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Cat Trivia

[Record Breaking Cats and Other Fun Feline Trivia]

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Written by Ioana Busuioc, September 2018

Cats sleep for 70% of their lives, or approximately 12-16 hours a day, which is something we all might find ourselves wishing for as the days get shorter and the air gets colder! Much like us humans, they also dream and can also snore.

They can’t taste sweetness, but they do have something called “taste-scenting”. Though they have few taste receptors on their tongue, they do have a heightened sense of smell which acts as a stimulant for hunger. As a matter of fact, cats have 200 million scent receptors in their nasal cavity! Another fun nasal fact: cat nose prints are as unique as our thumb prints, as no two cats’ nose prints are the same. In addition to their olfactory quirks and contrary to popular beliefs, most cats are actually lactose intolerant, and milk can actually cause them serious health problems.

When it comes to communication, cats have a natural vocal range that is inaudible to us, but some research shows that they have evolved their communication to certain meows that are only meant for making their feelings and desires known to us humans! Cats are extremely talkative animals and can make over 100 vocal sounds, which is no small feat when considering dogs only make 10! What’s even more impressive? According to a Buzzfeed article, they purr at the same frequency as an idling diesel engine! Cats are also smart enough to know you are calling out to them, but simply choose to ignore you (as a cat owner, I can attest to this).

Some interesting cat-related records? Creme Puff was a domestic cat from Texas who is the oldest cat ever recorded at 3 days past her 38th birthday. Some other super-seniors include Rubble, a 30 year old UK kitty, the late Scooter, another Texan feline, and Tiffany Two, a Californian tortie who lived to be 27. In 2012, an Italian heiress passed away and left her beloved cat Tommaso all $13 million dollars of her fortune, making him the world’s richest cat. Previously, a UK man named Ben Rea left his $12.5 million fortune to Blackie, the last surviving of the 15 cats he shared his mansion with. According to the Guinness World Records book, the heaviest cat title went to an Australian cat named Himmy  who weighed a whopping 46lbs and 15 oz and had to be transported in a wheelbarrow (thankfully this category was discontinued to deter individuals from overfeeding their pets – an overweight cat is NOT a healthy cat!). Whoever said you can’t teach a cat tricks? An Aussie kitty has broken records by performing 24 tricks in one minute. Talk about commitment!

Just for fun – the most expensive wedding for two pets was between Phet and Ploy, two cats that got married in 1996. As per the Guinness World Book of records, Phet, the groom, arrived to the ceremony by helicopter, and Ploy, his bride, arrived by Rolls-Royce.

Some famous individuals who love cats? Ernest Hemingway, who loved polydactyl cats so much so that they are often referred to as “Hemingway cats”. Abraham Lincoln kept four cats in the White House, and when his wife Mary Todd Lincoln was asked if her husband had a hobby, she simply replied with: “Cats”. When the former president found out that the mother of three kittens he found was dead, he made sure they were taken care of and found good homes for them. Isaac Newton famously known for discoveries such as the laws of gravity, calculus and the reflecting telescope, is also responsible for the invention of the cat door. Having noticed that his cats would disrupt his studies by wanting in and out (not much has changed since then!), he decided to cut two holes in the door. Other famous cat lovers include Pablo Picasso, Mark Twain, Florence Nightingale, and Marie Antoinette.

Lastly, to quote Victor Hugo, famous French writer and dramatist who wrote Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, “God made the cat so that man might have the pleasure of caressing the tiger”.

Thank you kindly for reading, I hope this was helpful and informative!

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Genie, our cat of the week! Just look at those eyes! This sweetheart is available for a reduced adoption fee.

Genie, our cat of the week! Just look at those eyes! This sweetheart is available for a reduced adoption fee.

Ioana Busuioc
Blog and Website Content Creator

Got ideas for our next blog? Email me at blog@aarcs.ca!

Rescue Pet Mythbusting(Part 2)

[Rescue Pet Mythbusting Part. 2]

Photo courtesy of Alexei Chernenkoff Photography

Written by Ioana Busuioc, August 2018

Special thanks to our fabulous Animal Behavior Coordinator Natasha Pupulin for her help on behavioral and temperament-related content!

The second part of this three part myth busting series! Read on for some more fast facts and informative debunking!

Myth #4

Adoption fees are too expensive.

Reality: Adoption fees may seem daunting, but keep in mind that shelters provide care and medical assistance for the animals present and these adoption fees, alongside donations, are what help shelters stay afloat and continue caring for thousands of animals each year. AARCS spays and neuters all animals prior to adoptions, and we provide vaccinations for all animals while in our care, this is included in the adoption fee. Adoptive families are however responsible for vaccinations and continued treatments after the adoption process. AARCS’ adoption fees are as follows:

  • $375 for dogs 7 months and older
  • $495 for dogs 6 months and under
  • $200 for senior dogs 8 years and older
  • $150 for cats 7 months and older
  • $225 for two cats 7 months and older (bonded pair)
  • $200 for a single kitten 6 months and under
  • $400 for two kittens 6 months and under
  • $60 for senior cats over 9 years

Myth #5

Knowing the breed or the mix will help you to understand temperament.

Reality: This is incorrect! If we know what a dog’s parental lineage was, such as a german shepard mother and a husky father, there is no way to know which genes have been passed down to the pup. This is especially relevant for temperament, intelligence, social skills, etc. The best way to get a genuine feel for a dog’s temperament is not to go by breed, but by getting to know the individual, read body language daily, and provide training support as needed. This is facilitated through AARCS with the intake assessment and our foster program, which helps us successfully match potential adopters with the right dog, not the right breed.  As a matter of fact, many shelters have moved from a specified breed to a “mixed breed” designation, unless that dog’s lineage is known and many find this helps improve the chances of finding the perfect match – without breed bias.

Myth #6

Getting a puppy is the best option because you know what you’re getting.

Reality: Not necessarily true. There is the appealing prospect of being able to shape the puppy as it grows, however puppies do not reach emotional and behavioural maturity until about 3 years of age. During this time, puppies go through a series of experiences, development stages, and fear imprinting periods that will shape their behaviours into adulthood. Adult dogs older than 3 years old will afford you more reliability in assessing behaviours long term. If there are ever any traits that may seem undesirable to you as a potential pet owner, adult dogs typically already have their own characteristics and behaviours set out, so it is much easier to know what you are getting. Additionally, puppies require A LOT of work, attention, and training, whereas adult dogs may already have some training!

It is fair to state though, that based on experience, any adult, puppy, or adolescent may experience behaviour changes throughout their lifetimes, however the variation is greater in puppies when compared to adults after a period of assessment in foster care or in your home.

Thank you kindly for reading, I hope this was helpful and informative!


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Photo credits to Alexei Chernenkoff

Ioana Busuioc
Blog and Website Content Creator

Got ideas for our next blog? Email me at blog@aarcs.ca!

August 25, 2018
Unwanted Cat Urination 101

[ Unwanted Cat Urination 101 ]

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With a look that could only say: “I swear I didn’t pee on your shoes!”

Written by Ioana Busuioc, August 2018

All photos thanks to the very talented Debby Herold at Debby Herold Photography! Special thanks to our kind Cat Program Manager Kelsey Scoular for her help with illnesses that could cause this issue as well as helpful tips and solutions!

A common behavior problem found in cats is inappropriate urination. Because cats cannot communicate with us the same way we do with our human peers, it is important for us to pay attention to other signals that something may be wrong. Sudden or frequent cat urination outside the litter box is not a sign that your cat hates you and wants to ruin your life (and floors or carpets), on the contrary, it means that something is wrong!

Bladder stones or crystals are a very common cause for this sort gof problem in cats, or inflammatory diseases. Unwanted cat urination can be also a sign that something is wrong with a cat’s kidneys, a potential bladder infection, or a diabetes related issue, especially if a cat is also suddenly drinking a lot more water. When it comes to kidney related issues, their kidneys might not be able to properly break down the protein, which can cause a buildup that would ultimately lead to crystals building up in the urethra. Additionally, if there are stones in the bladder, depending on factors such as their size, surgery may be needed. These sorts of illnesses could also make it difficult for a cat to reach its litter box as well, which means that they might be trying to do their business where they should, but simply cannot make it there on time. All in all, these are serious issues that mean your beloved furry friend may be acting out of character and needs medical attention as soon as possible. Keeping in mind that if it is a serious issue that would require surgery, there are options to help ease the financial strain of committing to treatment and potential surgery, such as pet insurance. These are very treatable issues, and even in the case of surgery, cats recover relatively quickly with the help of a special diet post surgery. A sign to watch out for that may indicate a medical concern is if a cat is howling while they try to pee, and if that is happening it is crucial to get the cat to a vet for an assessment as soon as possible, as the discomfort is extremely painful for our feline friends!

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Betsy, a sweet senior lady who is still looking for her forever home! Clicking the photo will take you right to her profile, and maybe to your future best friend!

If the issue is not medical, it could be due to any changes in the house, perhaps even something as simple as furniture being moved around, or maybe a family member moving out/in, and especially moving to a new home altogether. If a cat is peeing on a specific family member’s clothing, keeping those hidden away and out of reach might be the solution. If a cat is peeing in multiple places, considering how many litter boxes there are in the home and where they are located might be the key! When it comes to multiple cats, AARCS Cat Program Manager Kelsey recommends ensuring there are as many litter boxes as there are cats, plus one! So if there are 3 cats, there should be 4 litter boxes in relatively different areas. Cats are resistant to change, and bringing a new feline family member into the house might spark up this resistance as well as territorial issues, which is why it is important to make sure litter boxes are separated. Something Kelsey swears by and that vets use in their own clinics is Feliway, which is a product bought at vet clinics and is a diffuser with synthetic pheromones that humans can’t smell, which is designed to  help cats feel more secure and calm. It gives them the impression that they might have already marked their territory, so that they are less inclined to urinate in unwanted areas. Pet owners should also be aware that sometimes the resolution is as simple as changing the location of they litter box, as it could be in a place in which the cat feels too stressed to do its business (ex. maybe close to a window from which they can hear a lot of car traffic). Cats might have a preference as to the substrate they urinate on as well, with options ranging from clay litter to wood shavings. Another simple solution could be simply cleaning the litter box more.

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Jumping for joy over how easy it is to stop unwanted cat urination! Eclipse, another darling adoptable kitty photographed by Debby Herold for AARCS. Follow the link in the image for his profile!

In my own experience, our cat started doing her business outside of the litter box as she grew older. She started going in the basement quite frequently, but we had noticed that this was more significant when we had guests over. Her litter upstairs is close to the back door, and beside the kitchen area, which is where most house guests would hang out. Since she does not immediately take to strangers, we thought she might be relieving herself in the basement to avoid the commotion upstairs. We ended up leaving her litter there, and putting a tray downstairs with her litter as well, and she immediately took to it. Now she only goes there once or twice a week, so we have to make sure to remember to clean her area there as well, but there are no more issues with her relieving herself where she shouldn’t anymore. What also helped was taking the cover off of her litter box upstairs, when she had a brief stint relieving herself on my father’s shoes! In the end, there was an easy solution that didn’t require a lot of change for anybody, and our cat had the option to go downstairs and relieve herself in peace without the stress of people around her, as well as with us not having to clean up behind her anymore.

Thank you so much for reading, and as always, I hope you found this informative!

Check out more of Debby Herold’s work and all the AARCS animals she photographs at www.debbyherold.com/rescue-me!

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Oliver, one of Debby’s two AARCS kitties, enjoying a cozy cat nap!

Ioana Busuioc
Blog and Website Content Creator

Got ideas for our next blog? Email me at blog@aarcs.ca!

August 1, 2018

 

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[ Rescue Pet Mythbusting ]

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Written by Ioana Busuioc, July 2018

Special thanks to our fabulous Animal Behavior Coordinator Natasha Pupulin for her help on behavioral and temperament-related content!

When considering adopting a pet, many people wonder where the best place to get their new furry companion will be. There are numerous options, such as pet stores, breeders, even online on websites such as Kijiji, but the best option by far is through a rescue organization. That being said, rescue pets can often be at the center of misunderstandings due to various myths and misconceptions. Read on for some informative debunking!

Myth #1

One of the most common misconception about shelter pets is that they have behavioral issues that cannot be fixed.

Reality: It’s important to know that rescued animals come from all sorts of backgrounds, and yes, some of those backgrounds might be rooted in an undesirable or harmful situation for an animal, but the majority are happy-go-lucky pets who are ready for their forever home. Some animals end up in a shelter because they grew up without a family, their family can no longer care for them, their owners have passed away, from being lost and unable to reunite with their owners. Beyond this, there are animals who are rescued from hoarding situations, abusive situations. Naturally, animals who come from the aforementioned situations might experience cautiousness, fear, shyness, and so on. The most important thing to remember is that many of these  issues are resolved with time, love, patience, and training from their fosters and adopters.At AARCS, it is why fostering and daily interaction with animals is crucial in order to help rescues come out of their shells and feel safe and secure so that their personalities may shine through for their future families. If there are ever issues related to the training of an animal, more commonly dogs, they are also addressed within shelter, and  they continue into foster care to increase the animal’s adoptability. A reputable rescue will always disclose any existing concerns for your consideration prior to adopting, and will advise you about the prognosis for resolving those issues so you and your family can make a choice that is right for you.

 

An example of behavior we deal with that can be a concern to prospective pet owners is resource guarding. Contrary to popular belief, resource guarding behaviours do not originate from dogs raised in free-roaming environments or a history of scavenging behaviour. In fact, we see this behaviour reported in less than 1% of our dogs when observed in shelter and in home environments. Resource guarding can happen to any breed and at an age, and studies show that there is no clear correlation between genetics and this type of behavior. It is considered a fear-based behavior, and it is more often seen in dogs who are stressed and lack confidence. There are various ways of approaching this type of behavior, but ultimately there is a solution through consistency, patience, and care. Resource guarding is highly manageable, and in many cases, can be resolved quickly and easily using desensitization and counterconditioning techniques.

Myth #2

I don’t know what I’m getting with a rescue pet.

Reality: While it is true that shelters may not have significant information on various animals as they get taken in, organizations aim to put in the time and effort to get to know the animal before putting it up for adoption. AARCS is fortunate enough to have an Animal Behavior Coordinator. Natasha, and more than 600 dedicated caregivers and foster homes  who take it upon themselves to improve adoptability rates, enrich the shelter environment, and deliver effective, kind and entertaining training activities to improve the quality of life for the animals in AARCS’ care as well as for their post-adoption lives! While breeders and retail stores might concern themselves more with quick turnovers, shelters like AARCS aim towards making great matches! It’s important to know that many of the animals taken in benefit from staying with a foster family prior to adoption. This is helpful for a few reasons, but most importantly it gets an animal the chance to get socialized with people, as well as potentially children or other animals, so that their personality can shine through and they can ultimately get adopted into the perfect family. All in all, animals that come through shelters get a lot of time and attention given to them so that rescue workers can be able to pinpoint any issues, address them, and cultivate positive traits and behaviors.

Myth #3

Getting a puppy is the best option because you know what you’re getting.

Reality: Not necessarily true. There is the appealing prospect of being able to shape the puppy as it grows, however puppies do not reach emotional and behavioural maturity until about 3 years of age. During this time, puppies go through a series of experiences, development stages, and fear imprinting periods that will shape their behaviours into adulthood. Adult dogs older than 3 years old will afford you more reliability in assessing behaviours long term. If there are ever any traits that may seem undesirable to you as a potential pet owner, adult dogs typically already have their own characteristics and behaviours set out, so it is much easier to know what you are getting. Additionally, puppies require A LOT of work, attention, and training, whereas adult dogs may already have some training!

It is fair to state tough, that based on experience, any adult, puppy, or adolescent may experience behaviour changes throughout their lifetimes, however the variation is greater in puppies when compared to adults after a period of assessment in foster care or in your home.

Thank you kindly for reading, I hope this was helpful and informative!


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Ioana Busuioc
Blog and Website Content Creator

Got ideas for our next blog? Email me at blog@aarcs.ca!

July 5, 2018
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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.

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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.

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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

Diamond in the Ruff


Diamond in the Ruff

10 Year Anniversary Celebration!

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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!

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


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AARCS Jail n’ Bail – Sept 17 2016 – Calgary


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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!

2016 JAIL N BAIL TOTAL - OFFICERS WITH JAY:TANK
…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!
About:
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!

THANK YOU TO OUR EVENT SPONSORS:

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Sponsorship and Vendor Booths available!

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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

 


EVENT FESTIVAL BOOTHS:

 

 

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