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.

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