ARK is a non-profit, non-governmental private organization with the aim of forming a network of people who love animals, believe in sharing their lives with them, and who work actively to rescue them from suffering. ARK was established in 1990 and became officially recognized as an NPO (Non-Profit Organization) in September 1999 and became an accredited nintei in 2016. In 2008, ARK was accepted as an International Associate Member of the RSPCA.
ARK receives all funding for its activities from the donations and membership fees of the general public. We have approximately 30 staff members and receive support from volunteers who understand our activities. Our staff depends on our many volunteers because ARK is dedicated to not only the care of the animals but also to maintaining our facilities for the animals.
ARK was established in 1990 by Elizabeth Oliver who still represents the organization today. Elizabeth Oliver originally came to Japan to teach English, but after seeing many injured animals she enlisted the help of some friends to rescue them. At that time she had virtually no financial aid and depended on the generosity of people to donate such necessities as dog food. Over time more people became involved in her activities and as the number of rescued animals grew, several volunteers were hired as full-time staff members.
After the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake hit Japan in January 1995, ARK was faced with its biggest challenge which became a turning point for the organization. Over that year ARK rescued more than 600 animals from the quake-hit area, far over the capacity that ARK could handle. However, thanks to the media, word got out around Japan about ARK’s activities and we were able to build more facilities and hire more staff members.
Since its establishment ARK has succeeded in expanding its activities and facilities, and in August 1998, was authorized by Osaka prefecture as a non-profit organization and became an accredited Nintei NPO in 2016.
Since ARK was founded in 1991, many dogs and cats have been rehomed. It has all happened thanks to the people who have supported ARK's activities. ARK staff will continue to work hard to save as many animals as they can.