Ark of Hope animal rescue loses more than 50 cats in Friday’s fire

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The Ark of Hope Animal Rescue in Oldtown took a loss early Friday morning, when 51 cats died from a fire at the animal shelter.

Volunteers said 10 dogs survived the blaze, after they were released from the burning shelter. Officials with the State Fire Marshal’s Office said the fire caused about $100,000 worth of damage, and the structure is a total loss.

Meanwhile, volunteers said they have been taking in animals for more than 20 years, and the damage from this fire will put the rescue’s mission on hold.

“I just happened to glance to the front of the house and I noticed the sky was orange,” said Dianne Care, owner and operator of the Ark of Hope Animal Rescue. “I got up to see what was going on, and the whole kennel was up in flames.”

The owners estimate the kennel should be rebuilt in three months. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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