Calgary

All the animals at AARCS want for Christmas is you

The negative impacts from the downturn in Alberta's economy aren't just affecting people — some pets are having a hard time too.

Of the 500 animals being cared for by the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society, 140 have medical needs

A dog sits for a 'howliday' portrait at the second annual AARCS Deck the Dog Run Donation Drive on Saturday. (Kate Adach/CBC)

The negative impacts from the downturn in Alberta's economy aren't just affecting people —  some pets are having a hard time too.

The number of animals being surrendered to the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) has gone up, said spokeswoman Lindsay Black, with many of them suffering medical needs.

"This year we really have noticed how bad the economy is and a lot more people are reaching out," she said.

"Our numbers have increased for the cats and dogs coming into our care. We have a lot more medical cases."

Of the roughly 500 animals currently being looked after by AARCS, about 140 have a medical need, said Black.

"We've had puppies that come in with parvovirus, we've had animals hit by a car or abused, or that have been quilled by a porcupine. We have been taking them in as a lot of rescues can't."

AARCS spokeswoman Lindsay Black says the number of requests for help feeding and housing animals has gone up this year due to a downturn in the economy. (Kate Adach/CBC)

Saturday saw the second annual Deck the Dog Run Donation Drive at AARCS, raising about $6,000, money Black said is much needed.

"We're estimating by the end of December, we'll have spent over $1 million in veterinary bills," she said.

"That's spay and neuter, then any surgeries. We have a lot of animals that undergo leg surgeries or on their knees or hips."

More than 2,000 cats and dogs have been housed by AARCS this year, with each being put up for adoption once they are medically cleared.

AARCS volunteer Kim Goodwin with Eve, a puppy she will be fostering for the next couple of weeks. Eve was found outside in the cold. (Kate Adach/CBC)

One puppy up for adoption is Eve — believed to be about three months old — rescued from the cold along with another dog, which unfortunately died soon after.

Eve is being fostered by AARCS volunteer Kim Goodwin.

"They all come from different stories," she said.

"When the weather gets to be this cold you do everything you can to make extra space in your house to be able to assist. That's why we're a foster home, to give these little guys another chance."

Goodwin estimates Eve will be with her for about two weeks while getting checked over medically then she will be put up for adoption.

With files from Kate Adach

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