The Ark’s expansion allows for more services

Anna Bellegante

After 28 years in business and four locations, The Ark is celebrating its grand re-opening this weekend.

John Metcalf, co-owner of The Ark, said he wanted to have an “appreciation weekend” for customers once the remodel was finally finished. A petting zoo, face painting, special deals, a chance to win a goldfish and free food are all part of the celebration.

“We really try to get the community involved in our business,” Metcalf said.

The Ark’s location, 3705 Lincoln Way, is not all that’s new, however. With The Ark’s expansion, more services are available, such as pet boarding for dogs and cats.

“We’ve made everything bigger here,” Metcalf said. “It’s bigger, brighter, cleaner — we didn’t want to be in the basement anymore, so now we’re above ground and we can see the weather outside. It’s a lot of fun.”

But pet boarding is not the only service The Ark offers. Evan Maifeld, who has been employed at The Ark for two years, said that they do a lot to educate the community. Maifeld said that they let children hold the animals, answer any questions customers may have and teach how to care for various pets.

“[The Ark] tries to spread awareness of any kind of pet you can keep at home, [and] what’s the best way to keep exotic [pets],” Maifeld said with a chuckle as an 80-pound python named Big Mama stretched out her neck to entertain the gathering crowd.

Customers can get their picture taken with Big Mama or their own pets at the grand re-opening. The Ark’s grand re-opening continues throughout the weekend.