Association to Rescue Kritters is a non-profit “dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of orphaned, injured and displaced wildlife.”
By Anna McNeill
This time of the year brings all wildlife out and about and close to home. This is also the season for baby animals to be seen.
The Association to Rescue Kritters, or ARK, is a non-profit organization that takes in orphaned, injured or displaced wildlife and gives them the love, care and nutrients they need to reach the ultimate goal of being released back into the wild. ARK is located just outside of Houghton Lake, in Saint Helen.
On Saturday, June 14 the ARK sanctuary, which is usually closed to the public, had its annual open house.
ARK opened its doors for the day to allow the public to see all the hard work that the volunteers do and to help raise funds to purchase food, medicine and other supplies to keep the organization up and running.
As of Saturday, ARK was taking care of 20 orphaned fawns, which volunteers said is the most fawn’s that the organization has ever had at one time.
Volunteers explained that the major problem is people will find a baby fawn on its own out in a field or in the woods or along the road in a ditch and will take the baby, thinking it’s mother abandoned it. This is generally not the case. The volunteers urged people to leave baby dear and raccoons, because usually the mothers are just out gathering food to feed the babies and will be back for them.
While taking the public on tours of the facility volunteers explained that by the next few weeks they would be overrun with young raccoons.
Along with the many fawns and kits (another term for a baby raccoon), the volunteers were busy feeding and caring for squirrels, turkey hatchlings, geese, a variety of owls, a turkey vulture with an injured wing and a few different types of hawks.
Out of all these animals, most are being rehabilitated and prepared for release, but those animals, like Ariel the red tailed hawk, who came in with a damaged left eye, they will stay at the center and be used for educational demonstrations.
If you ever have an injured or displaced or believed to be orphaned animal in or around your home, you can contact ARK via email at ARKritters@hotmail.com or give them a call at (989) 389-3305. For more information about the organization and their stories, visit their website at www.arkritters.org.