So you missed Art Combat 2014 …

On May 15 you realized that you weren’t going to make it to AARCS Calgary Art Combat 2014. Never fear, we now have a video so you can see what you missed and make plans for being there next year.

Art Combat is the COOLEST event in Calgary. 12 artist faced-off in friendly competition to create a piece of art to be auctioned off during the evening. The top two finalists battled it out for bragging rights, all while the rest of us partook in some great food, drink and bid on silent auction items all while supporting a fantastic cause. 

Check out the video here, created by the great folks at AMUSE Media.

Local Animal Rescue Group Needs Help

May 20, 2014

Local Animal Rescue Group Needs Help

The Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) has been overwhelmed with the number of rescued animals in need of medical assistance. On Saturday, May 17th, 2014 they rescued two dogs and one cat requiring extensive medical intervention.  These three animals tipped the organization’s current medical cases to over 50 currently in care and 130 since January 1, 2014, with veterinary expenses that will exceed over $50,000 in one month.

AARCS is a registered charity that rescues abandoned, abused or surrendered animals here in Alberta. The organization is currently caring for over 400 homeless animals in foster care and at their holding facility in NE Calgary.

One such dog requiring urgent medical care is Lenny, a dog rescued this past weekend. Lenny was found emaciated, oozing infection from his face and unable to bear weight on his back leg. X-rays revealed a shattered femur requiring leg amputation and bullets lodged throughout his body. Sadly having gone through all of these at only approximately 6 months old. “How he survived is beyond belief,” says Deanna Thompson, Executive Director of AARCS, “These animals show true triumph over adversity.  Despite his condition, Lenny wagged his tail as he kissed his rescuers and veterinary staff upon examination. If he wasn’t going to give up, we couldn’t give up on him either.”

But the past couple of months and the numerous medical cases have put a strain on the organization’s resources. Including Lenny, AARCS has rescued over 130 animals in the past month, of which 13 required surgery for an array of injuries including: three dogs hit by cars with broken bones, leg-hold trap injury, prolapsed vagina, broken legs, impacted rectum requiring extensive surgery, embedded collar, deformity of the front legs requiring orthopedic surgery, a cat with a bone lodged in his throat and suffering from aspiration pneumonia, two cats requiring eye removals and a cat attacked by dogs requiring a weeks’ stay at the emergency vet  and three surgeries to repair his internal and external injuries.  In addition, AARCS is dealing with five cases of canine parvovirus and three cases of sarcoptic and  demodectic mange.

“Right now we are focusing on getting the animals the care they need and trying to find ways to raise funds to cover their costs,” says Deanna Thompson, Executive Director. “As a no-kill rescue organization we feel these animals deserve the same treatment as any family pet. They may be homeless now, but their injuries and illnesses are treatable and they need help. AARCS is here to provide that to them.”

AARCS focuses its efforts on the most desperate animals and areas of the province where there is little to no animal care and control. The organization relies on the generosity of the public and is asking for help to cover their mounting veterinary bills. Donations can be made online at, mailed to PO Box 99076, RPO London Town, Calgary, AB T1Y 0A6 or dropped off at the AARCS Safe Haven located at Bay G 3851-21 Street NE, Calgary, AB.

In addition, they are currently in urgent need of gastro dog food, paper towel and bleach. Gift cards for gas, Costco, Walmart or pPet stores are also greatly appreciated.

For further information on this story please contact:

Deanna Thompson
Executive Director
Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society

cell: 403-869-4694

office: 403-250-7377 ext 5

on-call: 403-554-0893

Address: Safe Haven, Bay G 3851-21 Street NE, Calgary, AB
Lenny, along with a few of the other animals mentioned above are currently at Safe Haven available for viewing


Lenny-1 Lenny X-ray-2 Lenny x-ray

Clothing for a Cause Fundraiser Update

We received some great news $938.07 was the total monies raised for the ‘Clothing for a Cause’ fundraiser! Thank you to all of you that donated, all donations big and small were greatly appreciated! We are also looking into getting a bin permanently on site out back as an ongoing fundraiser! – stay tuned!

Calgary Art Combat 2014

On May 15 the coolest event in Calgary is back. Calgary Art Combat in support of AARCS is returning and you do not want to miss it.

12 artist face-off in friendly competition to create a piece of art to be auctioned off during the evening. The top two finalists battle it out for bragging rights, all while you enjoy the show, music, cocktails, appetizers and a chance to bid on some great silent auction items (art and non-art items)! And the best best part is all the proceeds go to help AARCS help homeless pets in our city.


Get your tickets today at $40 in advance or $50 at the door. Event is May 15th! Don’t miss out!

PS: if you would like to donate towards the silent auction email email Lindsey Black at

Featured Volunteer: Dav Siciliano

How can I become a volunteer? | See more volunteers

AARCS introduces Dav Siciliano

What AARCS Has To Say

There are so many wonderful things we can say about our Volunteer of the Month, Dav. If you have ever had the chance to meet Dav, chances are within 5 minutes he will have you captivated in whatever story he is telling, or will have you in stitches laughing.

Dav is one of those foster homes who welcome a challenge. He showed us that with his very first foster, Boxer, who came in as a very energetic puppy needing hip surgery. His home is a rotating door for dogs in need, and seems to have a special gift for getting dogs adopted in under a day. You will often find him at events, with a dog (or two) in tow. More often then not, those dogs will have a potential home by the end of the day! Even if Dav does not have a foster at that time, he will drive around the city to pick up any dogs who can not make it to an event or are being fostered by one of the doggie daycares that foster for AARCS.
Thank you Dav for all your hard work and dedication to the dogs who you have come into your home!!


A Few Words From Dav

100% true…

It was a very bad June 2013 for Alberta.  The floods had arrived.  People were leaving their homes.  Animals were getting stranded and under threat of downing.  Here I was, sitting in the safety of my home, watching the news, reading the papers,  all safe, warm and comfortable.  Not knowing what I could do to help.  Then I came across a plea for help from Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society.  They were in desperate need of foster homes.  Here, a bunch of people leaving the safety and warmth of their homes to help so many animals in need.   I realized that the least I could do was to open my warm dry home to a dog in need.  So I called AARCS, Paula answered the phone and up I went to Safe Haven I went.  Here I was, a man who had all these special conditions for the type of dog he was willing to foster.  As I was telling Paula all this; she just smiled at me.  And then she made the mistake of suggesting that I foster Boxer.  Really?  Boxer?  A mangy, dirty mutt, no bigger than my forearm who need surgery?  That wasn’t the type of dog I was willing to foster, you know, I would only foster the perfect well behave healthy dog.  Then Paula suggested I look Boxer in the eye.  Gosh she knew what she was doing…less then 10 minutes later I was living Safe Haven with Boxer happily sitting in the front seat where no dog was allowed to sit before….looking at me with that stupid smile, wagging his tail and his eyes full of light.  When he threw up in the car, (a rap song came up) I was so concern about him, that it shocked me later as I was cleaning the car that I never got upset about his throwing up in my new car, but was so focus on the fact he was sick and I had to get him feeling better.  BTW, Rap is no longer played in our car.

That was it,  I was hooked.  I learnt so much those first few months of fostering from Boxer.  Now I never see the condition of the dogs I foster, all I see is that gratefully look in their eyes when I bring them home for the first time. That look;  I can never describe it to anyone, it is like I get a glimpse of heaven every time.   Then my first adoption occurred; my new little foster, the look of gratitude, the love in his eyes as he looked at me as he got into the car of his new furever family.  I saw another glimpse of heaven.

Now I panic when I don’t have dog hair all over my couch, stepping on dog toys,  picking up dog poop in the back yard, having an adoption event to go to every weekend.  I don’t seem to be 100% alive unless every day I am hoping for  that email that is telling me a furever family wants to come and take away my foster away to live with them furever.  Who knew that finding a furever family for a foster can make a person feel like they are saving the world… I am doing it just with one dog at a time.  When my time comes, I want to be that man ( A Rescuer’s Dream) on the Rainbow bridge helping the unloved, forgotten and sad animals across that Rainbow bridge into heaven all because of a little dog by the name of Boxer.



Unlike most days at Rainbow Bridge, this day dawned cold and grey, damp as a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All of the recent arrivals had no idea what to think, as they had never experienced a day like this before. But the animals who had been waiting for their beloved people knew exactly what was going on and started to gather at the pathway leading to The Bridge to watch.

It wasn’t long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung low and tail dragging. The other animals, the ones who had been there for a while, knew what his story was right away, for they had seen this happen far too often. He approached slowly, obviously in great emotional pain, but with no sign of injury or illness. Unlike all of the other animals waiting at The Bridge, this animal had not been restored to youth and made healthy and vigorous again.

As he walked toward The Bridge, he watched all of the other animals watching him. He knew he was out of place here and the sooner he could cross over, the happier he would be. But, alas, as he approached The Bridge, his way was barred by the appearance of an Angel who apologized, but told him that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their people could pass over Rainbow Bridge.

With no place else to turn to, the elderly animal turned towards the fields before The Bridge and saw a group of other animals like himself, also elderly and infirm. They weren’t playing, but rather simply lying on the green grass, forlornly staring out at the pathway leading to The Bridge. And so, he took his place among them, watching the pathway and waiting. One of the newest arrivals at The Bridge didn’t understand what he had just witnessed and asked one of the animals that had been there for a while to explain it to him.

“You see, that poor animal was a rescue. He was turned in to rescue just as you see him now, an older animal with his fur graying and his eyes clouding. He never made it out of rescue and passed on with only the love of his rescuer to comfort him as he left his earthly existence. Because he had no family to give his love to, he has no one to escort him across The Bridge.” The first animal thought about this for a minute and then asked, “So what will happen now?”

As he was about to receive his answer, the clouds suddenly parted and the gloom lifted. Approaching The Bridge could be seen a single person and among the older animals, a whole group was suddenly bathed in a golden light and they were all young and healthy again, just as they were in the prime of life. “Watch, and see,” said the second animal. A second group of animals from those waiting came to the pathway and bowed low as the person neared. At each bowed head, the person offered a pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears.

The newly restored animals fell into line and followed the person towards The Bridge then they all crossed together. “What happened?”

“That was a rescuer. The animals you saw bowing in respect were those who found new homes because of the rescuer’s work. They will cross when their new families arrive. Those you saw restored were those who never found homes. When a rescuer arrives, they are allowed to perform one, final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort those poor animals that they could not place on earth, across the Rainbow Bridge”