Special Photo: These two tiger cubs, named Doc and Leonard, are among the newest inhabitants at Noah’s Ark Animal Rehabilitation Center in Locust Grove.
A playful American black bear cub, named Little Anne, and two equally active tiger cubs, named Doc and Leonard, are frolicking about their habitat, seemingly without a care in the world.
The three small cubs are the newest inhabitants at Noah’s Ark Animal Rehabilitation Center and Children’s Care Home, in Locust Grove, and they represent the non-profit’s continuous need for both monetary, and in-kind support, according to Diane Smith, assistant to the Noah’s Ark Founder and Director Jama Hedgecoth.
“We depend on God, and the many friends of Noah’s Ark, who give to help us feed and care for the animals at Noah’s Ark,” said Hedgecoth. “Like many non-profits, we’ve hit a rough spot financially and are having to ask for some extra help.”
Her assistant, Diane Smith, said she sent out an e-mail appeal to raise $16,500 to sustain the center over the next few weeks.
“We are looking for some funding to help offset the costs of feeding more than 1,200 animals,” said Smith, who noted a drop in donations this summer.
“Summer is traditionally a slower time for donations,” she continued. “We feel like the extreme heat has contributed; we’ve had to be closed several days due to high heat indices. Since we rely partially on donations in our donation boxes by visiting guests, that affects us.”
Smith said the non-profit received “a good response” to the e-mail appeal. Noah’s Ark receives support from individuals around the world, with hefty support locally. Recent donations, however, may only last a few weeks, she said, pointing to the depressed economy and its toll on non-profits.
“Our immediate need has been met. But, as we go into the fall months, we’re definitely going to be in more need,” she said. “The $12,000 a month for feed continues to be a need each month. And that is only the cost of feed — not salaries for a very small staff, habitat maintenance, vet care, etc. The need is on-going.”
Smith said animals at Noah’s Ark annually consume about 375 tons of hay, 4,300 pounds of monkey biscuits, 18,000 pounds of big cat diet, 275,000 pounds of dry dog food, 176,000 pounds of sweet feed, and 3,000 pounds of parrot feed.
“In addition, we require hundreds of pounds of fresh produce, reptile feed, ostrich and emu feed ... ,” she explained. “We could always use people that are hands-on too.”
Needed in-kind donations were identified as hay, sweet feed, produce, parrot feed, and dry dog food that is used as a supplement for animals.
Smith said the non-profit also needs to replace its old forklift, which broke down earlier this year. The forklift was used to unload bales of hay and pallets of food from delivery trucks at the habitat.
Those interested in volunteering, or making donations to Noah’s Ark are asked to call (770) 957-0888, or visit the web site at www.noahs-ark.org. Donations may be mailed to: Noah’s Ark, 712 LG-Griffin Road, Locust Grove, Ga. 30248.