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Information about our Organization 

A.R.K. Association to Rescue Kritters is a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center located at 3878 S. Maple Valley Road, Saint Helen, MI 486566, between Houghton Lake and St. Helen. Our purpose is to rescue, rehabilitate and return to the wild injured and orphaned wild animals. 


We offer help to people who find issues with our wildlife neighbors, such as raccoons in the chimney or under the pontoon boat cover, squirrels in the attic, birds who have fallen out of their nest, injured animals on the roadside, etc. We spend countless hours caring for orphaned and injured wildlife such as fawns, raccoons, bunnies, squirrels, opossums, birds and more. We are unable to take bats or skunks. We make hundreds of trips to pick up or rescue animals caught in unfortunate situations. Often, they just require a little assistance on our part to allow them to go back to the wild, Our goal is to return them to the life that nature intended. Many times, all that is required is just a little extra support during a difficult time.


A.R.K. Association to Rescue Kritters was formed in January of 2001 by Director Ruth Fruehauf. Ruth and her husband Denis had been “mom & pop” in-home rehabilitators for seven years.  The numbers of animals coming for help kept increasing until it wasn’t possible to continue without help. We held our first meeting on January 31, 2001. A decision was made at that time to become a Non-profit Organization and A.R.K. was born.


Our summer was busy and we had wonderful help from many volunteers. The following September, we heard from Critter Alley, a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Grand Ledge. They were closing their doors and wanted to donate all of their assets to A.R.K. That incredible offer changed everything. We were able to purchase a one bedroom log cabin with a 2.5 car attached garage, plus other detached garages on one acre, which abuts Ruth and Denis’ property to the rear.


This gave us a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center on a main road with an additional acre of property; the attached garage is now a nursery, complete with incubators, stainless steel cages, a refrigerator and everything necessary for us to provide care.  Hundreds of animals now come through the Center each year. The one bedroom is now an Emergency Room for the many injuries we see each year. The laundry room handles about a dozen loads of laundry a day in “baby season”. All of this is now called “THE ARK”.

We were truly blessed when Critter Alley chose us to donate all of their assets to, but it also put a great deal of responsibility and pressure on an organization that wasn’t even two years old yet. The number of animals that have come into the center has more than tripled. Our organization is strongly focused on educating the public.

Along with all of the wonderful equipment that we received from Critter Alley, we were also given custody of all six of their Education Birds. We go into the schools, in the communities we serve, and be able to take the owls and hawks with us.   This is now know as our B.O.P. (Birds of Prey) program.  We can teach the public about the important part that the Raptors play in the Ecology of our state and the world. We hope to instill in children and adults the importance of caring for all of the animals. We have been working with the Ecology clubs at high schools and middle schools. The Boy and Girl Scout Troops have also worked very hard on several cage building projects and Spring Clean up days. We are growing very rapidly and we have an incredible group of volunteers that put in countless hours helping with the animals.  This includes clean up, cage building, and especially the feedings. You can’t imagine how much noise a full hourse of baby raccoons make when they all want to be the next one fed!  But without these dedicated caring people, this would not be possible. Because of them we have a truly amazing adventure going on here everyday!

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