“I have had pets my whole life. Dogs, cats, hamsters, fish, birds. You name it. When I first moved out on my own the first thing I did was get a kitty to keep me company. Literally the same day I moved out, we unloaded the truck and then my roommate and I went and got a cat. My pets have always been a huge comfort to me, so when I found out about AARCS I signed up to start volunteering immediately and have now been volunteering for 8 years in all sorts of different roles.
I currently have 3 cats of my own, although I jokingly say I have 2 and ⅔’rds cats as I have a very special kitty named Hiccup. I had the pleasure of fostering Hiccup and his sister until after their surgeries. They were both born with congenital defects of their spines. This defect caused Hiccup’s back legs to grow upside down and at 4 months both back legs were removed, making him a 2-legged cat. We bonded after his surgery, watching him adapt to life without his back legs. To see how determined and resilient he was at overcoming his obstacles made me realize what an amazing, special cat he is. I had no intention of adopting another animal when I was fostering him, but I fell madly in love and there was no way anyone but me was going to be his furmom. 
I have always had pets, but having Hiccup has been a huge learning curve. He currently does not need a wheelchair, although he may need one later in his life, for now I believe it would actually hinder him. But because he only has his 2 front legs I have had to adapt many parts of the house to make it as accessible as possible for him. We now have all low sided, shallow litter boxes so he is able to get in and out on his own. We have a ramp in the bedroom, so he is able to get up on the bed. Although he normally just meows at me until I pick him up. We have a set of stairs in the living room, so he can get up on the couch. All of our cat trees have low shelves, so he is able to climb them.
He has made our lives so much better. He teaches me to be more positive every single day. No matter how bad of a day I may be having, when I look at him I remember that nothing is that bad. 


Hiccup has let nothing stop him, and other than the fact that he only has 2 legs, you would never know he is special needs. He is just special.” – Vicki Birch, Hiccups Mom


Vicki just celebrated her 8 year anniversary volunteering with AARCS! We are so very fortunate to have Vicki on our team! She has definitely made the world a better place for so many animals over the years.


Alex Stahl

Volunteer Supervisor

Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS)