How The Ark Began…
The Ark was established in 1986, by Mrs Pauline Rice, with goats, sheep and a few dogs and cats. Over the past 32 years, Pauline, along with a dedicated band of helpers, has changed the lives of so many animals for the better.During this time a multitude of animals have been given loving homes, and other animals, which are not really suitable for re-homing, have made their home here, at the Ark.Many of the animals who come to live in the Ark are old, ill or have been cruelly treated. They come to an environment where they are protected and loved. We will do anything we can to make them happy for the rest of their natural lives.
Although the majority of animals we help are cats and dogs, we also take in rabbits, guinea pigs and many types of small furries e.g. mice, rats, hamsters, degus, chinchillas, as well as ducks, chickens, cage birds, horses, ponies and donkeys and we even had a pot-bellied pig for a while. We don’t just give them a roof over over their heads and food, but grooming, cuddles and attention, regular handling and where needed, we start rehabilitation programmes to address issues and make their rehoming a more likely event. This is most successful amongst the dogs.
The Ark is funded by donations and funds raised by a wonderful team of animal lovers. The more funds we raise, the more animals we can save and give a better quality of life. Every penny raised is spent on food, veterinary care, housing and, when necessary, heating. We also have other unseen expenses such as rates, insurance, removal of waste to mention a few as well as salaries for our core staff.
The Ark is not standing still, and every week improvements are being made to provide both temporary and permanent accommodation for rescued animals, all of which costs money.We NEVER put an animal to sleep, unless it has proved to be very aggressive and doesn’t respond to behavioural assessment and training or on veterinary advice.When the kennels and cattery are full, we cannot take in any more animals until one has been adopted, thus creating a space.
Although we have a permanent skeleton staff, we rely on the help of volunteers for exercising and socialising with the animals, as well as numerous other jobs around the centre, many of which would be left undone without their help.
Animals arrive at the Ark for many reasons. Some are unwanted, possibly after being given as a Christmas present, some arrive after their faithful owners have passed away, and others who are unable to keep them because they move into new accommodation. Some have been found wandering on the beach.
Whichever way, most of them will be excellent in new homes, and will reward you with their love and loyalty.
Sadly, Pauline Rice died in 2017 but her legacy is carrying on through her daughter, Sue Rice and granddaughter Laura Wootton.
You can watch a short video tour around the Ark created by one of our volunteers.