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JFK Airport's 'ARK' Offers Modern Quarantine Center for Traveling Animals

By Katie Honan | June 8, 2017 4:33pm
 The ARK at JFK is set to open in the fall, officials said. 
The ARK at JFK is set to open in the fall, officials said. 
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

JAMAICA — Horses hoofing it halfway around the world now have a state-of-the-art facility to look forward to once they land.

The ARK is a 178,000-square-foot facility specializing in quarantine for the thousands of birds and horses that fly in and out of John F. Kennedy Airport each year.

ARK's Equine Import Quarantine  — It's the first privately-owned quarantine center at an airport — is unlike any other in the country, providing the "highest level of care" for the prized animals that trot through their doors, officials said.

"The ARK is filling, in my opinion, a niche that needed to be developed," said Dr. Linda Mittel, from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, who has been working with ARK to develop the best care for the animals at the facility.

"Animals are critically important to people - whether it's your emotional support, its your guard dog, or its your favorite friend, they're important. And they need to be treated that way."

The whole facility cost $65 million and was built by ARK Development, LLC.


Inside the center is a 24-hour vet and long-term boarding facility at the large warehouse, on the eastern end of the airport.  

There are avian rooms for the rare birds that are flown in to the airport, as well as boarding areas for other exotic animals, like turtles and lizards.

The horses who end up at The ARK are some of the most prized mares and stallions in the world — and officials said they deserve an equally high quality treatment.

Each of the 48 stalls has individual climate control to be adjusted for the specific horse, who can feast on a la carte feed and hay. And the floor is made of a four-layer impenetrable epoxy wall membrane so it's easier on hooves. 

It also houses the ARK Pet Oasis for smaller animals like cats and dogs, and a separate veterinary office.

There's also a Paradise 4 Paws boarding center, which features a pool for dogs who want to chill out.