Animal Refuge Center
P.O. Box 6642
fort myers, Florida 33911
The Animal Refuge Center is a not-for-profit animal welfare society. We are a non-euthanasia organization dedicated to caring for all homeless animals brought in to our care.
The center began as a hope for a better way other than euthanasia to deal with the problems of unwanted, healthy animals, and the prevention of cruelty to animals. Unfortunately, euthanasia was the solution in 1987 for most unwanted cats and dogs.
Pulling together a group of individuals with the same goal in mind of creating positive solutions to pet over-population, ARC was incorporated in March of 1988. Starting on a small scale by vaccinating and worming pets prior to their being sterilized at the most inexpensive clincs available, ARC's reputation as a human care giver began to grow. Member volunteers hosted educational booths and visited public schools with programs on responsible pet ownership.
Soon, due to its reputations and obtaining legal status with Lee County as animal advocates, unwanted puppies, dogs, kittens and cats began showing up on doorsteps and ARC took them in. Since there were few foster homes for placing animals, the organization had to find another location for the cat population. Cats were then placed in a barn/shop on a tree farm in North Ft. Myers, Florida for the next year and a half until the farm was sold. Once again ARC relocated the cats to a converted, but more conveniently located, chicken coop.
The next move, positive in nature, was in September 1991, to a location close to Ft. Myers' original airport. A lease for two years was signed for the back building of a kennel, knowing this time frame would determine if the organization could maintain itself and possibly purchase these facilities. However, in 1992 Hurricane Andrew changed the history of ARC. Agreeing to accept animals from one no-kill shelter in Miami and another in Homestead, ARC eventually took in 83 dogs and cats. It also began the process of rehabilitating and placing these sad and needy creatures for adoption. These events led to a dramatic increase in work, cost and public awareness.
When the owner of the property near the airport decided to utilize the space for himself, ARC lost its lease. By soliciting donations from a community committed to animal welfare, ARC was able to purchase its current home, which is situated on 20 acres in North Ft. Myers, Florida. Presently, there is a Welcome Center, three feline facilities, and a small, inadequate canine kennel.
ARC's on-going Mission is the education of residents about the importance of spaying and neutering their animal companions, with the ultimate result being the elimination of euthanasia. ARC is dedicated to the prevention of cruelty to animals and to the prevention of euthanasia for abandoned dogs, cats and other small pet animals. Its philosophy avows that once an animal is accepted for adoption, it will NOT be destroyed to make room for another.
In 2000, ARC celebrated its 12th anniversary, and has place appropximately 110 dogs and 200 cats per year into responsible, loving homes. The organization has a Direct Adoption Program where those who need to find homes for their animals but cannot bring them into the shelter due to limited space are matched with those looking for animal companions.
ARC completed one of its capital projects this year when it moved all of our less domesticated cats into the new and spacious Gable Village. The entire enclosure is 4100 square feet, wrap around screened enclosures with lots of great perching views and four specially constructed lodges for protection from the elements. These new quarters will enable ARC volunteers to socialize these cats more and enhance the chance of adoption. The next project, started the summer of 2000, is to finance the construction of large canine lodges with indoor/outdoor capabilities, a medical room, kitchen, grooming area and storage. These new facilities will enable ARC, at its own expense, to continue its policy of spaying and neutering all animals and placing them into new homes. It is designed to provide for more stray, unwanted or abandoned dogs, placing them in groups which keeps them socialized until they can be adopted, thereby eliminating unnecessary cruelty and euthanasia of these animals.
To see the adoptable pets for Animal Refuge Center click here
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Animal Refuge Center Location
Below is a map for Animal Refuge Center, please call for specific directions.
***Note: PO Boxes will not show correctly on the map below.