Before ARK, there were about a dozen wildlife rehabilitators networking together in Powhatan, Chesterfield and Goochland. All had the same goal of becoming non-profit. This would enable us to receive financial help for the foods and veterinary expenses needed to care for the wildlife in our possession. In the year 2000, five of us sat around a kitchen table and worked out the legalities. Bylaws were agreed upon and set in place. Our mission was also established. We put word out to the rest of the group for ideas and a logo. The name ARK was suggested then the words were added to the A - “Area,” R – “Rehabbers,” and K – “Klub.” A few logos were suggested and the one we use today was chosen.
On March 9, 2000 we became incorporated as a business. We then obtained our non-profit status which became effective August 28, 2000. Our mission remains the same today: To provide for orphaned and injured native Virginia wildlife with the goal of releasing the animals back into the wild. In order to insure that our funds go for the animals in our care, we remain adamant that there will be no paid positions within ARK.
From those humble beginnings, ARK’s roster has grown to just under fifty people. This includes state and federally licensed rehabilitators and transporters. ARK covers the Richmond Metropolitan area and surrounding counties. The native wildlife we care for ranges from tiny hummingbirds and chipmunks to larger animals such as fawns and Great Horned Owls.
In October 2007, ARK increased its Board to eight members in order to have a greater cross section of rehabilitators voicing the needs and opinions of our volunteers. The Board continues its original vision of merely being a reflection of our rehabbers and volunteers in our efforts to support their rehabilitation needs.
By participating in community events, our fundraising efforts, and the generosity of the public, we are able to continue to provide milk replacers, most dry foods, veterinary care and some caging materials to make our mission possible. It is our goal to one day be able to reimburse rehabilitators for the costs of fresh fruits, vegetables, caging and set up supplies.