ARL Over Capacity, Seeking Public’s Help

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DES MOINES, Iowa - The Animal Rescue League of Iowa needs your help caring for a record number of homeless animals.

"One-thousand-two hundred-fifty animals were under the Animal Rescue League's care as of today," says ARL Executive Director Tom Colvin.

There is no one reason for the rising number of pets in their care. Colvin says part of the problem is that local shelters are full so people are traveling great distances to drop them off at the ARL. The ARL doesn't turn away any animal.

"We are letting them know that we're full too," says Colvin.

"I'd rather go to a shelter to help out and get the dogs taken care of instead of keeping them in the shelter," says Brooke Rice.

She and her kids stopped by the shelter to find a new family pet. Each adopted or fostered animal is replaced at the shelter. Right now, more than 800 cats and kittens are looking for a good home.

"You're typically looking at $15 a day per animal so when you multiple that by the kinds of numbers we're talking about, it's a very expensive situation," says Colvin.

The ARL hopes to adopt 200 pets over the next five days. It will only cost $25 until Sunday. The fee includes spay and neutering, a microchip, and vaccines.

Click for a list of the animals looking for a new home.



  • Renee

    Why do they only have 25 dogs listed on their website? and not a single one is under 6 months old? Actually they have more rodents then dogs. What is really going on here? If they are unable to care for all these animals maybe they should not be taking in more.

  • Jem

    I understand the need. I have 2 rescue dogs of my own. Thing is Vet and city regulations make it vary expensive to own a pet these days. It is not like it used to be when a dog could just be a dog. Now they are treated more like humans with all the treatments and shots needed.

  • Krjbolej

    They want you to come visit the pets, so they all have a fair chance at a home. You may see one you never knew you might want. Also, they want to help people, and pets, get the rite fit. The number of homeless animals in this country is just sickening, and irresponsible.

  • ashley

    here’s my thought. If you guys wouldn’t charge so much to get these animals in homes there would be alot of people willing to adopt I understand that you guys need money too care for the animals however, the people willing to adopt the animals are also taking on a cost for feeding and caring for them for the rest of their lives…don’t get me wrong I am grateful of your service just saying that price is way too high to adopt an animal..

    • Sally

      @Ashley, I know it seems like a lot, but, the animal you are getting is up to date on it’s shots and has been spayed/neutered. You also get a complimentary vet visit. At least you did when we adopted our last cat there. My brother’s cat had kittens so he offered me one for free of course. By the time I got it shots and had it fixed, and had the vet bill, it was going to cost us $300 for this free cat. It was MUCH cheaper for me to go the ARL and adopt a cat. The price seems high until you check into what it would cost you to do what they are doing for you. Please consider adopting a pet from the ARL. It will probably become one of your best friends!

  • Nahtan Rtiz

    I think the normal fee for adopting is very fair! You receive a pet that has received vaccinations, microchip, spay/neuter, vet visit, and even behavioral evaluations. Not to mention the work they do not only covers caring for the pets they take care of but also offering pet food to those in need (to keep pets out of the shelter and in their original homes), spay/neuter clinics, community outreach and education, the list of their services goes on and on. Keep in mind the big picture of their work. Pets cost a lot of money to own, the adoption fee is the least of my expenses and worries when I chose to take in a rescue.

  • Canine Friend

    Why is the ARL yet again getting a free commercial?
    You don’t think everyone is full? And please, they are blaming the Rescues and Shelters that don’t kill 50+% like it appears they do!
    This story is so full of holes it will sink.
    They only have 343 Pets on PetFinder one of the best marketing tools for homeless pets and it’s FREE!
    Where are the over 1000 more pets posted at? You have a bushel full of paid employees, market your pets and educate owners to keep their pets.

    I swear, how do the Colvins sleep at night and anyone else taking a paycheck at a high kill Shelter from anywhere.
    Really get tired of reading and hearing about the poor ARL, they are either a hero or a victim, I say they’re neither!
    WHO start expanding your horizons, there are a whole lot of smaller Rescues who are doing some really good things, saving the ones the BIG but not the best Shelters do.
    No need to thank the small Shelters and Rescues, ARL, they are saving lives that may very well be dead if they walked through the doors of a Kill Shelter, so be glad you don’t have to put up with at least those.
    Stop taking owner surrenders, but then the ARL is in bed with Animal Control which happens to be another $$$$$ Colvin, so if you are an open admission Shelter, that’s you’re own fault, you are making a choice, just like any Shelter Director does when they take the life of a perfectly adoptable pet.

    And to the public, quit getting pets and not taking care of them. Get them fixed, keep them exercised, and give them a full life their whole life or don’t have a pet, you create lots of problems for others who didn’t decide to get the pet, you did now take care of it.

    Now since they are talking numbers, how many animals did they kill in 2013?

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