'Noah's Ark' petting zoo working to stay afloat

Every time Marousa Placiotis hears rain is on the way, again, she cringes.

"I think ‘when is this going to end? Is this a joke?’," Placiotis said.

If the torrential rains are a joke, it's a terrible one for her because it has put her livelihood at stake. Placiotis owns Noah's Ark, a petting zoo/animal rescue that has been battered and knocked to its knees by flooding recently.

All the rain we have been experiencing has taken a heavy toll on her 10-acre operation.

The rains turned a wetland into a small lake. The water overflowed and covered her driveway, which made getting hay and grain to the horses, donkeys, chickens, ducks and geese a lot harder.

Even though the ground is not as wet as it was a few weeks ago, it's still soggy.

The pasture that was being used as a parking lot is too wet to handle cars, so they’ve had to cancel public events on the farm.

Noah's Ark is still able to take its mobile petting zoo on the road to birthday parties, churches and schools.

The exceptionally wet weather has made animal management much more difficult. The cost of keeping her critters has skyrocketed as well. Instead of being able to graze, animals had to be moved to higher ground and fed hay, which drove up Placiotis feed costs about $45 a day.

Health issues are an ongoing headache, too. She is concerned mosquito-borne illness and bacterial infections that can develop when equines are in standing water too long.

Placiotis' friend set up a GoFundMe page to help tide her over. She is using the money to buy gravel to build up her washed out driveway and purchase food her animals.

It has been one tough summer for Noah's Ark.

"We're still saturated," Placiotis said.

Her problems are probably going to keep coming, at least for a while.

The rainy season does not end until November. 

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