ARL of Iowa aims to place 1,000 dogs by end of summer

posted on Friday, June 2, 2023 in News

Newly Released Animal Sheltering Data Shows Shelters Urgently Need Community Support

Animal Rescue League of Iowa aims to place 1,000 dogs by end of summer

DES MOINES, Iowa, 6/1/2023 – Shelter Animals Count (SAC), the most trusted and current source for animal sheltering data, spotlights a trend in alarming dog population increases from the newly-released Intake and Outcome Data Analysis report for Q1 2023. Full report PDF here.

Getting (and keeping) dogs out of overburdened shelters is important right now. Data shows that more dogs entering shelters than are leaving.

“The crisis shelters are facing does not originate within the shelters,” said Stephanie Filer, Executive Director of Shelter Animals Count. “Shelters need help now more than ever. This is a community problem that requires a community solution.”

Just as animal shelters across the country are seeing dogs waiting longer to find new homes, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) has also experienced this trend. So far in 2023, dogs are not only staying at the shelter longer than in years prior, there are also more of them.

“Typically, we would have a couple dozen dogs waiting for adoption on any given day, but now it’s not uncommon to see quadruple those numbers,” said Tom Colvin, ARL CEO. “With nearly 200 dogs in our care right now the ARL is working tirelessly to find kennel space for the stray dogs, litters of puppies from unspayed mothers, and dogs from owners who could no longer care for them - but with our limited resources we need help – we need the community to be part of the solution.”

The past two years have been challenging for animal sheltering organizations, with more animals coming in than leaving. Filer said, “We have been holding on to too many animals since the beginning of 2021. This means that shelters are now in their third year of having too many animals in care and not enough adoptions, especially for dogs. Increasing dog outcomes is the most urgent need to get the sheltering system out of crisis mode.”

SAC data indicates that 4% more animals entered shelters than left in 2022. This is the largest gap in the past 4 years.

The ARL urges people to adopt from their local shelter and has set a goal to find homes for 1,000 dogs by the end of the summer. “We have been full of dogs all year and we always see a spike of animals needing our help in the summer months, so now is the time for communities to rally around and help. If you can’t adopt, you can also make a huge impact on saving pets’ lives this summer by fostering, volunteering, and donating,” said Colvin.

Adoption fees for dogs and puppies will be half off Thursday-Sunday (June 1-4). Potential adopters who don’t find a pup this weekend will receive a “raincheck” for the special pricing – a voucher guaranteeing the same reduced price when they do adopt a dog or puppy from the ARL within the next 45 days.

Learn more about how you can help at

About Shelter Animals Count (SAC): SAC is a collaborative, industry-led nonprofit organization formed by a diverse group of animal welfare agencies to create and share The National Database of sheltered animal statistics, providing facts and enabling insights that will improve animal welfare throughout the country.

About 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 strives to serve people and pets in our community through our programs and services designed to promote animal welfare, to address the reasons animals end up in shelters, to find forever adoptive homes for the animals in our care, and to help keep pets in their homes with the people who love them.