Calgary animal rescue society set for move to 'desperately needed' new space

The countdown is on for Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society's big move to a bigger, better equipped facility in southeast Calgary.

65% of $500K fundraising goal has been raised for AARCS to relocate to southeast

Deanna Thompson of Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) says the society spent $1 million on vet bills and helped 3,000 animals last year. Now, they are just about to make a big move. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

The countdown is on for Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society's (AARCS) big move.

In November, the group announced plans to relocate its facilities to a larger location and build its own in-house veterinary clinic.

They set a fundraising goal of $500,000 and so far the group has raised 65 per cent of the total amount.

The new location has top-of-the-line diagnostic technology. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

"We've reached out to the public and some other foundations in hopes that we can garner the support that we need in order to purchase all the necessary equipment and get the renovations completed," said Deanna Thompson, the executive director of AARCS.

She added the group is prepared to dip into its "rainy day fund" to purchase equipment if public funding doesn't come through.

Thompson said despite the high price tag on the new facility, the move will help the organization be more sustainable in the long run.

"We desperately needed this space," she said. "With the new facility, we're going to have much more space to add more dog runs, which means we'll be able to help more animals and include things like a dog training space."

Last year, AARCS helped more than 3,000 animals and spent more than $1 million on veterinary bills alone. Thompson said building the clinic and having their own in-house vet staff will allow the organization to reduce their veterinary bills by 50 per cent.

The big move to this new facility happens later this month. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

"The facility is specifically for the homeless animals in Alberta," she said. "It's not a public veterinary hospital, we will be specifically working on our own animals here and we'll keep it busy."

AARCS is a no-kill non-profit organization that is not supported by government funding. Their funding comes from public donations and adoption fees. ​

AARCS will be moving from its current location in northeast Calgary to the new southeast space at the end of the month.

With files from Terri Trembath