Citizenship Projects

School Projects

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa is frequently contacted by students seeking more information about our services as well as animal welfare topics. We are always eager to help educate the community and spread the word of our humane education mission.

Students seeking information for a class should email our humane education department at

Due to the large number of requests, we ask that you please contact us at least one week in advance to schedule a time to meet.

Citizenship Projects

We do not offer volunteer opportunities for kids under the age of 10 or to individuals looking to volunteer less than 12 hours. There are many other ways you can help us serve animals though! Some project ideas include:

  • Hold a bake sale, lemonade stand or care wash to benefit the ARL.
  • Organize a pet supply drive to collect items from our Fetch List.
  • Host a craft night to make fleece blankets and cat toys for the animals.
  • Cut up, bag, and freeze hot dogs for us to use as treats.  

Ways to Collect Items for the Animals

Pet Food Drive - Groups collect bags, boxes and/or cans of high-quality pet food of all types of animals. Groups can produce fliers, collection boxes and a tally sheet or classroom poster to track results. Our biggest need is always dry or canned cat food.

Treat Drive - Groups collect treats for pets of all types and/or cook their own dog or cat treats. No catnip, please!

Toy Drive - Groups collect or make toys for all types of pets. Toys help keep shelter animals happy by giving them something to do. Please check with the ARL for suggestions before making toys for animals. No catnip, please!

Blanket/Towel Drive - Groups collect clean new or used blankets, towels and mats for animals to cuddle with. Towels are also needed for pet grooming.

Donation Drive - The ARL is always grateful for monetary donations to help pay for the supplies necessary to care for our large shelter population. Money raised can be given directly to the ARL or spent at the ARL's retail store to buy toys and animal supplies for the shelter animals. Proceeds benefit the ARL.

Newspaper Drive - The ARL uses rolled newspapers for bedding in our cat and small dog cages. Groups can collect old newspapers and prepare them for use. Full-size sheets are rolled lengthwise and secured with rubber bands. Ads and half-size sheets should be discarded. Finished rolls can be delivered to any ARL location.

Click here for our full list of in-kind donation needs.