Assistance Programs

AARCS Pet Food Program

AARCS mission for the Pet Food Program is to ensure all dogs and cats are receiving basic food needs for a healthy, sustainable life.

AARCS distributes several hundred thousand pounds of pet food each and every year.  This number is constantly growing as we grow as an organization.  First we need to provide food to our 250+ foster homes for all of the foster animals they care for until they move on to their forever homes.

AARCS Pet Food Program has several facets within the organization with regard to food distribution.  One area of the program is to provide pet food to the communities where we rescue and to which we provide support in other areas, such as spay and neuter assistance. Part of the Pet Food Program is also for low income families or families that have found themselves in difficult times..

As you know, AARCS relies on donations from corporations and small businesses as well as personal donations from people just like you.  In order for AARCS to receive the amount of food necessary to sustain our Pet Food Program and feed all these animals, we receive donations from pet stores, pet food distributors as well the general public. We even take all open bags, so remember you can donate that bag of food your pet didn’t like or when you need to change brands.

Our Pet Food Program works in conjunction with our Humane Education Program as well as our Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP).  Our only condition of the Pet Food Program is that all animals in the home be spay and or neutered.

Pet Food Assistance Request

AARCS Dog House Program

AARCS Dog House Program helps provide animals living outside with insulated, durable, year-round shelter.  In 2012, AARCS delivered approximately 70 doghouses to animals without adequate protection from the elements.

Many of the animals helped through our Dog House Program have little or nothing to protect them from harsh weather.  They have nothing to keep them safe and dry during rainstorms, frigid temperatures, howling winds and Alberta’s long winter.  Our doghouses are built so the floor remains dry during even the wettest weather.  They are insulated and are delivered filled with straw and / or wool blankets.

To help AARCS continue their efforts to keep dogs warm and continue the AARCS Dog House Program we need your help.  Please consider making monetary donations, donations of building supplies or by volunteering your time to help build the dog houses.

Medical Assistance Program

At AARCS we highly recommend pet insurance to help cover the unexpected medical bills you can incurred due to accident, injury or illness of your beloved pet.

We have limited funds available for emergency veterinary care, surgeries, specialists, and overnight stays in veterinary hospitals and for ongoing medical interventions for pets.  We understand the high costs of veterinary care want to ensure that all animals identified as requiring intervention may be helped.

This fund allows AARCS to not only help rescued animals when it comes to emergency medical treatment, but also to assist low-income individuals to address immediate and urgent medical concerns.

Before applying for emergency medical funds with AARCS please consider the following:

  • Check your pet insurance coverage;
  • Working with your veterinarian on a payment plan;
  • Petcard Financing Program; and
  • Tails of Help is a volunteer-driven registered charity focused on helping Albertans in need. Working with the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, the help fund essential veterinary care for ill or injured pets of owners who are experiencing financial hardship.  

For more information or if you would like to apply for assistance with emergency medical needs of your pets, please email SNAP@aarcs.ca.

Surrendering an Animal to AARCS

Surrendering an animal should be the last resort for any pet guardian. Here are some recommendations prior to surrendering your animal to a rescue or humane society.

  • Behavioural issues –get advice from a trainer and have a health exam done by your veterinarian. Many behavioural issues (such as peeing outside the litter box) are often undiagnosed medical issues.
  • Housing – find pet friendly housing can be difficult, but there are options available.
  • Financial – if you are not able to afford medical treatments, spay/neuter or food please consider pet insurance, ask about payment plans or apply for assistance through the following
    • ABVMA Assistance Program
    • AARCS Medical Assistance Program
    • Food Bank
    • Meow Foundations SNIP Program
    • City of Calgary No-Cost Spay Neuter

AARCS mandate is to rescue stray and abandoned animals where animal services are limited.  In some circumstances we will accept surrendered animals, but there is no guarantee we will take them and you may be put on a waitlist until space becomes available.

  • If you purchased your pet from a breeder, your first contact should be to them to see if they will take them back. A responsible breeder will assist you with any issue or help with re-homing of your pet.
  • Ask friends or family to help
  • Advertise in newspaper, online, at local stores, but be responsible and ensure your pet is spay or neutered prior to rehoming him/her and screen potential families thoroughly.

Should AARCS be in a position to accept your pet, a surrender fee between $50-$100 is required. This fee helps us cover the costs of medical treatments, spay/neuter and housing and caring for your pet.

To inquire about surrendering a pet to AARCS please email us to request a surrender request form.

Dogs – dogmanager@aarcs.ca

Cats – catmanager@aarcs.ca

 How you can help:

  1. Help end the cycle of pet homelessness and prevent an unwanted litter – a donation of $200 will pay for one dog to be spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and de-wormed.  Your donation will prevent the birth of endless numbers of unwanted litters.
  2. Never buy a dog from a pet store, this only promotes irresponsible breeding and often supports puppy mills. Adopt – Don’t Shop!  AARCS fully supports the efforts of Actions Speak Louder to end the sale of live animals in pet stores in Calgary.
  3. Spay/Neuter ALL of your animals and encourage everyone you know to do the same!