The same question is asked many times to ACTSS volunteers working at booths during pet related information fairs: "What exactly does ACTSS do?" The huge smile on the face of the ACTSS volunteer indicates their tremendous pride in our society as they explain the many ways that ACTSS serves pets and their families in Alberta.
ACTSS began in 1997 at a time when pets with cancer had to travel to the United States to receive radiation therapy and other types of advanced oncology treatments. Because this was expensive and difficult for many Albertans, the majority of these pets were euthanized. Pets are family members and the premature severing of the human/animal bond due to the expense and inaccessibility of cancer therapy was tragic. Veterinary professionals and concerned pet parents came together to help affected families, and ACTSS was born. ACTSS amalgamated forces with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) to help build the first comprehensive Veterinary Oncology Centre in western Canada.
ACTSS then turned to two other important pet cancer needs; making cancer treatment affordable and increasing awareness of this deadly disease to Albertans so wise choices can be made, should their pets develop cancer. ACTSS began an ambitious fundraising program to help subsidize cancer therapies for Alberta pets when it is beyond the pet parents' financial means to pay for life saving treatments. To this date, ACTSS has helped over 300 families keep their beloved pets with them for one more Christmas, one more birthday, one more summer and frequently.....a lot more than that.