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New lease on life for Build An Ark

A horse stands beneath the Flag of Heroes at the entrance to Build an Ark Animal Rescue, which will remain in the red barn at Coosawattee River Resort. The barn was built partly by firemen who responded to the 9/11/2001 attacks. (Photo by Whitney Crouch)
by Whitney Crouch

Build an Ark Animal Rescue and its 125 animal residents are staying put, founder Susan Littlejohn told the Times-Courier Monday morning.

“I’m so relieved,” she said. “I’d like to send a huge hug to everybody (who interceded on Build an Ark’s behalf).”

The organization’s future was up in the air last week after Littlejohn received a lease termination notice from her landlord, Coosawattee River Resort Association. The document detailed various compliance issues and described these “continued violations (as) a material breach of the lease.”

Following a CRRA board of directors meeting Saturday, however, Littlejohn learned her organization would be allowed to remain at the barn located by the Eagle Mountain entrance to the gated community.

A letter delivered to her earlier this week stated, “The termination of the lease will be rescinded, and the lease reinstated if the compliance issues for the two recreational vehicles and the kennels are remedied by the original date of termination, May 2, 2015.”

The document also noted, “The board is pleased with the community support, within and without CRRA, Inc., for this endeavor.”

Littlejohn affirmed the community has been very helpful over the last few days.

“We’ve had a huge support group ... a lot of people came to our rescue,” she stated. “I couldn’t take time to name them all.”

Lourdes Flinn was one of the individuals who advocated on Build an Ark’s behalf at the weekend meeting. She said there were more than 100 people in attendance, which was the “second highest attendance ever had in a board meeting.”

“It was very rewarding to see the support (Littlejohn) had,” stated Flinn, who drove from Miami to be at the meeting.

Littlejohn particularly emphasized the residents in CRR have been “phenomenal.”

The animal rescue founder also expressed her thanks for the anonymous person who read last week’s Times-Courier article on Build an Ark and paid the bill for her truck that was in the shop.

She also shared her appreciation for two Girl Scout troops who recently donated a total of $900 from their cookie sales to buy food for the animals at the barn.

Celebration to be held Friday

To commemorate the occasion of its reinstated lease, Build an Ark is hosting a celebration Friday, April 24, beginning at 5 p.m.

In addition to spending time with the animal residents at Build an Ark, kids can enjoy a bounce house, face painting and balloon animals during the evening event.

The band Deuce and the Wild Cards will play from 7 to 9 p.m.

Food will be provided and attendees can bring a side dish or dessert to share if they so desire.

Littlejohn emphasized the whole community is invited to attend. 
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