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

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 


This is a portrait done of Penny. Here is her story. I was surrendered by my previous owner and lived outside with lot’s of brothers and sisters was tied up most of my life. I did not have much interaction with people during this time so I am very shy but I have made huge progress. The first few weeks of my foster care, I was afraid of venturing out of my kennel but now I quite enjoy the company of other dogs and people. I’m now very curious and love to follow the other dogs and people around the house and yard. My favorite spot in the house is lying on my bed and watching everything that’s going on around me. You are more than welcome to talk to me I have a good temperament but still shy of people that come close into my space. I will take gently a treat from your hand, and come to you when my name is called. I am house trained indoors and love being outside, good on my leash however need my distance. Be patient with me I’m still a little nervous and untrusting but believe me I have come a long way I have been told!

I would love to find my furever home, I’m looking for a small family or single person who has lots of time, patience and understanding as well someone who would be dedicated to my confidence building. Someone who can give me the love to trust all in due time, I know I’m worth every penny of it!

Penny would do very well if there was another dog(s) with a yard or acreage as she has always been among other dogs for company. Not too sure about being in a family with small children as she is very nervous if approached too quickly. Penny is playful outside yet relaxed in the house laying on her bed chewing on a bone.

This piece was provided by Norm Haldeman, a freelance artist who hopes you have an excellent day. You can find his website at The Echo Inside




Hey Everyone.  Thank you so much for all your donations and kind wishes.  We couldn’t do it without all of you.  Here is a link to the story in today’s Calgary Sun about Nero.

Today was tough day at AARCS. Even seasoned rescuers were shocked beyond belief. Meet Nero, a 7 week old puppy suffering from facial burns. He is currently at the emergency vet and they will put him under to clean the wounds on his face and ears. He will require weeks of recovery and, we hope, won’t have life long injuries to his eyes. We are trying to find out who did this, but it doesn’t look promising as he was found abandoned. We are thankful to those who found him and called us. If you could keep him in your thoughts we’d appreciate it and if you can spare, please donate to his care by clicking “donate to Nero“.  We provide tax receipts for all donations $20 and over.

Huge Thanks to Global Pet Food Stores of Alberta

Our heartfelt thanks to Global Pet Food stores of Alberta and their customers for coming together to support families and their pets effected during the flooding in Southern Alberta. Today, AARCS and Calgary Humane Society were each presented by Northmount Global Pet Food Store with a cheque for $5,881.18 for a total of almost $12,000 raised for the animals! 

Huge Thanks to Canadian Tire!!

AARCS Would like to thank Canadian Tire at 9940 Macleod Trail South East Location.
Their continued support by having our cash cans at each of their tills, has helped us to raise thousands of dollars in Canadian Tire money, as well as large cash donations.
This greatly helps the deserving animals in our care.  Special thanks to Cory, Alex and Miranda, the managers that have made this possible.  Make sure to stop by their location for any of your Canadian Tire needs!  


This coming weekend AARCS will be attending a three day clinic with the Alberta Spay and Neuter Task Force. We are expecting a large number of surrendered animals and in order to accommodate we need more foster homes for both dogs and cats.

If you have ever thought of fostering, now is the time.  Please email to become a dog foster home today and to become a cat foster home.  Without families just like you, we could not rescue these homeless animals that are in desperate need of help.  AARCS provides everything you need including, food, blankets, toys, litter, etc.  In addition, all the medical and veterinary costs are covered.  All you have to do is provide a loving home for a homeless animal until we can find their perfect adoptive home.


10. Animal companionship without a lifetime commitment.

9. Animals that have endured hardship can really use a loving home, one in which they can get used to living with people again.

8. Fostering provides a great lesson to your children about compassion, nurturing, and generosity and it’s a wonderful, life-affirming experience for an entire family, a couple, or a single individual.

7. If you already have one or more animals, one more won’t make a difference to you, but it sure will make a difference to the animal who otherwise might not have a second chance at life.

6. Fostering increases the likelihood of adoption and dramatically reduces the chances of an animal being returned.

5. Increased “human interaction” greatly helps foster animals who often come from neglectful or abusive situations… and let’s not forget what “animal interaction” can do for you.

4. You undoubtedly will get attached but when you meet the new family that’s ready to provide a permanent, loving forever-home for the animal you helped rescue through fostering, you will feel more than satisfied to see him move on to his new life

3. It’s fun!!!

2. You get to show and teach your foster animal what it is to be a happy, loved family pet.

1. More foster homes means more animals rescued and that means more lives saved.

12 Year Old Girl Helps Rescue a Litter of Pups!

Tonight I was up in Red Deer to pick up some rescue pups for AARCS and had the pleasure of meeting a most extraordinary young woman!  At 12 years old, Madison is responsible for getting 8 puppies from a rural home in northern Saskatchewan all the way to us in Calgary.

During her summer break, Madison was visiting family living about 5 hours straight north of North Battleford, SK.  During her stay, she met a lady who had two un-spayed females who had both given birth to a litter of puppies about the same time.  The owner didn’t want the pups and as they quit nursing her plan was to let them starve to death.  As horrifying as this is, the composure with which this young lady spoke of it was well beyond her years.

By her own words, Madison “loves all living things” and was determined not to let this happen.  Having met AARCS liaison Criss Gerwing from Red Deer through her interest in rescue, she made the call to see if we could take them in.  She said the 8 hour trip back to her home with 8 puppies was “definitely an experience”.

We asked what we could do about getting the two females spayed so this didn’t happen again and she said that unfortunately, the owner’s intent was to “kill” those dogs as well.  Again, showing maturity and understanding of the realities of working in rescue that many adults can’t muster, she knew that at least she had saved these 8 and recognized that while she couldn’t save everyone; her one act of rescue was everything to these pups!

After a few more coordinating texts, arrangements were made for Madison to bring the puppies one more hour from her home to Red Deer and meet up with AARCS transport.  By midnight, the 8 puppies were fed, watered and sound asleep in their kennels at Safe Haven.  They’ll be vetted, moved into foster care until they’re old enough to be altered and then be available for adoption!

Thank you Madison!  You are an inspiration and the rescue world is lucky to have you!

~ Niki Vlooswyk, AARCS Transport Coordinator

Specialized Surgeries on the Rise at AARCS

AARCS has been inundated with animals in need of specialized surgeries!

The following animals have recently or are scheduled for specialized surgeries:

  • Fergie – elbow dysplasia
  • Mylie – Luxating Patella & Femoral Head Ostectomy (“FHO”)
  • Capone – Elbow dislocation
  • Pepper – FHO
  • Oreo – Leg Amputation
  • Blue – Leg Amputation
  • Bear – Colon/rectum surgery
  • Jazz Baby – FHO
  • Boxer – FHO
  • Teeko – FHO

The surgeries alone will cost the organization over $25,000, maybe even $30,000. This does not include regular veterinary costs including vaccines, deworming, microchips, spay/neuter surgeries. These animals deserve a chance at a life without pain and suffering. AARCS is a registered non-profit organization that runs on the generosity of the public. Without donors we could not do what do to help save and rehome homeless and abandoned animals.


  • Donate! Perhaps you can’t afford a large donation, but if you sign up for a monthly donation of $20, that adds up over a year. To sign up as a monthly donor go to, search Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society and sign up today!
  • Donate your appreciated securities! Talk to your financial advisor today about you can donate your stocks. Decrease your tax liability and maximize your donation.
  • Organize a fundraiser! Dinner party, poker night, garage sale, birthday party, 50/50 or jeans day pool at your office.
  • Donate your points. Did you know you can donate your areoplan points, shoppers optimum points or HBC rewards points?

Without the help of people just like you, AARCS would not be able to help so many animals in need. Thank you for your continued support!