Animal Rescue League is Over Capacity & Asking for the Public's Help

posted on Monday, August 29, 2016 in News

Hoping to adopt or foster 300 pets by Labor Day

August 29, 2016 (Des Moines, Iowa) – Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) officials are asking for the public’s help as they face a record number of homeless animals in their care – nearly 1,500 animals – and growing each day.

“While we have had a record number of adoptions and great success with reuniting lost pets with their owners this summer, there is still a need from the public as we continue to receive dozens of animals every single day,” said Tom Colvin, Executive Director for the ARL, “We are doing everything we can to keep up with that number of animals and are getting them into homes as fast as we can, but we really need the public’s help. Cats represent the majority of pets in our care right now so we especially need fosters and adopters for kittens and cats of all ages.”

The ARL is asking the public to help in the following ways:

  1. Keep Your Pets:  If you are considering surrendering your pets to the ARL, they want to help you overcome the challenge you’re facing so you can keep the pet in your home. The ARL has always counselled people to help overcome the reasons why they are bringing in animals and now with even more programs, they can offer or connect people with the following resources:
  • FREE (or low-cost) spay/neuter services for those on financial assistance
  • FREE cat & dog behavior counseling
  • FREE pet food or litter for those who cannot afford it
  • FREE collars, leashes, and ID tags
  • Pet-friendly housing and insurance assistance (
  • Crisis foster programs for people experiencing a temporary loss of home through homelessness, disaster, domestic violence, etc.
  • Adoption assistance for owners of unwanted litters

(Some restrictions may apply, so contact the ARL if you need help with any of the above services at (515) 262-9503 or

If all other options have been exhausted, the ARL is asking people to keep the pet until the number of animals in their care starts to decline. The ARL will never turn away a pet in need, but if possible, they ask that people do their best to keep their pet, at least for now.

Outside of the Des Moines area, pet owners should contact their local shelter for assistance.

  1. Foster A Pet:  If you have a spare room or other space for a cat or dog to hang out – for either 1 week, 1 month, or however long you can help – the ARL will match you with a pet that fits your lifestyle and the other pets in your home (if applicable). 
  2. Adopt A Pet:  Now through Sunday (August 29-September 4), cat and dog adoptions are just $25 – all locations, all ages for cats, and 4 months or older for dogs. Adoption fees include spay/neuter, microchip, vaccinations, and retail discounts. Visit for a list of available pets – the selection changes daily, sometimes hourly.

Donations of canned cat food, dry cat and kitten food, cat litter, and donations to help underwrite the cost of the medical care provided for each animal are always needed as well. Visit for a list of needed items.

“The homeless pet problem cannot be solved through adoption alone, the combination of low-cost programs and education is equally important,” said Colvin, “The ARL isn’t the only solution and neither is the community – we truly look at it as a partnership to save the lives of pets in need and to help keep pets with the people who love them.”

About the Animal Rescue League of Iowa
The Animal Rescue League of Iowa is Iowa’s largest nonprofit animal shelter, caring for many thousands of pets each year. The ARL serves people and pets from across the state through pet adoption, humane education, pet behavior training, spay/neuter, animal cruelty intervention and much more. For more information visit