[ Rescue Pet Mythbusting ]


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!

Warner 05

Ioana Busuioc
Blog and Website Content Creator

Got ideas for our next blog? Email me at!

July 16, 2018
panzer square

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 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


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


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!


AARCS 2016 JnB_v2web

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