AARCS Adoption Process

Part of our responsibility as members of the AARCS adoption team is to find our rescued animals loving, forever homes. We want to ensure that the animal you wish to adopt is well suited for you, your family, your home as well as your lifestyle.

*Please note that the animals in our care have uncertain pasts. We do our best to guess at age/breed/size, but we can never be certain. We also cannot guarantee health or temperament.


Animals in Care with AARCS or Animals not yet posted to the Adoptable Dogs/Cats pages are not available for adoption at this time. Please note that applications will NOT be accepted for these animal until they are posted as available on our Adoptable Animals page. Our website is updated daily so please keep checking back on their progress and availability.

Thank you for choosing to rescue!

Adoption Procedures


To adopt, first complete our adoption application form. There are separate forms for cats, barn cats, and dogs. If you have any trouble with the online forms, please contact our Dog Adoption Coordinator via email at adoptions@aarcs.ca or Cat Adoptions Coordinator via email at catadoptions@aarcs.ca.


The Adoptions Coordinator will review the application and email the applicant as quickly as possible (usually within 24-48 hours) with the application status.


Once your application is approved, the foster family will contact you within 48 hours to arrange a “meet and greet”. We ask that meetings be arranged as soon as possible, and no later than the next upcoming weekend.

Once your application is approved, we will put the prospective adoptive family in touch with the foster family to arrange a “meet and greet.” All family members must attend the “meet and greet”.

Please see here for Barn Buddies Adoption Policies and Procedures as they differ somewhat from our regular adoption program.


All canine members must be present at the “meet and greet” for adoptable dogs. Cats do not need to attend meet and greets and dogs do not need to attend for adoptable cats. However, we strongly suggest slow introductions if you choose to welcome your new cat into your home.


FOR DOG ADOPTION: Once you have met the dog/puppy you would like to potentially adopt, we ask you take a day to think about it. Discuss the adoption openly and fully with all members of the household. Ensure that the dog matches what your family is looking for. If after you have slept on it for a night and still feel it is the right match, please contact the adoption coordinator with your decision at adoptions@aarcs.ca no later than 24 hours after the meeting.

FOR CAT ADOPTION: We encourage you to take a day to think about and discuss the adoption. However, we allow same day adoptions for cats. Please come prepared with your carrier if you wish to complete a same day adoption. Applicants are asked to leave the foster family for a minimum of 1 hour, and then return to the foster home to complete the adoption. During this time, you will also need to pay the adoption fee and provide proof of your payment to the foster home before the cat can be released. Adoption fees can be paid online on our website, by calling or visiting our shelter during normal business hours, or in some cases we can accept email money transfers. Please talk to your adoptions coordinator for more information.

We prefer that kittens under the age of 6 months be adopted to homes with a feline companion. Kittens require stimulation and interaction with other cats/kittens for healthy social development. Kittens that remain with a litter-mate or cat companion, tend to be happier and healthier. The kitten will be better socialized than a kitten that is isolated from other felines at an early age.


If all parties are in favor of the adoption (adoption committee, foster family and prospective adoptive family) and it is not a same day cat adoption, you can pick up your new family member the following day or arrange a mutually beneficial time with the foster home. We do request that you apply only when you are ready to take your new pet home and we ask animals to go home within a week from your “meet and greet”. Please be prepared for your new pet, with food, bed, toys, and bowls before he/she comes home.


AARCS provides vaccinations for all animals due while in our care. The adoptive family is responsible for vaccinations and continued deworming that come due after the adoption is completed, which can include on-going treatment for minor ailments such as worms.

Spay/Neuter Policy:

All of our animals are spayed or neutered prior to adoption; this cost is included in our adoption fee.

Adoption fees:

Adoption fees are used at AARCS to cover the costs of care and medical attention of your new adoptive animal while in our care. All adoption fees are non-refundable.

    • $425 dogs 7 months and older

    • $550 for dog 6 months and under

    • $100 for senior dogs 8 years and older

    • $100 for cats 7 months and older

    • $150 for two cats 7 months and older (Bonded Pair)

    • $225 for a single kitten 6 months and under

    • $400 for two kittens 6 months and under

    • $300 for one adult cat and one kitten

    • $60 for senior cats over 9 years old

    • Barn Buddies – by donation.

ALL adoption fees must be paid in advance prior to the animal being released to you.

Payment can be made through the Final Adoption Contract . Payment can also be made by email money transfer, or by Visa and MasterCard over the phone by calling the shelter at 403-250-7377, or by dropping into the shelter during regular business hours at 5060 – 74 Avenue SE, Calgary to pay by cash or debit.

We do not accept personal cheques for adoption fees.

Adopting an Animal Through AARCS

AARCS believes in the Open Adoptions Methods. We have very few policies for adopters, but look to find great matches for both our pets and potential adopters. We have removed blanket adoption restrictions and believe in treating each adopter and adoption on an individual basis.


Animals in Care with AARCS are not available for adoption at this time. Please note that applications will NOT be accepted for these animals until they are posted as available on our Adoptable Animals page. Our website is updated daily so please keep checking back on their progress and availability.


Our policy is to facilitate adoptions in Alberta. Some exceptions have been made when the applicants are within reasonable driving distance. We do not do adoptions outside of Canada, and will not ship animals.


At the discretion of the adoption committee, we may agree in the event of a long distance adoption, that a dog can go home the same day, but applicants are asked to leave the foster family for a minimum of 1 hour, then return to the foster home to complete the adoption. All parties must still be in favor of the adoption, including adoptions committee, foster family, and the prospective adoptive family. We allow for same-day adoption for cats.


We do not do overnight or trial periods for our animals. As moving homes can be extremely stressful we do not feel this is fair for our animals. As there are often many challenges in the first few days and weeks following an adoption and we hope our adopters would be committed to this process. We on occasion will allow for short visits in the new home depending on the circumstances.


We at AARCS believe that each animal is special and considered to be a part of the AARCS family. AARCS accepts returns barring any unusual circumstances. Returns cannot be dropped off at the shelter unannounced and need to be coordinated through our foster managers. Please note that sometimes placement of a returning animal can take up to a couple of weeks to accommodate dependent on shelter/foster space and the individual needs of a returning animal. Adoption fees are non-refundable as adoptions and returns take time and resources to process, care for, and adopt out again. Although we understand that sometimes things do not always work out due to unforeseen circumstance, we encourage adopters to reach out for help if they are having any issues with their new adopted pet as we can often assist by providing resources for training and advice


We do not adopt animals as gifts for someone else.


Renters/Condo Owners need to confirm with their landlord/condo board that they are allowed a pet and check if there are any restrictions including size, specific dog breeds and pet-related damage deposits.