ARL Animal Control: Making a Difference for Des Moines' Animals

posted 6/13/2016

You may have heard that the contract for the Animal Rescue League of Iowa to provide animal control services and housing for the City of Des Moines is expiring on June 30. We have negotiated the contract with city staff for the past several months and it will be presented to the council for a vote on Monday, June 13. 

The city owns the building that ARL Animal Control currently functions out of. Everyone acknowledges that the condition and amenities of the building, nor the location are conducive to best helping the city’s animals and their people. Because of this, the ARL long ago put in motion a plan to build a new building for this program.

Through our discussions with city staff and council, the message has been that this is the right partnership, but wrong building. Together, we share a goal of enhancing public safety and ending animal suffering. The money the ARL receives for this contract barely even covers the expenses. The primary reason we have agreed to the animal control contract in past years and now, is because we know the animals (and residents) need us.

With this partnership, last year alone the Animal Rescue League of Iowa:

  • Provided 3 trained, experienced and compassionate Animal Control Officers to respond to calls 365 days per year
  • Provided a veterinarian dedicated to the animals at that location
  • Provided additional animal care and customer service staff to serve the needs of both the animals and the public
  • Provided, fueled and maintained 4 animal control vehicles, 1 rescue trailer to respond to large scale rescues and 1 boat for water rescues
  • Responded to 13,879 animal control calls (an average of 87 each day!)
  • Received or picked up 4,664 stray, neglected or dangerous animals within the city
  • Of those animals, 4,151 had live outcomes: 27 were adopted directly from that location, 2,785 were transferred to the ARL to be evaluated for adoption, 1,339 were reunited with their owners, 55 were too injured or sick to survive, and 502 were euthanized after we had exhausted all other humane and responsible options, because they were either dangerous or suffering

Separately from the contract, we also:

  • Provided FREE or low-cost spay/neuter services for 3,350 owned pets for people who could otherwise not afford it ($466,000 in grant money has been spent to provide services for owned animals in Des Moines since 2011)
  • Conducted 233 cruelty interventions
  • Trained 263 law enforcement on cruelty investigations
  • Provided 6,292 humane education experiences for kids  
  • Placed 1,676 pets in foster homes
  • Spayed/neutered 4,023 pets prior to adoption
  • Transferred 258 pets to transfer partners
  • And so much more

To view our full 2015 Impact Report, click here.

We hope to continue this partnership on July 1 and for many years to come.

Thank you for supporting the Animal Rescue League of Iowa's mission, including partnerships like this.