Saturday may be National Dog Day, but at The Ark at JFK, it’s always dog day — and cat day and horse day and … you get the idea.
Since the world’s first privately owned animal terminal opened in January, it’s housed hundreds of critters, but dogs are the most common “by far,” Managing Director Elizabeth A. Schuette told Metro.
The Ark has housed everything from Great Danes and St. Bernards to miniature Chihuahuas and especially the on-trend French and English bulldogs. The number of dogs on any given day range from one or two up to 30. “A lot of times we don’t have a sense of what’s coming in until the airlines call us,” Schuette said.
But when the airlines do come calling, The Ark is ready thanks to equine and aviary facilities and Pet Oasis, which offers 24-hour veterinary care, kennels, an outdoor relief area and more.
“Our main goal is to provide peace of mind to the owners and a stress-free, calm environment for the animals,” Schuette said. “Most of the time when you’re dropping off your beloved pet (at an airport), they’ll be sitting in the cargo warehouse for the time before until you come to pick up after the flight. That’s not the best scenario for the animals, and we want to provide a warm, fuzzy, loving environment and be the advocate.”
The Ark is slated to become a lot more warm and fuzzy by yearend, when Paradise 4 Paws, a long-term boarding and luxury doggie day care-like facility is slated to open.
It will feature a variety of kennels “or suites as they call them,” Schuette said, bone-shaped pools, a cat climbing area and even suites with actual beds and TVs so you can watch your dog.
“They’re scheduled to begin construction in early September, probably right after Labor Day weekend, and they definitely want to be open by the holiday season,” Schuette said.
Schuette isn’t the only member of her family that works at The Ark. Her cockapoo, Tucker, is the facility’s ambassador and is poised for stardom now that his Instagram page has just launched.
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