Most of us are at least somewhat familiar with the parable of the determined Biblical figure Noah and his ark. After all, as the story goes, were it not for he and his big boat, the post-flood world would’ve been devoid of animals. Well, in Rutherford County, Tennessee, in response to the estimated 20,000 unwanted animals captured and the 14,000 euthanized annually, a new Noah is emerging. No bearded man marching zebras and giraffes two-by-two, this Noah is the endlessly optimistic Jen Flatt Hilsher, founder of On The Fifth Day and its Animal Rescue Keystone (A.R.K.). Jen’s undertaking is set to be one of the largest no-kill animal sanctuaries in America. The fundraising is well underway and the future respite for abused domestic, farm, and wild animals will consist of a five-acre park, aqua therapy for seniors, multiple dog colonies, a cat house, full-scale vet services, and, of course, The Sit ‘n Stay vegan café. While Jen and her team have been working tirelessly to raise the initial $100,000 required, she readily admits: “No goal of this magnitude is completed alone.” And so now it’s our turn to pick up a figurative hammer and help build her ark. After all, we’d hate to think how the story would end otherwise.
To make a tax-deductible donation, visit onthefifthday.org.