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New animal rescue and adoption facility to open in Edmonton

Calgary-based animal rescue group opening new facility in Edmonton
WATCH: After years of planning, a Calgary-based animal rescue group is opening a new facility for pets in Edmonton. Sarah Ryan takes us inside.

After years of planning, the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society is preparing to open a building in Edmonton to help pets in need.

AARCS is well established in Calgary, having got its start there in 2006. Volunteers in Edmonton began fostering dogs five years ago – and now the rescue is growing.

“We will intake new rescues [dogs] and then put them into foster homes like we normally do. And we’ve set up a cat adoption centre here in the south for people in the surrounding areas for people looking to adopt a cat,” executive director Deanna Thompson said.

The new location is in the Coronet Industrial area, off Argyll Road in southeast Edmonton. It’s being renovated now, before opening in the summer.

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“We are looking for support from individuals, businesses. We have a wish list of items that we need and that support to get us up and ready to go,” Thompson said.

The new shelter is across the city from the Edmonton Humane Society and also closer to Calgary. It has 10,000 square feet of space for AARCS to grow into.

“It’s going to give us a lot more chances to help out even further north, because transport has always been an issue,” explained volunteer Anjie Robinson.

“We have a great base of volunteers and supporters in Edmonton,” Thompson said.

“So it was time to make the move so we can have a physical location for our volunteers and our staff and the animals. A place the community can come to.”

Sandy Kashuba has been volunteering with AARCS as a whelping home for newborn puppies.

“It is the most amazing experience to be a foster and be able to give these animals a home and a chance and a safe place – to hopefully get adopted to a better place,” she said.

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Thompson reached out to other local rescues to let them know about the expansion. She said they’re excited to collaborate.

“We’ll often help each other out, so if we rescue 10 dogs but maybe we only have fosters for five of them, we’ll work with other groups for placement and foster care. Same with spay and neuter programs. We work collaboratively to get animals in to be spayed and neutered so we can stop that overpopulation of animals in our community.”

In 2019, the rescue helped nearly 4,000 animals – but that still wasn’t enough.

“We had to turn so many away last year. We want to be able to help as many as we can. We’re really looking forward to being able to increase capacity to help more animals now and into the future,” Thompson said.

To donate or volunteer, you can head to the AARCS website.

“We really need the support from the community in order to make this a reality.”

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