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2012 Winner

Help Build the Animal Rescue Network's Purrfect Shelter

ACF13377 Animal Rescue Network (A.R.N.) - Réseau secours animal (R.S.A.) Montreal, Quebec

Created September 24, 2012 by Chandra Devenyi


Montreal, Quebec

Funding Level

0k - $50k (< 2014)

Community Size

More than 1,000


Animal Rescue Network  

Overview:  The Animal Rescue Network (A.R.N.)is the largest no-kill shelter in Montreal, run entirely by volunteers. We are a non-profit registered charity, dedicated to placing unwanted, left behind and often abused cats into good homes. Did you know that the province of Quebec has the worst record of animal abandonment in all of North America? A Brief History The Animal Rescue Network (A.R.N.) was founded in 1994 by Barbara Lisbona, who is still its current president today. Barbara began as a volunteer at the at municipal shelter but was discouraged by the conditions, and started a foster home program that placed 700 cats and dogs in 1994-95. Barbara left the orginization in 1995 with 35 cats that were slated for euthanasia, and with a donated apartment and assistance from other volunteers, founded the ARN.  

Current Activities:  The ARN is currently made up of over 150 unpaid volunteers, organized into various teams: shelter maintenance, adoption, fostering, medication, volunteer training, communications, administration, and fundraising. Together, they work towards four main goals:
(1) Animal Shelter and Foster Homes: The ARN operates a no-kill shelter as well as a community-based network of foster homes where unwanted cats and dogs are cared for. The shelter is divided into a number of rooms, including some dedicated to caring for cats with special needs while they wait for an understanding home. No animals are euthanized unless compassion for a sick and suffering animal demands euthanasia.
(2) Animal Rescue and Sterilization: The ARN works with the community to rescue animals from abusive homes and from perishing in the cold after abandonment. All rescued animals are sterilized and vaccinated. We also provide assistance to the public with a low-cost sterilization reference service. We believe that by encouraging and facilitating pet sterilization, we are helping to solve the problem of animal overpopulation and abandonment at its source.
(3) Animal Adoption: The ARN holds adoption clinics at pet supply stores throughout the Montreal area and at the shelter (by appointment only) to find permanent homes for our cats and dogs. All new adoption homes are carefully screened.
(4) Education and Counselling: We provide advice and counselling on animal medical and behavioural problems. Through our support and encouragement, many people have found the resources to keep their animals. In addition, we educate children and other groups on responsible pet ownership.
To Date
  • Hundreds of cats and dogs have been sterilized with the assistance of local communities since 1997.
  • Over 50 animals were fostered and saved from freezing to death by the ARN during the 1998 Quebec ice storm
  • The ARN has consistently found new homes for about 300 animals each year. Whether at an adoption clinic or by appointment at our shelter, our adoption team ensures that the animals find the loving, responsible homes they deserve.

The Problem we are facing:  In 2011, the Animal Rescue Network was faced with a dilemma. The building that houses our shelter changed ownership and our rent was to suddenly be increased by about 33%. The financial situation of the Animal Rescue Network had reached a critical point. The ARN had no other option but to start searching for a new location for the shelter. Finding an affordable space to rent, that is safe for the cats and the volunteers, while also satisfying city zoning regulations is a daunting challenge. There is simply very little to rent that meets these criteria and finding a building owner willing to rent to an animal shelter is even harder.

Good News and a Solution:  The Animal Rescue Network has found a new location for the 300 cats, however a move like this is extremely costly and being a non-profit organization we depend hugely on donations.  We desperately need the following items for our move, and to ensure that the Animal Rescue Network can go on caring for these cats that depend on us.  The funds would be allocated to an air exchange system that would be installed in our new shelter, we need building materials like wood, drywall, nails, paint and other miscellaneous supplies.  We would need monies put aside for a plumber, electrician and construction worker to help build the inside of the shelter; for example: the walls, the cages, the cat play toys.  We need a new washer, dryer and fridge, since the ones we currently have are not energy efficient and cost a lot in electricity and repairs.  We need furniture (second hand) for the cats to sleep on.  We need more cages for the cats that are sick and need to be isolated.  We need food, litter and cleaning products to sustain the every-day needs of the cats.    
VOTE FOR THE ANIMAL RESCUE NETWORK and Together, we can make a difference. The 300 cats at the shelter thank you.  Without your vote, who will help us?