DES MOINES, Iowa -The Animal Rescue League of Iowa wants pet-owners of Des Moines to "Beat the Heat".
That's what they're calling their summer campaign to neuter and spay 600 animals within 90 days.
"We want pets to have a good life and a loving home," said Goizane Mullin, Community Outreach Coordinator for the ARL. "And a way to get this accomplished is by reducing the pets that don't have homes."
Thanks to grants the organization received, they can offer free neuter and spay services, as well as up-to-date vaccinations and micro-chipping, to certain zip-code areas of the city. These areas were determined to be the locations where the ARL receives the most stray animals.
"The more pets who aren't fixed, then the more pets we're going to be getting," she said.
Mullin says the ARL receives a minimum of 20 animals per day to its shelter; that number has been closer to 50 as of lately. With so many animals coming in, the shelter was almost over-capacity last week.
"We actually were nearly at thirteen-hundred animals under our care," said Tom Colvin, Executive Director of the ARL. "So really pushing the limits."
To make a dent in that number, the shelter hosted an "adopt-a-thon" this week. Through Sunday, all dog and cat adoptions are $25, versus the normal price-tag of over $100.
"We hit our goal of 200 pets placed in either foster or adoption in the first 3 days," he said.
Mullin says the door-to-door campaign is crucial to prevent over-crowding from becoming a problem for the city in the future.
"This is just pretty much a way for the shelter to be proactive," she said.
Aside from alleviating problems at the shelter and saving taxpayers money through less Animal Control needs, the ARL says fixing your pets has numerous health benefits for the animals, including reducing the risk of cancer.