City Leaders Consider New Building Project for ARL’s Animal Control Facility

DES MOINES, Iowa --  They say to never judge a book by its cover but one look at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa's animal control facility's exterior and you will find a similar story inside.

The ARL says the facility isn't safe for animals or employees and the need for a new one is long overdue.

"We have a flat roof so basically the water sits up there and its leaks into the building," says director of animal control services, Josh Colvin.

He adds the HVAC system is failing and the shelter is at full capacity. The shelter was built in the late 1980's and the ARL has occupied the the 2005 and quickly outgrew it.

On Monday, city leaders planned to vote to continue their contract with the ARL to house stray and at - risk animals. The shelter also hopes the city considers to build a new facility equip with surgical rooms and an adoption space.

"When we first approached the city and said lets partner this way, it was difficult for the city to foresee they could actually fund it," says chief operating officer Tom Colvin. "But I think they realize that animal control is a function of the city and needs to be something they look into the future."

If approved, the facility would be move - in ready by the summer of 2021. An official location has not been determined but the ARL says its possible project would be built up the street from the current space on SE 14th Street. The city would fund the construction because animal control is considered a city - wide service.