Community Outreach

Since 2010, The Animal Rescue League of Iowa has reinvested more than $400,000 into Des Moines communities

The ARL understands the importance and value of the human-animal bond. Therefore, all of our outreach efforts reflect our goal of promoting animal welfare, preventing the overpopulation of pets and improving the lives of not only animals, but the community as a whole.

We provide a broad range of outreach programs and community events; while also offering free or low cost services such as spay and neuter surgeries, educational events like pet care and training workshops, as well as humane education. We have also developed partnerships with other animal welfare organizations and service providers to improve the lives of pets and their owners.

The ARL is lucky to have a partnership with the city of Des Moines to provide animal control services for residents. Through this partnership, the citizens of Des Moines and their animals benefit because the ARL is able to offer education and services such as free or low cost spay and neuter and/or pet supplies like dog houses, collars, tags, etc. to pet owners who cannot afford them.



PFL has helped over 1,737 pets in the Des Moines area

Pets for Life

Pets for Life (PFL) is a community outreach effort that builds humane communities using innovative strategies and fresh approaches designed to extend the reach of animal services, resources, and information to under-served areas. Addressing the critical need for accessible and affordable pet care; our program helps animals by empowering the people who care for them.

Building trusting relationships with people and establishing an ongoing presence in the community is critical to making a real impact. Experience has shown us that when we extend our compassion to human beings as well as animals, we can create long-term and meaningful social change.

To read more about PFL click here.

To view spay/neuter programs available click here.


Spay and Neuter Programs

Thanks to additional grant funding, the ARL has public spay and neuter programs like PetSnip, Pets for Life, Purr Project and Spay the Mother; which offer surgeries, vaccines and/or microchips at low or no cost for individuals who could not otherwise afford those services. These surgeries are performed by ARL and partner veterinarians. Click here to learn about our spay/neuter services. 

Since 2012, the ARL has spayed or neutered 8,926 owned pets!

Microchip Walk-ins

This is a reduced microchip assistance program for cats and dogs. The fee ($35 or $15 with income assistance program) includes the registration of the chip for life. Microchipping your pet is the best way to ensure that you will be reunited with them should they ever get lost. Click here to learn more about Microchip Walk-ins.



ID Me is a program that helps pets reunite with their owners by giving a collar, tag and/or leash to those in need when they reclaim a lost pet or request one. These gently used or new collars and leashes are donated to the ARL to be used for this program. Click here to learn more about ID Me.

Dog Houses

The ARL helps to keep dogs safe by keeping a small inventory of dog houses for pet owners who can’t afford one otherwise. These new or gently used dog houses are built by ARL volunteers or donated to the ARL to be used through community outreach.
To inquire about a dog house, call 515-284-6905.

Banfield Foundation Veterinary Assistance Grant

The ARL received a grant from the Banfield Foundation which allows us to provide veterinary assistance to residents of the Des Moines metro that are struggling financially but love their pets and need help with veterinary care for them. The goal is to provide one time assistance for those who need it most. 

For those that qualify (as funding is available), the veterinary assistance grant helps in the case of illness, injury care and medication; but also helps with vaccinations, preventative care and flea treatment, upon approval.  We are grateful to the Banfield Foundation for their commitment to helping pets and pet owners in need and share their mission of keeping pets in homes with the people that they love. 



"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." - Helen Keller

Anderson Animal Pet Hospital

Anderson Animal Hospital is a full service animal hospital and will take both emergency cases as well as less urgent medical, surgical and dental issues. Dr. Anderson is experienced in all types of conditions and treatments. Dr. Anderson and his staff have helped us spay and neuter more than 300 pets. They also partner with is to see and treat pets in need through our Bandfield medical grant.

All-Pets Hospital

All-Pets Hospital is a small animal hospital with two convenient locations in Des Moines. They offer full service veterinary care, boarding and grooming. All-Pets Hospital staff is committed and enjoy caring for pets of all species (dogs, cats, reptiles, rabbits, rodents and birds)! They have helped the ARL to spay and neuter more than 100 pets. They also partner with us to see and treat pets in need through our Bandfield medical grant.


Iowa Veterinary Referral Center is a 24 hour veterinary emergency and critical care hospital located in Des Moines. They have partnered with the ARL to help pets who have been through one of our spay and neuter programs and are experiencing a medical emergency during non-business hours.





In August 2016, the ARL partnered with the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) on their "Mobile Food Pantry," which provides weekly food distributions at targeted areas throughout Des Moines. The ARL recognizes that where humans are struggling, there are likely pets struggling as well; and in some cases, people will feed their pets before feeding themselves. The ARL/DMARC partnership takes a comprehensive approach by providing free pet food to DMARC clients via the Mobile Food Pantry and by distributing the food at locations where clients can access additional services/supports, such as the local YMCA. In addition to sharing pet food, our outreach team uses this opportunity to connect households with other free or low-cost resources for their pet, which they might otherwise not be aware of or be able to access.

Teddy’s Ruff Riders

Teddy's Ruff Riders mobile grooming offers full-service and all-inclusive grooming. Katie, the owner, has been an animal lover and advocate her entire life and has partnered with us to help groom pets in need through grants the ARL has received to help the underserved communities of Des Moines.

Pet Pantry

Pet Pantry is an organization that provides up to four months of pet food and supplies to people who are in need and may require a little time to get back on their feet. For more information click here.

The Fence Project

The Fence Project is a group of volunteers that provide habitat improvements for dogs in need in the Des Moines area including fencing, dog houses, grooming and more. Find on them Facebook

For more information about our Community Outreach programs and efforts, contact Kim Wolf at (515) 473-9111 or