The Ark Rescue & Rehoming Centre, Ashbourne, Derbyshire
It is with great sadness that we are writing to tell you that we have said goodbye to Fabulous Fruitie, our beloved office cat. We made sure she did the things she liked to do on her last day, with the people she knew and loved, then she was put to sleep whilst being cuddled in Wanda's arms. Taking that decision was incredibly hard even though we know it was time and the kindest thing for her. Our hearts are broken now we no longer have this very special little black cat for company in the office. She is buried at The Ark in Luke's Garden alongside dear Mr Riffers, who also worked as our Office cat some years before.
Fruitie shared our office for almost three years and became very skilled at supervising our work, but her greatest and most important contribution was her comforting presence. She was always guaranteed to cheer us up whatever else might be happening and would sit alongside us purring encouragement and was always ready for a cuddle when the going got tough. She was incredibly loving and gentle and also a very brave little soul, coping with all her health problems without complaint. She found a way into the heart of everyone who met her and even converted dyed in the wool dog lovers into lovers of little black cats! We firmly believe she was very happy here and we were certainly happy to have her share our life.
Our office at The Ark will never be the same without her and it will take us a long time to recover and she will always be greatly missed, but never forgotten.
It's that time again....our annual Grand Raffle raises lots of much needed funds (last year it made just under £3300 as well as generating a further £1352 in extra donations!). If you would like to buy some tickets, or sell them to your friends and family, you can get them at any of our events, from The Ark or call us on 01335 300494. Thank you for supporting us.
A huge thank you to everyone who voted for us in the recent Pets at Home VIP Love to Give Campaign - thanks to you we not only were a winner but the First Prize winner for our area! This means that we will receive £5000 to spend helping us with our rescue and rehoming work but also a further £2500 worth of VIP Lifelines vouchers to spend in our local Pets at Home Store on food and goodies for our cats and dogs. We are partnered with the Derby Meteor Centre Pets at Home store and as always they have fully supported us helping us to get votes and become a winner.
We have been awarded two grants from the Mars Pedigree and Whiskas Feeding Brighter Futures Fund and were presented with our cheques at the annual Association of Cats and Dogs Homes Conference. We have £500 to purchase three Feline Forts for use in our outdoor cat gardens. Most cats enjoy a break from their pen and relax more in the garden environment and the forts allow them to feel safe and secure. Our elderly cats can also enjoy time in the gardens as the Forts enable them to still easily climb high - something cats like to do. Happier, more relaxed cats are easier to rehome as they behave more confidently with potential adopters.
Our second grant is for £5000 towards improvements we will be making to our outdoor compounds. We need to increase the height of the fencing in compound 2 as well as having a solid section of fence to reduce the visual contact between dogs being exercised or trained inside the compound and dogs being walked past outside. This will provide a safer, calmer environment to aid training and behavioural work and off lead training can be safely carried out. We would also like to provide more benches in our compounds for dogs and handlers to enjoy 'cuddle' times and a quiet time together. The benches will be recycled plastic requiring no maintenance. We also want to buy further dog agility equipment for our residents to enjoy.
So a big thank you to Pedigree and Whiskas for once again supporting our charity and the work we do with our cats and dogs.
Many of our supporters know of the support and encouragement we receive from Alex and Erik of Alex Clark Art based in County Durham and are admirers of Alex's art. They enjoy buying items of stock from our shop designed by Alex and, of course, her Christmas cards. We are delighted and so grateful to receive from Alex and Erik a wonderful donation of £4000 raised from a percentage of the sales of their Christmas cards worldwide as well as a personal contribution. We are proud to be associated with Alex Clark Art and to stock their range of goods in our shop and, when a customer buys an item, we love telling them that Alex and Erik are big supporters of our work, not only making very generous donations to our charity but that they are our friends.
This was a resounding success, thanks to your generosity. We raised an amazing £4,837 for our general funds and all our residents got lots of extra food and treats over the festive period. Sponsor cat Scala loves this time of year as she really enjoys her chicken treats, whilst ginger cat Smithy wishes it was Christmas every day as he just loves eating !
In January our dogs walk off any extra pounds, but some of our cats are still a bit chubby!
The cat gardens at The Ark have always been very popular with our residents and are a feature we are really proud of, so we have always been pleased that we decided to build them. It started with the creation of Roger's Room and Garden, then came the Garden Room Cattery, followed by two small individual cat gardens. These two then became four and this summer became five, as we have used some money left to us in a legacy from Maggie, one of our supporters, who was a big cat lover, to create a new garden in her memory. As you can see, Kako, one of our residents, is already putting 'Maggie's Garden' to good use!
We thought you would like to see Sponsor dogs Cassie and Skye enjoying a day out on the Sponsored Walk held at Ilam Country Park.
Fruitie our Office Cat seen here enjoying her lunch break! She loves to visit the Dog Adventure playground and try her paw at agility! She also then enjoys a snooze in the sunshine!
Here's a 'happy ending' with a difference! Last year we sold a ladies bicycle from our Bric a Brac shed. Little did we know that it would go on to raise us even more money! As a result of her purchase, new owner Lisa decided to join a Cycling Club and, as a result, went on a 'little outing' with members of the Club....the outing involved cycling from Birmingham to Sidmouth in Devon, a total of 180 miles! Lisa's friends were so proud of her that they secretly decided to sponsor her and raised £115 for The Ark.