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PALS History

photocredit: PALS
PALS is a non-profit, registered, charitable organization located in Calgary, Alberta, dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of individuals through pet therapy.

PALS history is as wide and varied as the people and pets that volunteer to make the programs a success and help fundraise to keep the doors open. Below is just a glimpse into some of the events that have help to shape PALS into who we are today.

Pet Access League Society (PALS) began under the auspices of the Calgary SPCA in 1982

  • PALS became a separate organization in 1985 and leased an office space for its operations at #3, 4015 1stStreet SE
  • PALS was incorporated under the Societies Act of the Province of Alberta on the 4thday of April 1985.
  • In 1987 78 dogs, 24 cats and 1 rabbit successfully accepted into the PALS program
  • 1988 saw PALS in 22 facilities and operating with 350 visiting volunteers and an assortment of dogs, cats, rabbits and birds
  • PALS received its charitable number in 1989
  • 1990 saw 400 volunteers make up 50 visiting teams with teams visits per years increasing from 622 to 718. 139 new volunteers were added to the program and membership was increased to 110.
  • The first Volunteer Appreciation Picnic was held at Bowness Park in 1991
  • Leashes of the correct length are provided to dogs and cats by PALS as part of the PALS uniform in 1992
  • PALS moves to its current location at 3019 21st Street NE in 1995
  • November 1997 we apply for our first casino
  • The 1st Annual Fun Day and Dog Walk is held at Fort Calgary on May 31, 1998
  • June 12, 2000 PALS adopts the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code as its policy
  • June 2000 the PALS Board of Directors attends a Strategic Planning Session. Topics include mandate, mission, volunteer manual, bylaws, growth, funding, directors roles, succession planning
  • PALS 20th Anniversary Picnic was held June 19, 2005
  • September 2005 the decision was made to allow miniature horses into the program
  • PALS Board of Directors votes to discontinue running Bingos as a fundraiser on September 29, 2005
  • April 2006 sees StoryPALS plans for implementation for the fall in a number of Calgary Public Libraries
  • PALS 25th Anniversary Picnic at Fish Creek Park took place in September 2010
  • November 2011 New Drug Prevention Program very popular with youth, volunteers and Calgary Police Service
  • February 2012 PALS completes its Social Media Overview with assistance from Mount Royal Student Madison Wilkson
  • April 2012 PALS launches its Facebook
  • April 2013 PALS Spring Basket Fundraiser sells 245 baskets
  • PALS is one of the charities at the Shaw Charity Classic Golf Tournament held at the Canyon Meadows Golf Club in August 2013
  • August 2013 PALS comes in second place in the Elevate Calgary rebranding and marketing package competition
  • September 2013 Board of Directors completes a 2 day Board Development Workshop on building a better board
  • October 2013 5 year Strategic Plan is completed with volunteer, facility and staff input
  • October 2013 PALS 1st puppy room is held at SAIT
  • PALS is chosen as one of the charities to benefit from the Twas the Night Event at the Core in November 2013