Minneapolis + St Paul Pet Photography Blog

animal ark :: december rescue of the month

Founded in 1977, Animal Ark is Minnesota’s largest no-kill animal welfare organization, and also one of the most home-like facilities in the state. Rabbits are in luxury bunny suites. Cats are housed in kitty apartments with toys, climbing trees, windows and even music. The large dog kennels all have soft, raised beds with chew toys and treats, and the dogs are are taken outside 3 times per day. It’s a bit outside of the Twin Cities, about 30 minutes south in Hastings, but it’s totally worth the drive.

One cool aspect of Animal Ark is their affiliated thrift store. I love thrifting and it’s always fun to see what’s new at the store. I recently found out that they’re dog-friendly, so bring your pooch in to say hi and get some pets from the staff!

During December, they’re celebrating the “Twelve Strays of Christmas.” Anyone adopting a pet that was picked up as a stray can adopt for half price! With those and all adoptions, you’ll get discounts on food, collars and other merchandise, free microchipping, free spay/neutering and free vaccinations. It’s a pretty incredible way to help more animals be home for the holidays.

I went to the shelter to take photos of adoptables, and met some great ones! First up is Joy (a great name for the season!) She’s big, part Maine Coon, declawed in the front and 8 years old. She was originally adopted from the Animal Ark, but returned. I think she would make a great match for Simon  :)

shelter cat

These next two were surrendered together, but don’t need to be adopted together. Chubby, the 2 year old Siamese, loves attention and playing with laser pointers. He was another one who was originally adopted from Animal Ark, but returned because they “had no time for a cat.”


Gorgeous 3 year old Farrah is a Snowshoe Himalayan mix, also adopted and returned. (I just don’t get some people) She loves being brushed and also playing with laser pointers.

himalayan, cat

Yoda is a Red Lake Rosie’s dog, so most likely a Shepherd mix. The first thing she did when she came out was “hug” me! She’s really energetic and snuggly, gets along with some dogs and loves people. She’s been at the shelter for a long time, recovering from a menagerie of illnesses (like heartworm) and is now ready for her forever home.

Pretty little Phantom was brought in from a dog fighting operation that was shut down in Ohio. She had a puppy who’s been adopted, and now it’s mama’s turn! She needs a home with no crazy kids and someone with patience to bring her out of her shell. She’s very shy, but sweet and gentle when she gets to know you.


As part of my Giving Back program, 10% of all session fees this month will be donated to this great organization. Plus, if you’ve ever adopted from Animal Ark, you’ll get 50% off your photo session during the month of December!

All their info is on the website at animalarkshelter.org

If you’d like to email them with any questions, please contact shelter@animalarkshelter.org

You can also find them on facebook here.

They always need donations of food, litter and beds, plus paper towels and paper plates. If you’d like to make a monetary donation, click here.


Hi! I'm Sarah, but feel free to call me Sarah Beth. I've been a professional photographer for over 17 years, and I've been an animal lover and an artist my entire life. Read More . . .


Sarah Ernhart
Sarah Beth Photography

2205 California St. NE, Suite 101
Minneapolis, MN 55418