More than 600 homeless dogs and cats stretch AARCS to limit

A Calgary animal shelter says it's being forced to turn some people away, at least until more adopters come forward.

Calgary organization pushes for donations, fosters and more spay-neuter education

The Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society says that the organization has accepted more than 2,000 homeless pets so far this year. (AARCS)

A Calgary-based animal shelter with more than 600 homeless cats and dogs in its care says it's being forced to turn some people away, at least until more adopters come forward.

In the past couple of weeks alone, the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society has been inundated with calls and has taken in 94 dogs and 80 cats, the agency says.

In total, more than 300 dogs and 300 cats are currently housed by AARCS.

'We're never gonna say no to those that are in the most need, but we do have to say no,' says AARCS executive director Deanna Thompson. (AARCS)

Executive director Deanna Thompson says the agency has been forced to start a wait list as it makes room at the shelter.

"We focused our efforts on stray and abandoned animals, not so much owner surrenders," said Thompson.

"But we do want to be able to help out wherever we can, so we've got a wait list going and right now we're just hopeful that people will come forward to adopt, whether it be a dog or cat."

'Six hundred animals. That's 600 mouths to feed, 600 spay-neuters, vaccines, you name it,' says Thompson. (AARCS)

Thompson says it's unclear what's driving the sudden influx but noted that pets not being spayed or neutered appears to be an issue.

"The majority of the animals that come into our care are not fixed, and some of them are coming in with nine, 10 puppies or eight kittens," she said. 

More than 200 animals are ready for adoption, including a litter of puppies and many kittens.

Thompson says the organization is in need of more adoptions and donations, as well as fosters. 

'There's a ton of kittens up for adoption right now that so far haven't had a lot of interest,' says Thompson. (AARCS)

​With files from Diane Yanko.