Volunteer and Foster Applications – Please Read

AARCS volunteer application and foster home applications have not been working for the past week….possibly. If you have applied to volunteer or foster in the last several days and haven’t received any response to your email, please email volunteer@aarcs.ca and/or foster@aarcs.ca. The forms should be working now. Thank you for your patience!

Thank you Calgary Foundation!

AARCS would like to say a huge thank you to the Calgary Foundation for granting $30,000 to Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society for our efforts during the 2013 Floods in Calgary, High River & Siksika when we assisted with helping people and their pets. Thank you to Calgary and area donors for your on-going support of our work!



January 2, 2014

We are once again amazed at the growth AARCS has seen with yet another year under our belt. Each day we strive to save as many lives as we can and to assist our community through our numerous programs. The final numbers have not been confirmed, but we did approximately 1115 adoptions in 2013, a 65% growth over 2012!

In addition, we cared for over 180 emergency foster care program animals, 26 medical care cases, over 285 spay/neuters for owned animals and helped 38 animals to the rainbow bridge. Over 2000 animals have passed through our doors either through one of our many programs or as a temporary stay before going off to one of our partner rescue organizations. Congratulations to everyone for making this all possible, we couldn’t have done it without you!

As we head into 2014 we currently have 338 animals in care – thank you to all the wonderful foster families who care for these animals as they would their own until their adoptive homes are found. We begin 2014 with these goals in mind:

-       Increase our adoption statistics an additional 25% in 2014, while maintaining the high quality standards we have of our adoptive homes

-       Increase Spay Neuter Assistance Program by an additional 25%

-       Increase our Medical Assistance Program by 25%

-       Increase number of foster homes by 10-20% and volunteers hours by 20%

-       Separate TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) from the SNAP program and develop further programs for humane solutions to large cat colonies

-       Develop a small animal program (gerbils, rabbits, birds, etc)

-       Develop a Strategic Plan for the future expansion of AARCS and the Safe Haven shelter

In order to achieve these goals we have a few announcements. We are pleased to announce that Tami Rambow will be starting as a permanent staff member in the role of Adoption Manager for AARCS. With the immense growth AARCS has seen we have attracted many new adoptive families and have seen a dramatic increase in adoptions. For every one adoption finalized we are screening on average 2.5 families. That’s over 2500 applications in a year! It seemed to be a natural progression to shift this position from a volunteer role to staff, as our biggest and most vital program.  Tami will be responsible for overseeing the management of the entire Adoption Program, including the Cat Program, and will work together with Tammy Pfiefer, Cat Adoption Coordinator, to ensure the growth and success of AARCS Adoption Program. Tami’s first official first day is today! Please join me in congratulating Tami on her position.

We also wanted to take this time to announce that Shaylene Jones will be taking over during Paula’s maternity leave as the Foster Home Manager as of the beginning of February. She will job shadow Paula for four weeks while she learns the ropes. Shaylene was chosen from many worthy applicants and takes on the huge task of intake and foster home coordination for both the dog and cat program. Please join me in welcoming Shaylene to her new role.

Finally, we are looking for the ideal candidate for a part-time role to assist with  operations at Safe Haven. With our goal of keeping the shelter at full capacity during 2014 between rescue intake and the SNAP program, we require the extra human resource to cover the vital morning shift and help support our shelter volunteers. We recognize that we have constantly struggled to maintain enough volunteers for the morning and noon shifts. This is because the majority of our volunteers do work full-time. This role will be vital to ensure the highest standard of animal care and to avoid burn out of our current volunteer force. However, we still need morning shift volunteers, this role will be your support when there are not enough volunteers available. In addition, this role will help maintain a safe and clean facility, including cleaning crates, maintaining a clean and organized back yard, and assisting inventory, cleaning and administrative teams when needed. If you are interested in applying for this position please send your resume and cover letter to admin@aarcs.ca.

Finally, I also wish to take this time to thank each and every one of our volunteers who makes the work we do possible. We couldn’t do it without you! You, together with your fellow volunteers, have put in approximately 25,000 volunteer hours in 2013! That is the equivalent of 12 full-time positions! The staff at AARCS is here to support YOU the volunteers – our greatest asset. Please don’t forget to log your volunteer hours with Rachel so we can keep a pulse on the organizational needs.

Thank you for being a part of AARCS and the amazing progress we have made in a few short years. We hope you will remain involved with AARCS now and for many years to come. Should you have any questions please feel free to call, email or stop by the Safe Haven.

Kindest Regards, 

Deanna Thompson

Executive Director

Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society


PH: 403-869-4694 

Featured Volunteer: Melanie Boccaccio

How can I become a volunteer? | See more volunteers

AARCS introduces Melanie Boccaccio

What AARCS Has To Say

Melanie has been with AARCS since before we opened our shelter in 2012. She has since become deeply involved in many roles at AARCS, and has really stepped up in to leadership roles.

A large majority of Melanie’s time with AARCS, is in the shelter. One of her main areas is our Dog Shelter as a Shift Leader. Melanie has worked with numerous new volunteers, and has been a great resource for them. In addition to helping new volunteers with the dogs, Melanie is also involved with the cats in the shelter, as well as our medical committee. If all of those were not enough, she often helps out with events around the city as well. 
Thank you Melanie for all of your hard work and dedication to AARCS. We hope you will be part of the family for many years to come.

A Few Words From Melanie

I started volunteering with AARCS in September 2012. At the time, I was looking for a little inspiration, a cause I could get behind and share with other dedicated people, a place where I could volunteer on a regular basis, for a couple of hours at a time, whenever it was convenient for me. I found all of that at AARCS, and then some!

I started out as a Dog Caregiver, learning more every time I went into Safe Haven. The shelter had just opened, and we were finding new and better ways of doing things. The best part was, my input and ideas were valued and I felt like part of a team. I was asked to become a Shift Leader, and began training new volunteers on our procedures. This gives me the opportunity to share everything I am learning with others.

Another great aspect of volunteering with AARCS is the variety of ways to get involved. So far I have become a Cat Caregiver, Medical Volunteer, and attended Special Events, in addition to being a Dog Caregiver and Trainer. If you are open to learning new things, the passionate and hardworking people at AARCS are always willing to share their knowledge and the sky’s the limit! I feel I am a better educated pet owner, and a better person, now than I was before starting at AARCS.

Finally, the highlight of spending time at Safe Haven is getting to see the hundreds of rescued animals AARCS brings in out of the cold. Although they don’t stay at the shelter very long, I know I am helping them on their way to a better life! With food, walks, and love, I played a part in AARCS getting over 1000 animals adopted in 2013, and that, feels pretty amazing.