An Interview with Pat of Ark on the Edge

The Ark on the Edge is an Animal Sanctuary in Woodland, County Durham – not to be confused with Rainbow Ark in Willington, County Durham, which was recently closed down and all the animals sent to other Rescue Shelters all over the country. More about that Ark at a later date.

interview with an animal rescuer living in the UK
Poster by Ruth aka Kattaddorra
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Pat Kingsnorth, who along with her volunteers, is dedicated to the animals in her care. This is quite obvious when she says:

‘ I didn’t come into rescue to make money or be a business, I came to do whatever I could to help save and rehome those poor animals left and not wanted’

I asked her some questions for PoC and I’m sure if anyone has any more she will be willing to answer them too.

1. How long have you owned your Sanctuary? ‘6 years as Ark on the Edge but some 24 years from moving to County Durham and 30 years prior to that rescuing animals, mainly cats’

2. How many species of animals do you have? ‘Cats, dogs, rabbits, owls, kestrels, hawks, geese, ducks, deer, foxes, guinea pigs, degu, goats, horses, donkeys, hamsters, gerbils etc, the list goes on’

3. Because this is an interview for a cat web site we’d love to know how many cats you care for? ‘I personally had 21 cats in my own care just over a year ago but lost 5 in short space of time due to old age. Now just have 16 all of who are well over 12 years. In the last year over 170 cats have been successfully rehomed but only after full vet checks, neutering, vaccinations, worming, defleaing, microchipping and of course house checks’

4. What excuses do people make for relinquishing a pet cat to you and your thoughts on those reasons?

  • We are moving to a rented property and not allowed to take pets” – ‘so why if you love your pet don’t you find somewhere else?’
  • My child has an allergy” – ‘so why not try to sort it rather than rehome the pet?’
  • Can’t afford it” – ‘so give up some fags, drink, nights out as a tin of cat food and some water costs very little. Put some money away for any vet bills.’
  • I’m pregnant and my doctor has told me to get rid of the cat” – ‘why if you plan and work things out prior to baby arriving there’s no problems. Sheep faeces have some affect i.e. aborting but how many farmers give up their flocks because their wives are pregnant. NONE!’
  • I took my friends cat(s) on when they moved until they got settled but now they don’t want them” – ‘difficult one this, but if they have had the cats sometime then why give them up now. Just had someone’s cat come in who has a child already and a baby and the mother in law insisted the cat went as she thought it was going to sit on the baby. Good one that and a new one to us!’

5. Living and working at the Ark, do you ever have any leisure time? ‘A couple of years ago I went to South Africa to where they filmed Wild at Heart. It was home from home some sight-seeing, also a lot of volunteering with the wildlife, awesome. I’d dearly like to go back and just work with the wildlife out there, no change from being here but so rewarding, just the cats are a bit bigger and I can’t pick them up. But unless Ark on the Edge is entirely covered I won’t go anywhere. The Ark is never left unattended and no animals big or small are left out, all are securely locked away every night. There’s no rest at Christmas either it’s just another day at the office!’

6. It must be a constant struggle to raise funds especially now when money is very short for most people, have you had a drop in donations? ‘With bills ever increasing and the way of the world today donations have been declining for some time while ‘unwanted’ pets have increased and times are hard not only for animal rescues but all charities, we are all struggling. So with bills on average, totalling in excess of £1500 a month + the rent we are always fund raising and trying to stay afloat.’

‘At Ark on the Edge we pride ourselves in the way we look after the animals in our care whilst they are here. Providing them with full veterinary care and a house check ensuring that they go to the best possible place, hopefully for life.’

‘Please feel free to visit us any day between 10.30 and 4 and visit our web site. You can donate via our charity checkout.’

Ark on the Edge
Poster by Ruth aka Kattaddorra

So Pat, as you see, remains positive and cheerful and along with her volunteers, plods on caring for the creatures she loves, whilst also trying to make this world a better place for all of them.

Ruth aka Kattaddorra

50 thoughts on “An Interview with Pat of Ark on the Edge”

  1. Pat has a pet of the week which works fantastic Leah as well as all the visitors facebook can be a wonderful thing for getting awareness out there regarding all the animals although Pat’s bug bare on facebook is when posts appear free to good home at that Pat cringes x

  2. Pat what a wonderful rescue centre you have; certainly appears to be a Heaven on earth for all animals. Pat hope you don’t mind me asking but how pro active are you with re-homing? Have you anything that works particularly well or is it that people come to you? I’ve always found this difficult on account of I’m so nervous about letting them go 🙁 I have this insane belief that no one else can love them as much as me and I always want the perfect home for a rescued cat which I guess doesn’t really exist does it? You do such amazing work and I so hope that animals in need find you rather than have to suffer.

    • So happy to hear the problem you have, Leah.
      I have a hard time adopting out too.
      It just has to feel right; and, I have cried like a baby when letting go.

      • Me too Dee I worry so much even if the people seem perfect 🙁 I think I know that cat or kitten so well I just want to tell them everything.


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