The Ark Animal Centre Puppy Shelter is Moving!

SOLD Ark New Property Cedar road, Fourways copy

Ark Animal Centre, the Fourways-based puppy rescue shelter is moving to new premises after securing a large property better suited to the activities of the centre.

Tracy Otto and her two daughters, Candice and Cara, started Ark in 2011. It is the fastest growing puppy rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing shelter with a passion for animals that has been nurtured over many years. That passion has outgrown the current premises, so a plan was put in place to expand and develop the centre. This plan required a new beginning on new premises.

Tracy and Cara Otto from Ark Animal Centre Puppy Rescue Shelter in Fourways Johannesburg

Founders of Ark Animal Centre Tracy and Cara Otto. *Candice not pictured.

The process began quietly in the background since early last year. While the shelter continued to operate as normal, the new property was identified and plans were put into place to purchase it for the relocation of the centre.

The new property consists of 23 acres in a park like setting on the Millgate farm not even 10 minutes from Fourways. This was a huge undertaking that was finalised on the 1st of February 2013.

SOLD Ark New Property dog park

The money required was impossible to generate from the charitable activities and fundraising Ark has been involved in, as these funds are used for the welfare and operation of the centre.

So without much delay, Tracy spoke to her husband Alan, and they decided to put their house on the market in order to raise the funds needed to purchase the new property.

“If all goes according to plan, the shelter will be moving in mid-April however, it is going to need a lot of work beforehand,” explains Tracy. “There is a lot of behind the scenes work to be done for the shelter to be ready for us to move the animals in our care to the new facility.”

Ark’s long-term goal is to provide a centre that is self-sustainable. So it can continue to grow and provide a place for all animal lovers to become stakeholders in providing much needed help and care for puppies until they find a new home. To achieve this, any help in the areas listed below will be gratefully appreciated!

ark new property picture wall blog copy

Ark’s aim is to provide the most enjoyable experience for visitors and animals alike by changing the perception of welfare. By raising the bar for your welfare experience, and looks forward to providing this for the surrounding areas.

Tracy and her family are calling on the community to get involved and become a part of the greater ‘Ark family.’  She explains: “Our ultimate goal is to build an animal shelter and homing facility of which Fourways can be very proud, by giving a second chance to the hundreds of innocent animals we look after.”

shelter under construction copy


23 acres of property situated just up Cedar road in Fourways, JHB.

2 pigs and about 50 rescued puppies, pregnant mom’s and dogs need to be transported to new kennels

At least 18 kennels need to be built and two pig sties.

Security is the main priority then the dog kennels

What Ark needs:

  1. Security fencing
  2. Fencing & gates for dog kennels
  3. Bricks
  4. Tiles
  5. Cement
  6. Building sand
  7. Labour
  8. Drainage eg: drainage pipes and septic tank (most important)
  9. Gates for entrance
  10. Paint
  11. Grass
  12. Heating panels
  13. Plumbing and electrics

 Alternatively you can donate:

Ark Animal Centre

FNB Cheque Account

Account: 62335841301

Branch: Broadacres

Code: 204809


Every bit is very appreciated!

Click here to view what the shelter achieved in 2012 and their plans for the future!

For more information contact Tracy 082 334 7596 / or Candice 082 460 2816 /

101 Humorous Animals by Carly van Heerden

101 Humorous Animals - The Lighter Side of Anthropomorphism [Kindle Edition]

Carly van Heerden is the author of ‘101 Humorous Animals – The Lighter Side Of Anthropomorphism’. Her new book is out and available on Kindle & and is filled not only with high quality pictures of some of the world’s most beautiful creatures, but beneath each picture you will find a few interesting facts relating to the creatures in the pictures, making this book the ultimate combination of humor and fact, emphasized by superior images… which for many is the perfect recipe for enjoyable entertainment.

Here is a little more on Carly and her awesome book…

I have spoken on behalf of animals for most of my life now – not only as an activist; I have the tendency to imagine what animals are thinking, and I know I’m not the only one! When I started studying animal behaviorism, one of the first points we are made aware of is that when it comes to training animals, we as humans make the mistake of likening our animals to people; we think we know what they are thinking when they look at us ‘that way’.

carly van heerden 2

This is known as anthropomorphism (explained in detail in the book). Anthropomorphism becomes an obstacle when we presume what our animals are thinking, even though we know full well they can’t speak English (or any other human language), and they do not think in a spoken language we can understand either. This can lead to our misunderstanding our animals’ needs on occasion; for example, when your dog chews your shoes and looks at you ‘that way’, you think they are saying ‘sorry’ or ‘I didn’t do it’, or ‘please don’t be mad’, when in actual fact they are just looking at you, wondering why your facial expression and body language is changing shape… so suddenly.

There’s a lot to it, but at the end of the day we only ‘speech bubble’ our animals because we love them, and to us they are human – so if the shoe fits…

Facebook often provides the perfect daily dose of comedy when it comes to pictures of animals, which have been ‘captioned’. Sometimes I’m left in tears and stitches by the captions I read, and they are usually so appropriate. So, where did I get my inspiration from? I’d have to say… captioned pictures on Facebook.

To make the book that much more interesting, I spent my time researching the animals in the pictures, hoping to make this book into something more than ‘just a picture book’. To me, one of the best forms of entertainment is a well-structured combination of non-fiction and humor, which allows me to smile and learn something new at the same time. For me, that’s getting what I need and like for the money I spend.

Watershed Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Fund came into the picture toward the end. My ‘Mushroom’ (SPCA rescue Greyhound) was flown to me in Sedgefield from Gauteng, and Steph from Watershed organized the flight through ‘Bidair’. Because I was in Sedgefield, Margot from Greyhound Rescue Group SA organized absolutely everything for ‘Mushroom’ in Gauteng; having a crate made especially for her, driving for hours from here to there to make sure all was perfect for Mushroom’s first (and only) flight. Another one of my books (Animal Stories for Children Everywhere) therefore has 10 % of its sales dedicated GRGSA, and 10% of all sales of this book will be given to Watershed for their tremendous efforts, not just where Mushroom was concerned, but for anyone needing their assistance.

mush run

To me if there is ever an opportunity to promote the good work of animal shelters and rescue organizations, I will make good use of it; hence the decision to add the pages for ‘organizations needing assistance’.

Seeing the excellent effort that ARK puts towards rescuing and rehabilitating mums and pups, I asked if I could make mention of them in this book, and they agreed to let me. The great thing about this being done on Kindle is that folks from all around the world, who purchase the book, can make donations directly to Ark, Barking Mad, and Tico’s Pawket (USA – with focus on providing rehabilitation wheels to paralyzed dogs) from their computers, even while they read the book. I hope the donations are made and that Ark, Barking Mad and Tico’s Pawket can continue to do all they do for our four legged companions who can’t speak for themselves.

Thank you Candice and all at ARK – may all your needs be met and your premises protected. Thank you for dedicating your lives to the animals, and for having the courage to face adversity in the tough times; never giving up.

– Carly van Heerden