Adoption Process

Part of our responsibility as members of the AARCS team is to find our rescued animals loving, forever homes. We want to ensure that the animal you wish to adopt is well suited for you, your family, your home, and your lifestyle.

Please note that animals in our care have uncertain pasts. We do our best to guess at age, breed, and size, but we can never be certain. We also cannot guarantee health or temperament.

Adoption Procedures

Adoption Fees

Adoption Policies

Notice Regarding Animals in Care

Animals in Care with AARCS or animals not yet posted to the Adoptable Dogs/Cats/Critters pages are not currently available for adoption. Applications will not be accepted for these animals until they are posted as available on our Adoption Pages.

Our website is updated daily, please continue to check back on their progress and availability.

Adoption Procedures

STEP 01.
Adoption Application

To adopt, first complete our adoption application form. There are separate forms for cats, barn cats, dogs and critters. These forms can be found within each animal profile. If you have any issues with our online forms, please contact our Dog Adoption Coordinator at [email protected] or our Cat Adoption Coordinator at [email protected].

STEP 02.
Application Review

Following submission of an adoption application, the Adoptions Coordinator will review the application and email the applicant within 24-48 hours with an update on the status. Our Adoptions Team will then conduct an over-the-phone interview prior to moving forward.

STEP 03.
Application Approval

Once your application is approved, the foster family will contact you within 48 hours to arrange a “meet and greet” for your family and your potential adoptive pet. We ask that these meetings be arranged as soon as possible, and no later than the upcoming next weekend.

We require all family members to be present for the “meet and greet”. For Dog Adoptions it is also a requirement that your own resident dog(s) must also meet with the dog you are applying for.Β 

STEP 04.
For Dog Adoptions

Once you have met the dog/puppy you would like to potentially adopt, we ask that you take a day to think about it. Discuss the adoption openly and fully with all members of the household. Ensure that the dog matches what your family is looking for.

If after this time you feel the animal is the right match, please contact the adoption coordinator with your decision at [email protected] no later than 24 hours after the meeting.

STEP 04.
For Cat and Critter Adoptions

We encourage you to take a day to think about and discuss the adoption. However, we allow same-day adoptions for cats and critters. Please come prepared with an appropriate pet carrier if you wish to complete a same-day adoption. Applicants are asked to leave the foster family for a minimum of one hour and return to the foster home to complete the adoption. During this time adoption fees must be paid prior to the foster home releasing the cat or critter. See below for adoption fees, and how to pay

For kittens under the age of six months, we prefer for an adoption with a feline companion. Kittens require stimulation and interaction with other cats/kittens for healthy social development. Kittens that remain with a littermate or cat companion, tend to be happier and healthier. The kitten will be better socialized than a kitten that is isolated from other felines at an early age.

STEP 05.
Finalize Adoption

If all parties, the adoption committee, foster family, and prospective adoptive family, are in favour of the adoption, and this is not a same-day cat adoption, you can pick up your new family member the following day, or arrange a mutually beneficial time with the foster home. We do request that you apply only when you are ready to take your new pet home, and we ask animals to go home within a week from your “meet and greet”. Please be prepared for your new pet, with food, a bed, toys, and bowls, before he/she comes home.

At the time of adoption,Β  dog/cat adopters will be provided with an adoption package, including a small bag of Hills Science Diet food that we feed while in care.

Adoption Fees

Adoption fees are used at AARCS to cover the cost of care and medical attention of your new adoptive animal while in our care.

All adoption fees are non-refundable

Choose Your Own Adoption Fee 🀍

Reduced Adoption Fees JUL. 9 - SEP. 1!

With a large number of animals in care and an even larger number of animals in need of support, we have reduced select adoption fees in an effort to get them 'Home'. Same thorough adoption screening process still applies!

🀍 DOGS over 6 months βˆ™ Minimum $75 Fee

🀍 CATS over 6 monthsΒ βˆ™ Minimum $25 Fee

🀍 CRITTERS all ages βˆ™ Minimum $10 Fee

Dog 6 Months and Younger


Dog 7 Months and Older


Dog 8 Years and Older


Kitten 6 Months and Younger


Cat 7 Months and Older


Cat 9 Years and Older


Bonded Pair of Kittens
6 Months and Younger


Bonded Pair of Cats
7 Months and Older


Barn Buddies
Learn More

By Donation

Include but are not limited to Rabbits, Guinea Pigs and Skinny Pigs

$20 – $250

Adoption Policies


Renters/Condo Owners need to confirm with their landlord/condo board that they are allowed a pet and check if there are any restrictions including size, specific dog breeds and pet-related damage deposits.

Spay/Neuter Policy

All of AARCS animals are spayed or neutered prior to adoption. This cost is included in our adoption fee.


We do not adopt animals as gifts for someone else.

Overnight/Trial Periods

We do not do overnight or trial periods for our animals. As moving homes can be extremely stressful we do not feel this is fair for our animals. As there are often many challenges in the first few days and weeks following an adoption and we hope our adopters would be committed to this process. We on occasion will allow for short visits in the new home depending on the circumstances.

Adoption Area

Our policy is to facilitate adoptions in Alberta. Some exceptions have been made when the applicants are within reasonable driving distance. We do not do adoptions outside of Canada, and will not ship animals.

Long Distance Adoption (Dogs)

At the discretion of the adoption committee, we may agree in the event of a long-distance adoption, that a dog can go home the same day, but applicants are asked to leave the foster family for a minimum of one hour, then return to the foster home to complete the adoption. All parties must still be in favour of the adoption, including the adoptions committee, foster family, and the prospective adoptive family. We allow for same-day adoption for cats.

Animals in Care

Animals in Care with AARCS are not available for adoption at this time. Please note that applications will NOT be accepted for these animals until they are posted as available on our Adoptable Animals page. Our website is updated daily so please keep checking back on their progress and availability.

Vaccinations & Deworming

AARCS provides vaccinations for all animals due while in our care. The adoptive family is responsible for vaccinations and continued deworming that come due after the adoption is completed, which can include on-going treatment for minor ailments such as worms.

Return Policy

We at AARCS believe that each animal is special and considered to be a part of the AARCS family. AARCS accepts returns barring any unusual circumstances. Returns cannot be dropped off at the shelter unannounced and need to be coordinated through our foster managers. Please note that sometimes the placement of a returning animal can take up to a couple of weeks to accommodate dependent on shelter/foster space and the individual needs of a returning animal. Adoption fees are non-refundable as adoptions and returns take time and resources to process, care for, and adopt out again. Although we understand that sometimes things do not always work out due to unforeseen circumstance, we encourage adopters to reach out for help if they are having any issues with their new adopted pet as we can often assist by providing resources for training and advice.