Guardian Angel Program


We understand. Pets are more than companions, they’re family. We love them and they love us back. It’s a powerful, unbreakable bond.

But what if you or someone you know need temporary help in caring for a pet? Who can you trust to take care of your family member?

From its inception, the Guardian Angel Program (GAP) has been unique in animal rescue. The GAP is “a port in the storm”, providing temporary pet care solutions to people whose lives are in transition. Whether they are fleeing domestic violence, entering addiction programs, seeking medical treatment, serving in our country’s military, or dealing with a natural disaster, the GAP is there to support their pets until they can do so once again. Our favorite moment is when we reunite you with your pet (they’re always so excited for the reunion!). So when you are ready to move forward, when you are healthy and safe and determined to care for your pet, they’ll be waiting.




How long can my pet stay in the Guardian Angel Program?
The maximum length of stay is two months, with the exception of members of our military who may require a longer length of assistance due to deployment.

What is the fee to have my pet placed in the program? 
Due to the generosity of sponsors and donors, and the hard work of our volunteers to hold multiple fundraisers throughout the year, the Guardian Angel Program is a no-fee service to applicants. When pets are reunited with their owners there is no bill. This also includes all veterinary care, food, supplies, and training they received while in our care. 

Do I qualify? 
Our variety of programs each have different requirements and expectations. Please complete the Guardian Angel Application and one of our volunteers will contact you to review your application and requirements with you over the phone.
*You will require a referral for your pets to enter the program, but you do not require it when completing the initial application. Our Guardian Angel Coordinator will help determine what you require. 
*All pets that are not spayed or neutered at the time of placement will be altered while in care. This expense will be covered by GEARS and not billed to the owner. 

  • Domestic Violence – We encourage you to use a program similar to Victims Services to help you find a safe place, get treatment, and other options. You will require a referral from a social worker or Councillor to enter the program. We have a strict confidentiality clause and there will be no posts or photos of you or your animal on any of our social media.

  • Substance Abuse Treatment – We will require a referral form from the treatment facility confirming your attendance and length of stay.

  • Military Respite – If you are going away for a training exercise or deployment and are not able to find adequate care for your pet or if you are unable to financially afford to kennel your animal, please complete our application. You will require to have a referral form completed with deployment dates signed by your Commanding Officer. We ask that your pet is up to date on vaccines – DA2PP & rabies, provide adequate food for the length of stay and any comforting materials (crate, blankets and familiar toys) to help in the adjustment period. We will provide you with updates and photos of your pet as you request via email. Length of stay is dependent on deployment length.

  • Medical Respite – Sometimes our health requirements overwhelm our desire to care for our pets, due to treatments, surgery or for those who are admitted into emergency care. We will require a referral form completed by your physician or attending nurse. 

  • Disaster Relief – When disaster strikes we are here to provide temporary care until you and your family are able to welcome your pets back into your lives.

Can I visit my pet?
Visitation with pets is not permitted. 
We will ensure that you will receive regular updates and photos of your pet while it is in care. 

What if my pet is not spayed/neutered or vaccinated?
It is the policy of GEARS that all cats and dogs that enter our care are spayed and neutered before they leave our care – either through the adoption program or the Guardian Angel Program. We will ensure that your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations (DA2PP, Rabies, and Bordatella for dogs – FVRCP, Rabies, and Feline Leukemia for cats), as well as spayed or neutered. Applicants that do not wish to have their pet(s) spayed or neutered while in our program will have their application for temporary care declined. 

How do I get my animal back? 
When you are ready to bring your pet home, we will celebrate with you! We will do our best to return your pet back to you as soon as you are ready for their return.

What happens if I need to surrender my pet?
You can discuss that with your representative from GEARS. We require you to fill out a surrender form and the animal will enter our Adoption Program. GEARS will care for the animal in a loving foster home until they are adopted.

Want to help?

We've got a full house!

Our foster home applications are currently on hold.

Please check back later or follow us on Facebook for updates!


Dog shirt size chart

softstyle racerback tank

softstyle t-shirt

We can issue tax receipts for cash donations equal or greater than $20! Our charity number is 822791430RR0001.

Ways to donate

By cheque:
P.O. Box 69013 Skyview
Edmonton, AB
T6V 1G7

The ATB Cares program matches donations by 15% and will issue a tax receipt on our behalf! Click here to donate through ATB Cares!