The Alberta Animal Rescue Crews Society (AARCS) remains at capacity due to the abandoned animal crisis in Alberta.
Rescue animals come to the shelter first where they have an on-site veterinary hospital to address any medical issues. Afterwards, the animals are moved into voluntary foster care. The shelter’s usual capacity is around 120 animals, the majority of the room being for cats.
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AARCS is currently caring for 300 cats and 165 dogs, both in foster homes and in the shelter itself, according to Deanna Thompson, the executive director of AARCS, in a phone interview with Daily Hive.
In July, the shelter had an adoption event where they reduced adoption fees to $25 for cats seven months and older. Thompson said the event was to give more exposure to adult cats because kittens tend to get adopted quickly.
A total of 169 cats were adopted out during that month, though 168 cats were brought into the shelter over the same span of time.
This influx of animals caused the adoption event to be extended into August. The adoption numbers in August are “pretty steady,” Thompson said.
“It’s worked out well this summer. We’ve seen great, great response from the public coming forward to adopt.”
According to Thompson, if the shelter is still at capacity by the end of August, they’ll continue to do what they’re doing — which is to promote adoption.
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The animal crisis in Alberta
Thompson says March to June is known as kitten season at the shelter when there is a large influx of cats. The season came later this year, though, and it might have been because of the weather.
“We’re just kind of guessing on that because the weather was really cold in February. Whether the kittens that were born outside didn’t make it and the adults ended up pregnant again, I’m not really sure,” She said.
The shelter is also seeing a large number of animal surrenders, which can happen for various different reasons: medical fees that people can’t afford, owners moving away, or stray animals showing up on people’s property.
“It really is a crisis right now for cats that are in need of homes.”
Thompson said that spaying and neutering your pets, having affordable veterinary care, and allowing animals to stay with people in renting situations are some of the ways that can help with “keeping animals out of shelters and hopefully reducing that homeless animal population.”