New Volunteers

There are few things as rewarding as helping a homeless animal find a new home. When you volunteer at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, you make a difference for homeless animals AND the people choosing to adopt them — and we are very grateful for your support.

You can change the world for homeless pets through volunteering at the ARL. Whether you're providing enrichment and socialization for an animal, helping with essential tasks that contribute to the pets' well-being, assisting at community events, or even training other volunteers you'll be changing the lives of thousands of pets each year. We could not do what we do without our amazing volunteers, and we're always looking for more talented volunteers to help us fulfill our mission!

Our Volunteer Requirements

  • A consistent commitment to fill one volunteer shift per week for a minimum of 6 months.
  • Must be able to commit to and complete the onboarding process.
  • Must have a working email address
  • All oncoming volunteers will be reviewed through Iowa Courts Online
    • Please note: we do not accommodate individuals with past or present assault, harassment, theft, or animal abuse charges.
  • Age requirements
    • 10-15: must consistently volunteer with a guardian 
    • 16-17: legal guardian must sign the volunteer waiver 
    • 18+: no parental requirements  

How to Become a Volunteer

  1. Register for and attend a Volunteer Information Session Find the next Information Session
  2. After attending the Information Session, you'll fill out your application, and pay a one-time volunteer fee of $25
  3. Watch the required volunteer orientation and animal behavior videos
  4. Sign up for and attend an interview with Volunteer Coordinator
  5. Sign up for your position specific training

Types of Volunteer Opportunities

You will learn about the different facets of the organization at the Volunteer Information Session.



Animal Care

ARL PetSmart in Ankeny
1715 Delaware Avenue, Ankeny, IA 50021

ARL West in West Des Moines
Inside Iowa Pet Foods & Seascapes, 1500 22nd Street, West Des Moines, IA 50265

  • ARL West Cat and Small Animal Assistant 


Des Moines Animal Services (Animal Care & Control)
1615 SE 14th Street, Des Moines, IA 50320


Foster Department

Second Chance Ranch