Featured Volunteer: Jordyn Troyer

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Photos courtesy of K:10 Photography


AARCS Featured Volunteer:

Jordyn Troyer

A word from Jordyn:

I joined AARCS about 4 years ago to work with cats and dogs as a caregiver. Since then I have had the opportunity to work in other areas such as adopted animal follow ups and event planning. Most recently, I have taken on the role of Cat Caregiver Training Coordinator and have had the opportunity to help design and implement protocols on how volunteers care for and handle shelter cats.
Volunteering with AARCS inspires me to live by the mantra “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” When life feels overwhelmingly negative, I remember that I am surrounded by a group of volunteers at AARCS who truly care; together, we change lives through kindness.
Jordyn Troyer
AARCS Volunteer

A word from our Volunteer Manager:

Jordyn has been with us for almost four years. Over those four years she has been involved in a number of areas throughout the organization. Jordyn started off as a Cat and Dog Caregiver, and volunteering at events. Over the years, her role has evolved and she now currently oversees the training for all of our new Cat Caregivers! In addition to that, she also sits on our events committee assisting with planning our large fundraising events.
We are so fortunate to have Jordyn as part of the team. She is dedicated to each and every animal in AARCS care! Thank you Jordyn for all of the passion and dedication you bring to the AARCS family!
Rachel Howard
Volunteer Manager


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AARCS in Desperate Need of Financial Assistance

AARCS in Desperate Need of Financial Assistance Due to Mounting Vet Bills

Press Release

November 6th, 2016 – Calgary, AB – On October 28th, 2016 the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) received a call about a dog in desperate need of help. Rescuers headed out immediately and found Panzer, a 4 month old mixed breed puppy in a rural area of Alberta suffering from extensive damage to both his front legs. He was rushed back to Calgary where veterinarians assessed and suspected he had been attacked by a wild animal. Panzer’s right elbow was broken and left ulna was shattered. In addition, he was septic and severely anemic. Once stable, Panzer underwent surgery to repair both broken front legs — one so badly damaged the bone was sticking out of the skin.



Panzer is one of over 500 animals in the care of the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society. He is now in an AARCS’ medical recovery foster home where he is receiving daily bandage changes and getting lots of love and attention. “He is the sweetest little dog and even though he has been through so much, he is still such a happy puppy,” says AARCS foster parent and Medical Manager, Ariana Lenz. “Thanks to AARCS, he is going to completely recover from this traumatic event.”

“The calls don’t seem to ever stop. We are currently dealing with 144 animals in need of medical care, and this is over and above basic spay/neuter and vaccines,” said Deanna Thompson, Executive Director of AARCS. “We don’t want to turn these animals away, but at some point we are going to have to unless we can raise more funds to pay the mounting veterinary bills.”

During Alberta’s hard economic times, many non-profits are feeling the effects. AARCS has already spent $785,000 in veterinary bills so far this year and expects that number to exceed one million before the end of the year. Paying for basic medical costs such as spay/neuter surgeries and vaccines are often covered by adoption fees, but having to deal with so many major medical cases has put the organization in the tough position of potentially having to turn away animals in need. “As the cold weather approaches, the number of animals in need will continue to increase. We need to raise additional funds to get us through the winter months,” says Thompson.

AARCS is reaching out to the public in hopes of garnering additional support to help get through these tough economic times and help animals like Panzer. If you would like to help, please consider donating to AARCS on their website at www.aarcs.ca/Donate. In addition, AARCS is hosting a fundraising event on November 19th at Vagabond in Calgary, tickets are $40 each or two for $70 and available on AARCS’ website www.aarcs.ca/DiamondintheRuff.


AARCS_vetfund AARCS_Donate


For more information, please contact:

Deanna Thompson, Executive Director

Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS)

Bay G, 3851 – 21 Street NE

Calgary, AB T2E 6T5

Cell: 403-869-4694

Email: deanna@aarcs.ca

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Featured Volunteer: Jane Carter

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AARCS Featured Volunteer:

Jane Carter

A word from Jane:

I have loved animals, all animals my entire life! I grew up with a dog, then adopted my first fur baby once living out on my own. It’s been multiple fur babies ever since!

Now that my two daughters are out living in the world, they have also adopted their own fur babies. When our family is together, it can be hectic as there are 7 canines running around the house, of various sizes! (the feline fur baby is at home at my eldest’s house)

Since photography is a passion of mine, I took courses at U. of Calgary, and MRU. Once completed, I started up a home photography business. Volunteering at AARCS, as one of their photographers (and there are so many awesome ones!) was one of the first decisions I made! A few of the family fur babies were adopted through AARCS, so I knew of the great work they did, what they stood for, and their benefit and commitment to the Calgary and Area communities. I wanted to be a part of that, in whatever small way I was able.

I am honored and proud, to be a volunteer of AARCS.

Jane Carter
AARCS Volunteer Photographer

A word from our Volunteer Manager:

For the last two years, we have been so fortunate to have Jane as part of our amazing team of photographers!
You will often find Jane at Safe Haven, typically once a week, to photograph the cats who are currently being housed here in the shelter. Jane has also traveled out to many foster homes to get the perfect snapshots to help the adoptable animals put their best paw forward!
If you get the chance to see her working with the animals, her passion and dedication are hard to ignore. Thank you Jane for sharing your talent with AARCS and helping so many animals find their adoptive homes!
Rachel Howard
Volunteer Manager


Diamond in the Ruff

Diamond in the Ruff

10 Year Anniversary Celebration!



When:  Saturday, November 19th, 2016
Time: 7:30PM – MIDNIGHT
Where: Vagabond, 1129 Olympic Way SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0L4
Price: $40 PER TICKET OR TWO FOR $70
About: Come celebrate our 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY with us! Each ticket comes with a free drink ticket and a small assortment of appetizers. Put on your cocktail dress, grab a date and put on your dancing shoes! We will have a DJ, beer and wine tastings, and a couple of surprises in store! This is an event you will not want to miss! More details to come!

★ Our Title Sponsor is BowDog Canine Specialists! Our additional Gold Sponsors are End Of The Roll, SH&E Systems Solutions Inc. and Servus Credit Union ★

During the evening of, we will be raffling off a 14 Karat white gold pendant and chain (by Studio Tzela) with a 4.736 Carat Rough Diamond. It’s a unique, one of a kind piece! Donated to help the Animals of AARCS by Troy Shoppe Jewellers 

Celebrate a decade of AARCS, with more years to come! It’s going to be an evening you’ll never forget!


Since 2006, AARCS has rescued, rehabilitated and re-homed 9,000 ANIMALS, which is absolutely remarkable!


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Featured Volunteer: Heather Molyneaux

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AARCS Featured Volunteer:

Heather Molyneaux

A word from Heather:

 I have always loved animals. When I left my full time job I began searching for a volunteer position and I knew that I wanted to help rescue dogs. I have been volunteering at AARCS as a Dog Caregiver for 3 years and have loved every minute of it. It’s so rewarding to know that together we are helping so many dogs find a better life. It is also very easy to volunteer for an organization that cares so much about the welfare of each and every animal that comes into the system. The Staff and Volunteers at AARCS are amazing and I am so happy to be part of the team.

A word from our Volunteer Manager:

Our caregivers work tirelessly everyday to ensure top notch care for the dogs staying here at Safe Haven. Heather has been an important part of our Dog Caregiver team for over three years now. In those three years, she has been a part of training hundreds of our new caregivers and has had a hand in caring for thousands of dogs who have come through our shelter doors.No mater how dirty the job, Heather is always willing to step up and help out. She will come in on a whim if a shift is short, even if she has already been in for three shifts that week. Her passion for the animals and dedication to the organization is evident in everything she does. We are so lucky to have her as a part of the AARCS family! Thank you Heather!
Rachel Howard
Volunteer Manager


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AARCS Jail n’ Bail – Sept 17 2016 – Calgary

AARCS - JnB Cover_2016_wJailees

AARCS Jail n’ Bail 2016

The AARCS Jail ‘n Bail 2016 was a huge success thanks to all of you! All together we raised $60,000 for the animals of AARCS! It’s hard to believe, but these funds will cover ONLY ONE MONTH of our veterinary bills! Even after this, we’re still running at a $100,000 deficit for the year and are so thankful for this boost to help move us in the right direction!

This event would not have been possible without our event sponsors: Western Veterinary Specialist and Emergency Centre and Makami College and all of our other festival displays. A HUGE THANKS to our fantastic ‘Jailee’ participants and of course to each and every one of you who attended and/or donated to help bail them out of jail!!!

Thank you to the Calgary Police Service Officers who helped lock up our Prisoners of Love! We would like to extend another BIG thanks to Jay and Tank who raised just over $17,000 alone for #AARCS!

…More photos to come soon! Stay tuned!



When:  September 17, 2016
Time:  10 am – 4 pm
Where:  AARCS Safe Haven (Bay G, 3851 21 Street NE)
Price:  FREE!
On Saturday, September 17th, 2016 the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society – AARCS will be hosting its third annual Jail ‘N Bail fundraiser! The event will be held at our Safe Haven shelter, (Bay G, 3851 21st Street NE) from 10am to 4pm. We will be jailing very special VIP’s in AARCS dog kennels (fur friends too!) and they will only be released when they have raised the pre-set amount of money to be bailed (or bail-out time if they aren’t so lucky)!
This family-fun event will have a street festival, kids area, food trucks, adoptable animals on site and more! Invite your friends and family and enjoy some fun under the sun!
*New this year* We will have a beer garden on site open from 10 am – 3 pm! Thank you so much to Molson Canadian for sponsoring!


Makami College WesternVet_Logo


Sponsorship and Vendor Booths available!


Jail is FULL! You can apply for our waiting-list!

Bail Them Out!

Ivy McPhate | $2,250 BAIL Tamara O’Neill (Pug & Poodle) and Buttons the Amazing Foster Pup | $1,500 BAIL Robyn Pagenkopf & Sunny | $2,000 BAIL
Michelle Janzen Red-ee & Pebbles | $2,000 BAIL  Amber Bottrell & Maggie | $1,500 BAIL Brooke Jensen “Miss Teen Calgary” | $1,500 BAIL
Clarissa Stetten, Aragon & Opie | $2,500 BAIL Jay Jokisch & Tank | $15,000 BAIL Julie Brose, Luna & Chandler | $2,500 BAIL
Travis Deslaurier “Trav Beach Boy” | $1,500 BAIL Nirmala Naidoo, Jaidon & Coco | $1,500 BAIL Kelidh Hicks & Daxter (AARCS Adoptable Dog) | $2,000 BAIL
Pete the Plumber & Dino | $1,500 BAIL Sarah Keilbach | $2,200 BAIL Darlene Mckinnon | $1,500 BAIL
Krystal Stewart CJay 92 Host & Didi (AARCS Adoptable Dog) | $2,000 BAIL Julie Osiow, Dolly & Sally | $3,000 BAIL Jessica Churchill “Junior Miss Calgary 2016″ & Bella | $1,500 BAIL
Tamara Wrigley “The Calm Cat”
& Kittens
 | $2,000 BAIL
 Jessica Shalanski & Sheila | $1,500 BAIL Curtis Manning – Calgary Roughnecks & Briarley | $5,000 BAIL
Trevor Cobb & Coheed | $1,500 BAIL Kelsey Moore – XL 103 Radio Host & Oliver, Grandpa Pug| $1,500 BAIL  Leane Ingram & Reece | $1,500 BAIL





AARCS 2016 JnB_v2web




BFNC 2016


Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and National Conference

Written by Lindsay Black

Going to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and Conference was a trip of a lifetime! Every year, AARCS offers the opportunity for two staff to attend the Best Friends Conference, luckily for us it was in Salt Lake City, which is only 5 hours away from Kanab (where the Sanctuary is located), so we were able to do both adventures in one trip! Due to the financial situation of AARCS, it was soon realized after booking the trips, that conferences are one thing we would have to cut out in order to keep the funds going to where its needed most. After much conversation, we just couldn’t cancel the trip of a lifetime, so we went on our own dime.

We began our trip at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Angel Canyon, just 5 miles outside of Kanab. Approximately 1,600 homeless animals reside at Best Friends, including cats, dogs, horses, pigs, bunnies, parrots and wild life. Driving into the desert we were greeted by beautiful orange and white cliffs and canyons. The view was absolutely breathtaking. We stayed in a cottage at the Sanctuary overlooking a number of horses in their pen. Every once in a while you would hear a loud neighing of a horse and at night the crickets sung us to sleep​.

Our first day began with us volunteering at Dog Town (many may have seen this amazing place on the National Geographic show). We took turns walking dogs through the winding paths of sand and greenery, while the dogs were very focused on hunting lizards!
One of the dogs we walked was a 12 year old dog named Scratch. But this wasn’t a normal dog walk like we are used to… we actually walked Scratch in a doggy stroller! Scratch had a very hard life prior to coming to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. He was first found by rescuers in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It is thought that he was used as a fight dog prior to the hurricane as his golden coat is crisscrossed with dark scars that never have faded. Scratch also has to deal with Babesia, a tick-borne illness that leaves him weak and walking with a slight limp. But none of that matters to him as he is a sweet, happy-go-lucky dog!
In the afternoon we split up, with Terri, Tracey and I staying in Dog Town and Nikki over in Parrot World. I spent my afternoon in the dog admissions building where newly surrendered animals are living until their quarantine period is up and they are able to be fixed, vaccinated and microchipped. Once out of admissions, they are off to another building on the property until they find their forever home. One memorable pup was Teeny, who was under a year old and could not straighten his knees due to luxated patellas. There were also two senior dogs, Mable and Madeline who just broke my heart. They were recent intakes from another rescue that shut down. I’m not sure how long they had been in care for, but they were so sweet and in need of a lot of TLC!
On our way back to our cottage, we stopped at Angels Rest to leave memorial charms of some of our AARCS animals and personal pets that are waiting at the Rainbow Bridge. Angels Rest is a beautiful courtyard with hundreds of memorials of past sanctuary animals and owned animals left there by loved ones. There were memorialized chimes blowing in the wind, all singing a beautiful song.
Our second day at Best Friends was spend in Cat World, we each split up to help out in one of the cat buildings – I spent my day in the “incontinent” suite. Most of the cats in that building are incontinent due to some form of injuries caused by accidents or possibly even born that way. I took two cats,  Mauri and then Arlo each for a walk, or rather they took me for a walk while hunting for lizards in the sand!
Many of the cats (and other animals) will spend their entire life at Best Friends Sanctuary instead of in a family home. While they are all up for adoption, that doesn’t happen for all of them. The staff and volunteers at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary do everything they can to provide the love, care and comfort to the 1,600+ animals in their care.
On Tuesday afternoon we set off on our 5 hour drive back to Salt Lake City for the Best Friends National Conference the following day. Throughout the five day event we met so many passionate animal advocates that are working hard to fight for those without a voice across the world. There were a few other groups from Canada, a lot of groups from the US and even from Australia!
The conference focused on nationwide strategies to Save Them All, which is Best Friends mission statement. And how do you save them all? We learned through various topics such as: community cat programs; creative strategies for placing animals; sharing the impact of your work; website strategies; fundraising campaigns that rock; safer more humane communities through fair laws; bringing out thebest in shy dogs; learning to rally and use community support and a lot more amazing sessions! The conference went by so quickly with all of the great people, great food and inspiring topics.
The evenings were also full of fun activities. On friday night there was a vendor expo (which was open throughout the weekend). My suitcase was jam-packed from all of the things I picked up from the 80+ vendors in the expo hall (including 40 boxes of forta flora for the shelter!). Friday evening wrapped up the day with a “Yappy Hour” where we went to “camp” and discussed any topics that were of interested, such as puppy mills, fostering, and fundraising to name a few. Saturday night wrapped up with a viewing of The Champions, which is produced by Best Friends and follows the journey of some of the dogs Michael Vick used for dog fighting. It was a tear jerker but just motivated us even more to do what we need to do to speak for those who can’t.
Sunday was a really neat experience as we were able to visit local animal facilities. A few of the options were: Salt Lake City Animal Services/Salt Lake City Humane Society; Nuzzles & Co./Best FriendsAdoption Centre; Best Friends Kitten Nursery. Nikki and I went to Salt Lake City Animal Services and Salt Lake City Humane Society. It was comforting to know that all of the animals in the facility were safe, but it was heartbreaking to see the huge number of animals left homeless for some reason.
We have brought a number of amazing ideas back with us, but what was also amazing was to see how many things AARCS is doing right and how we are a leader in animal rescue in our community. I would recommend to everyone to visit the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary as well as attend the National Conference if they can. You will leave feeling rejuvenated, inspired and ready to take on the world! Thank you so much to AARCS for giving us the opportunity to attend the conference and for all the organization does to help animals in need and prevent an overpopulation of unwanted pets.

~ Lindsay Black

Resource and Development & Communications Coordinator

“It was great to see so many people joining together to help animals in need.  I learned a lot and have brought back some great ideas to make life at AARCS happier for the dogs and the people.  It was very validating to hear so many recommendations that shelters and rescues should start doing things that AARCS has been doing for a decade now.”

~ Nikki Knopp, Dog Program Manager




Featured Volunteer: Erin McIlquham

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Photos courtesy of Jane Elizabeth Carter Photography

AARCS Featured Volunteer:

Erin McIlquham

A word from Erin:

Ever since I can remember I have been surrounded by animals, growing up in 4-H we had dogs, cats, horses, sheep, rabbits you name it.  So, after moving to Calgary 5 1/2 years ago, I knew it was inevitable that I would eventually get a dog of my own. Finally in 2014, I was in a position to start looking for a puppy which led me to AARCS. We adopted our dog Duke (AARCS name Zuko) in September 2014 and they were such a great organization to deal with that I knew I wanted to get involved.
I took over the Dog Website Coordinator position last summer and have thoroughly enjoyed being able to see the dogs go from intake at the shelter, through to adoption.  The progress updates from foster homes that I receive for the website are the best. So many dogs are sick, injured, and scared when they come in to the shelter, and being able to see and hear first-hand the progress they are making in their foster homes is heartwarming. It’s great to get that notification that a dog has been adopted, and knowing that I had a small part in getting them to their forever home makes me incredibly happy. Thank you AARCS for giving me this opportunity!

A word from our Volunteer Manager:

Ever wonder who keeps our website looking fabulous and adoptable dogs up-to-date? Our Volunteer of the Month, Erin, is a part of that incredible team!
For a few years now, Erin has been involved with AARCS, but her largest role in the organization came last summer! Over the past year, we have been so fortunate to have Erin working on our website. She is an instrumental part in ensure the dog profiles are kept current and up to date. Erin is efficient and makes quick work of the daily changes we often see on our dog profiles. Always happy and eager to help where she can, Erin is amazing to work with.
Thank you Erin for all you do for the animals AARCS cares for! Your time and dedication has not gone unnoticed and we appreciate all of your hard work!
Rachel Howard
Volunteer Manager



2017 Calendar Advertising

An opportunity for Sponsorship and Advertising

The Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) is preparing to launch the very popular annual Animal Rescue Calendar; featuring 12 stunning photographic/graphic portraits of AARCS rescued animals. All funds raised from sponsorship and calendar sales will go towards helping even more animals in need.

We are looking for companies/organizations to purchase advertising spots in the calendar to cover the cost to produce the calendars. By being involved, you will be helping us raise funds for animal emergency costs, veterinary care, food and supplies. In addition, corporate sponsors will gain brand recognition among our rapidly growing support base. Calendars will be distributed to local businesses for distribution. AARCS typically circulates over 1000 calendars.

Ads will be placed on each calendar page, rates and sizes are as follows:




Lindsay Black, Resource Development & Communications Coordinator

Email: Lindsay@aarcs.ca | PH: 403-250-7377


Registered charity Number 80718 8479 RR0001

Download 2017 Calendar Advertising Form

Save completed form and email to Lindsay@aarcs.ca


Featured Volunteer: Shannon Cunningham

How can I become a volunteer? | See more volunteers

AARCS Featured Volunteer:

Shannon Cunningham

A word from Shannon:

I started volunteering with AARCS just a little over 3 years ago. I can’t begin to explain how much joy I get from volunteering with this outstanding organization and surrounding myself with such incredible caring people. I had no idea that volunteering with AARCS would make such an impact on my life. I love doing my Dog Caregiver shifts at the shelter, training new volunteers and within the last year, I have also taken on the role as an Adoption Follow Up Coordinator. Between walking dogs, cleaning the messiest poopiest dog runs you can imagine, to giving warm compresses to a dog that has been quilled, and just wants to rest their head on your lap, to sitting with a scared dog and reassuring them that that it’s all gonna be ok, to cleaning some pretty stinky dog crates, and then getting mauled by a litter of puppies who give the sloppiest puppy kisses ever, to sharing my shelter knowledge and passion with new volunteers, to getting the most amazing updates on our adopted dogs. Every moment of it is very special to me. I love seeing the journey these dogs make, from the day they come through the shelter, then go to our incredible foster homes, to getting adopted. It’s so rewarding to receive the most touching updates about the dogs happy new life and that they have now found their “happily ever after”. It gives me a great feeling knowing that the small things I do truly matter to a dog and make a difference within the organization.
For animal lovers like me, animal rescue is the most incredible gratifying volunteer position I could have gotten involved in. It has been a great privilege to be part of the AARCS family. Seeing the devotion and selflessness that my fellow volunteers show each and every day and all the people who work tirelessly for the animals really warms my heart.
I believe whole heartedly in the mission of AARCS. “Changing Lives Through Kindness”. It’s so simple yet it can make such a difference in an animal’s life or a person you may not even know.
~ Be kind always…. Shannon =)

A word from our Volunteer Manager:

Our Volunteer of the Month for June is someone who we have been fortunate enough to get to know over the past three years. Shannon, has truly been a blessing to our AARCS Family!
Every week we get to see her here in the shelter working with the dogs sleeping over at Safe Haven. Her positive attitude and enthusiasm are evident when you get the chance to see her teaching a new volunteer the ropes! As some of you may know, AARCS follows up with every adoption. We have a huge team of very dedicated volunteers who send hundreds of emails every month! In addition to spending hours at the shelter every week, Shannon also participates in conducting these monthly follow ups!
Thank you Shannon for the years your have spent with us – we look forward to many more.
Rachel Howard
Volunteer Manager