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'Something we’ve never seen before': Alberta animal rescue asks for help

The number of dogs and cats looking for help in our province has hit an all-time high, according to staff at local shelters who say they cannot keep up with demand.

The cries for help aren't just coming from animals but also from the people who rescue them.

"It’s just something we’ve never seen before," Amanda Annetts from Second Chance Animal Rescue Society told CTV News Edmonton.

On average, SCARS has about 200 dogs and cats at any given time. Recently, that number has more than doubled with 450 animals in its care.

"And no one can seem to keep up and all rescues are definitely in the same boat," Annetts said.

Adoption rates have also gone down considerably at SCARS. In the past, as many as 140 dogs and cats would be adopted each month. Now, it's only 50.

"But yet we always have more incoming animals in need which is just getting out of control," Annetts said.

She believes part of the problem is people aren't spaying or neutering their pets.

Because of a province-wide shortage, it's also more difficult and expensive to access vet care.

SCARS has also noticed many of the dogs that need its help are younger.

"Our whole plan for this facility was to bring animals in, get them fully vetted and move them out. now we’re noticing puppies are now being born here, living here, growing up here and that’s just not the life we wanted for them," Annetts said.

Finding people to adopt is a priority but the rescue is also hoping for support through its fundraisers and people who will consider fostering.

"With the commitment to fostering, what’s happening right now is you just have to hang onto them for as long as you’re able," Annetts said.

"So if you’re going on holidays, we’re very flexible with obviously helping with holidays or vacation times. If you work full time, we can find a puppy or cat or dog that is suitable for your lifestyle."

The Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society is seeing the same issues.

SCARS is out of room and Annetts says they're in crisis mode.

A list of adoptable animals and a link to donate is available online.

A puppy at Second Chance Animal Rescue Society on July 28, 2023. (Amanda Anderson/CTV News Edmonton) Top Stories

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