Important Update from the ARL

posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 in News

Like many others, we are taking necessary precautions for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We also provide a critical service to animals and that must continue, so in order to prepare for the expected increase of animals who will need our help soon, we need YOUR help now.

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Our Urgent Needs


With so many people spending more time at home, there has never been a better time to adopt a new pet to be your Social Distancing Sidekick and when you adopt, you’ll make room for more animals coming in. Today through Sunday we are offering Name Your Price adoptions for every dog and cat over 6 months old.

View our adoptable pets and read below about our new policies to increase social distancing and meet Governor Reynolds' proclamation.


We have a huge need for animal care items that you can have delivered without leaving your home! Please visit our Fetch List for our most-needed items.

For pet food donations, please go to our Full Bellies Food Fund.

To help now and each month as we work through this crisis, please make a monthly donation.

Facility Updates

Effective today through March 31, we ask that public traffic to our shelter locations be limited to the following:


Animals are still available for adoption on a first-come basis, but to help limit the number of people inside our adoption area, we will ask adopters who are waiting to be paired with an adoption staff member or volunteer to wait in their car and we will call/text when it is their turn. Additionally, adopters can speed up the process and reduce the in-person time by filling out their information in advance through our online form.


All lost/found pets that arrive at the ARL will still be placed on Iowa Pet Alert within 24 hours of arrival. If you’re searching for a lost pet and find it on that site, please go to the ARL location listed in the link to reclaim. We will still limit the number of people inside at a time, so you may be asked to wait in your car until it’s your turn.


If you are struggling to provide for your pet, please call our Pet Helpline FIRST at 515-262-9503 so we can see what support and resources we can offer. If you need to surrender your pet, please call that same number to schedule an appointment.


We will continue to provide end of life services for pets in need, including low-cost euthanasia and cremation services by appointment. You can learn more about these services on our website.


We are still responding to animal control calls, with a priority given to emergencies, injured animals, and animal bite cases. If you’re in the city of Des Moines and need to have an ARL Animal Services Officer dispatched, please call 515-283-4811.

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Over the past 94 years, we have been through a lot. But I am confident, with your support, we will get through this, together.

For the animals,

Tom L. Colvin
Chief Executive Officer