Kelsey Scoular wasn’t allowed to have pets growing up, but she’s now making up for lost time as Cat Manager at the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS).
It’s at AARCS Scoular can indulge in spending her days caring for cats. Scoular has always had a love for animals, but as a child she was only allowed a hamster due to allergies in her family.
“When I moved out, I started collecting animals. I got a couple rabbits and then I got my dog and ended up now with a dog and four cats,” said Scoular.
Scoular worked at the Alberta Spay and Neuter Task Force with friends Ariana Lenz and Michelle Quarin before her work at AARCS. The task force is closely associated with AARCS.
The trio has been good friends for five years and all ended up volunteering and fostering animals at AARCS.
“One day, I saw that there was a job posting for the cat program manager position [at AARCS] and decided that I needed to apply because I am a crazy cat lady,” said Scoular.
Lenz was working at AARCS as medical manager when the Cat Manager position became available.
“Right away, I was like this is for Kelsey. It’s everything that she had kind of been aspiring to, so it was a perfect fit,” said Lenz..
Scoular’s work as Cat Manager involves a wide range of activities, including making trips to check on the cats placed in care of certain pet stores, going on rescue missions and working with volunteers.
Scoular started out fostering all four of her cats before she adopted them.
Swiss, her second cat and her sister were both found with deformities and birth defects. Swiss’ sister passed away from her injuries. But, Swiss bonded with Scoular’s first cat, Cheddar, resulting in her adoption.
Scoular’s last cat, Crush, was stepped on and had a tear in his trachea. Every time Scoular put Crush up for adoption, he got sick. First with an infectious disease, then a foreign body and lastly an eye infection.
“I decided that he was probably self-mutilating and he needed to just stay in my home. Since I have adopted him he has had nothing wrong,” said Scoular.
Currently, Scoular is fostering two other cats: Crouton who’s a spunky kitten and one cat that recently came in an extremely matted and terrible shape.
“I need to foster, because you see them all come through here and I primarily try to do the medical ones - the ones that need medical attention - because I’ve worked in the vet clinic.”
Both Lenz and Quarin feel this way and foster animals as well in addition to their pets.
Lenz has four dogs, five cats and is currently fostering another three cats and a dog.
Scoular was the one that got Quarin into fostering animals and had asked her once to take in a baby kitten that Scoular was looking after while she was away. Quarin has fostered ever since.
Lenz and Quarin have shared Scoular’s passion since they were children and had pets growing up.
“I had every type of pet and critter and snake and bug and frog my whole life,” says Quarin.
“So, I always had something ... I've always cared very passionately about the life an animal leads.”
Scoular’s favorite part of her job is rehabilitation. Another cat, Levi, came into AARCS’s care shutdown and unaffectionate. He slowly became more friendly and a video of his newfound comforted personality was posted to Facebook.
Having seen the video, a mother and son came to meet him. When they sat down, Levi fell asleep in the son’s lap and they took him home the sameday.
“[Levi] just picked those people and that’s who he decided he was going to be great with ... That was just a turning point within two weeks for whatever reason and he found his forever home,” said Schoular.
Quarin states that when faced with difficult situations, Scoular is able to keep everybody on track to best help the animals when many people become emotional.
“She's just very focused. She's almost unflappable when it comes to stuff which is really great,” said Quarin.
Quarin has nothing but praise as she tells about Scoular’s conviction to animals and single-mindedness to do her best.
“She's like the energizer bunny. She just keeps going, going, going, going to make sure that all the cats and kittens are doing well and she supports all the Fosters with such devotion.”
Scoular said she has no plans to stop rescuing and caring for animals anytime soon and looks forward to the animals that she will help in the future.
- By Hailey Payne