Chief Executive Officer
Tom Colvin has been instrumental in the state of Iowa for animal protection work since 1974. He began his work as a Certified Veterinary Technician in Waterloo, Iowa. He went onto become the director of the Black Hawk Humane Society (now called Cedar Bend).
Tom moved to Des Moines in 1993 to become the shelter director of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL). In 1995, he was appointed the ARL’s Executive Director, a position he has held since. Tom led the initiative to build a new 43,000 square foot shelter, which was completed in October 2008.
Tom has served as the President of the Iowa Federation of Humane Societies since 1981 and also currently serves on the Iowa State University External Stakeholders Advisory Group, on the board of the Better Business Bureau, and previously on the Iowa Board of Veterinary Medicine and Iowa Wildlife Center. He is also a member of The Association of Animal Welfare Advancement (formerly Society of Animal Welfare Administrators) and the Association of Fundraising Professionals, which promotes ethical fundraising practices. He has also been a wildlife rehabilitator and has served on Iowa deer taskforce committees.
Tom has worked tirelessly on legislation to strengthen Iowa’s laws for animal protection, including extensive work to address animal cruelty and puppy mills in Iowa. He has received awards for his efforts in legislation, including his work to enact the animal shelter mandatory spay/neuter law in 1992 and the felony animal abuse law in 2000. Recent successes in legislation have resulted in prohibiting giving pets as prizes, felony animal fighting laws, and in 2010, the passing of the Puppy Mill Bill.
Under Tom’s leadership and direction, the Animal Rescue of Iowa has repeatedly been honored with local “Best Non-Profit” awards, has been named a "Top-Rated Non-Profit" by Great NonProfits since 2013, and in 2015 was recognized nationally as the “Shelter of the Year”.