The Ark Animal Shelter turns 30 this month! To celebrate, the group is holding a public birthday party, complete with cake, pet goods, and Caribbean music!

The Ark Animal Shelter is a no-kill shelter that serves Washington and Hancock counties. Executive Director Vince Ewald tells me that it houses up to 80 animals at a time, both cats and dogs. And because they cover such a large area, volunteers can travel a long way just to pick up a pet and bring it to the shelter.

Between those transportation costs, vet bills, and just feeding the animals, it gets very expensive, very fast. Add in the outreach programs, and the costs are quite prohibitive, especially when you figure the shelter runs 100% on donations.

But before we talk about the money issues, let me tell you about this cool outreach program the Ark is about to kick off. It's called Pippy. Postively Inspiring Pet Programs for Youth will take picture books into schools and teach children compassion for their pets. It will aim to encourage kids to see their pets as emotional beings that experience feelings just like humans do. How awesome is that?!

Okay, back to the money. The Ark obviously welcomes any donations that come their way. And to help with that fundraising, they're holding a big 30th Birthday Bash on Monday evening, from 7:30 to 9, in Blue Hill Town Park. Everyone is invited to stop by!

Ewald tells me they'll have cake and ice cream, hamburgers, hot dogs, popcorn, pet goods, t-shirts, glow in the dark sticks, and more. And Flash in the Pans will provide some very summery music to keep the party hopping!

In the event of rain, the celebration will be moved to the Blue Hill Consolidated School. For more information, call the Ark at 546-3484 or log onto their website.