In Fort Myers, Florida

Animal shelter Fort Myers Florida


The Animal Refuge Center, Inc. (ARC) began as a hope for an alternative to euthanasia to deal with the problems of unwanted, healthy animals, and advocate the prevention of cruelty to animals. Unfortunately, euthanasia was the solution in 1987 for most cats and dogs in Lee County.

In 1991, by soliciting donations from a committed community and obtaining a mortgage, the Animal Refuge Center was able to purchase its current home, situated on 22 acres in N. Ft. Myers.

In 2002 ARC began an “animal behavior” program by bringing in a certified behaviorist to instruct staff and volunteers. Our hope was to help all of our canine residents become more well-behaved, sociable and adoptable.

In 2004 the “ARC Academy” was formed to allow for ongoing training of our canines. Additional training and exercise yards were constructed on an acre of property. The result? A dramatic increase in adoptions of our larger canines...

In 2008, ARC added an indoor Training Center for dog behavioral training and basic obedience. A certified pet trainer was also added to its operation to facilitate identifying canine issues, assessing the needs of new intakes, and charting treatment programs as needed for canines with behavioral issues.

Throughout the last twenty seven years, the number of animals that are cared for at ARC has grown from 100 to at times, over 500. Therefore, the facilities in which to house these homeless pets have also grown. Presently there are 9 main buildings housing felines: The Gable Village, The Ekstrom Cottage, The Mary Williams Kitten Cottage, The Casa Marie, The Casa Luis, the Dixie D, Aeries Place, Maises Place and Beesley's Hide Away.

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