the cat overpopulation problem: rescuing, sheltering, healing and placing as many cats as possible.  We endeavor to involve others in this effort by education, by promoting trap/neuter/release programs and other low-cost spay/neuter programs that assist in controlling cat populations, by preventing cats from being euthanized as anything but a last resort, by returning sick cats to health so that they can go to good homes and by encouraging others to do the same.

You can judge the character of a society by how it treats its animals


Kitten Season off to a “Bad’ Start

It is only mid-May and all of the local shelters and rescue groups are filled to capacity with cats and kittens. Speaking today with Dennis, who is the director of Coconino Humane Association, we lamented that people wanting to get rid of their cats wait until spring to do so. This is a big mistake. Adult cats have a much better chance getting out of the shelter and into a home during the winter months when euthanasia is at a minimum because of much lower numbers of cats. Please, wait it out if you are contemplating surrendering your cat to a shelter. Space and resources are limited and late spring and summer is the time of greatest burden on the shelter system and the good people on the front lines that deal with the tragedy of unwanted companion animals. There must be someone in your acquaintance who can give a home to your displaced companion cat. Many rentals do accept animals, the market will dictate this if people will stand up for the rights of their animals and not rent places where animals are not welcome.

Where Do They Come From
Where Do They Go?

Our cats have come from as diverse places as Portland, Oregon shopping centers, trucks stops along an interstate highway, strays wandering allies in a small town, local humane society shelters that could not keep them because of illness and the health threat to other animals, families who had to move to a new home where pets were not allowed, pet stores where they bit people who tried to handle them too quickly, the Navajo Indian Reservation, feral cats that have rarely encountered humans that wander in because of the presence of sanctuary cats and just about any other circumstance that you can imagine.  We have met them all and provided a way station on the way to a happy home and a new life.   

We place most of our cats with local families who are happy to have a new family member of the feline persuasion.  We have placed older cats in retirement homes where quiet older companions welcomed someone to sit on their lap and purr the days away.  Many have gone to pet stores after being nursed back to health.  Three fast, young brothers went to an auto parts store in Lewiston, Idaho and a working situation where they are the store greeters as well as tough, relentless mousers.  All have gone to homes where their particular personalities and traits were the best fit possible and where they would find and give love.

Many cats that come into shelters or pet shops with health issues  would  be euthanized, can be returned to good health with just a bit of care, care than is often not available or feasible in other situations. 

Some cats are abandoned because of behavioral problems that their owners simply do not know how to deal with.  At the Ark we speak cat and know how to communicate with them and teach them that they are not threatened and how to get along with humans and other cats in ways they have never been able to do.  We do this with cats that we rescue and we do it with cats that are still currently in existing homes. 

Who Are We?

The Ark is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation whose board members are scattered across the country.  We have people from all walks of life who volunteer and contribute to the running of the shelter both financially and physically.  Our contributors are people who love animals, who love cats in particular and who just think that it’s the right thing to do.  Most have cats of their own and just want others to share in that joy and who know what too often happens when someone doesn’t get involved.

Our chief sponsor and contributor is Susan Marue, who has been doing cat rescue for over 21 years.  Sue does most of the day-to-day work and knows cats better than many veterinarians.  Sue has worked with rescue operations in cities from Portland, Oregon to Arizona, has worked with many veterinarians both learning medical procedure and consulting on cat behavioral issues.  Sue has worked with large cats as well as small, serving a year long internship at a cougar preserve in Oregon, where she daily worked with a number of 175 lb. cougars.  She speaks cat as well as any other feline, but can’t jump as high as her charges.

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