Report Shows How Many Animals ARL Saves, Euthanizes

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Animal Rescue League of Iowa released its first-ever report Wednesday that illustrates the number of animals it saved and couldn’t save in 2015.

The ARL says it took in more than 8,700 animals in the last year and 85 percent of those animals were adopted, released to their owner or transferred to other shelters. Of those 8,700 animals, more than 1,200 were euthanized.

More specifically, 94 percent of dogs and 83 percent of cats were released. The report shows that a total of 125 dogs and 367 cats were euthanized at the city’s animal control center.

The 2015 Impact Report shows that once an animal is transferred to the shelter, it faces a greater risk of being euthanized if it’s not adopted.

Josh Colvin runs the ARL’s animal control center. He told the Des Moines Register that animals are not euthanized because of a lack of shelter space. Colvin said animals are euthanized because they are suffering or are defined as legally dangerous.

Executive director Tom Colvin tells Channel 13 that he has seen many changes in the community that affects how many homes are available for animals at the ARL, which includes ordinances that restrict dog breeds, animal welfare laws and the availability of pet-friendly housing in the metro.

About 125 animals were euthanized by animal control in 2015 due to health problems that existed before coming to the ARL, according to the report.

The ARL has helped a total of 14,624 animals, which includes intakes, outreach and training classes.