Downeast Dog News

Rescue of the Month: The Ark Animal Shelter

Compassionate Care & Placement of Homeless Animals
By Susan Spisak | Feb 01, 2018

This no-kill facility has faithfully served Downeast Maine since 1984. The Ark, as it’s nicknamed, is committed to providing wonderful care and the rehoming of those homeless animals that come under their wing. The pets that come to them are spayed and neutered to alleviate overpopulation. They also promote the welfare of animals through community outreach and education.

Their newest educational outreach program is PippY (Positively inspiring pet programs for Youths), and its goal is to build caring and compassionate citizens by inspiring youngsters to teach others about the importance of animal welfare. They believe that when a child understands that pets are people too, who experience the same emotions we do, their bond and understanding of them will be strengthened.

To that end, Ark’s Executive Director, Vincent Ewald, wrote Hope for Someday, a book that follows abandoned puppies, Pippy and Poppy, who end up in a shelter. It’s illustrated by Ark’s Board President, Tom Leigh, and they’re free to school-aged children during PippY presentations. They’re also available to the general public for a fee to help support PippY and its mission.

Before their animals are available for adoption, they are socialized, evaluated for and corrected on any behavioral issues, and initial training begins. The shelter also keeps a “personality profile” on each pet, so they can have a more in-depth idea of their temperament. All animals are fully-vetted and given necessary vaccinations, including parvo, distemper, rabies, and kennel cough. They’re also wormed, checked for parasites and are groomed.

If you’re interested in adopting from the shelter, you must fill out an application. Expect a vet check if you have other pets, to verify that they’re up-to-date on vaccines and are spayed or neutered. If you don’t own your home or are an apartment dweller, proof of landlord permission is required.

ARK staffers will help determine which pet is a good match for your home and lifestyle. If you have another dog or cat, they may suggest an introduction at the shelter to insure compatibility. A home trial may also be an option.

As a non-profit, the shelter needs donated items that are used daily at their facility at 60 Barber Lane in Cherryfield. Cleaning supplies include Clorox bleach, Dawn dish detergent, 55 gallon trash bags, window cleaner, buckets, brooms, and rubbing alcohol. Nutritional needs include Purina One Lamb & Rice dog food and Friskies (any flavor pate cat food), Fancy Feast and Purina Naturals dry cat food. Dog and cat toys, Nylabones and Kongs, large dog marrow bones, 6 ft. dog leads (3/4 inch or 1 inch wide), and cat litter box wood pellets. Office supplies and redeemable bottles and cans are accepted, and monetary donations are always appreciated.

Dog-walkers, cat-groomers, and fair and event volunteers are welcome. They always need loving foster homes. For more information on The Ark and to see all their pets, visit