Animal Rescue League of Iowa
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The Animal Rescue League of Iowa (pdk) is the largest animal shelter in Iowa. Founded in 1926, the ARL is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of homeless animals and educating the public about animal welfare. The ARL provides shelter and care for many animals, and over 5,000 animals are adopted from the shelter annually. It received over 18,000 animals in 2007, and over 19,000 animals in 2008.
The ARL has many programs specifically designed to address the reasons animals end up in shelters. These programs include spaying and neutering, behavior training, and humane education programs. It offers classroom presentations and tours to community groups and schools. It also has a theatrical presentation for large groups of students including entire schools, as well as a mobile puppet show. Year-round classes on positive reinforcement are offered as well as free behavior advice for dogs, cats, rabbits, and other pets. A collaboration has been started with the state prison system allowing inmates to help teach basic manners to dogs and cats, improving their adoptability. Additionally, a Spay the Mother program is offered that provides free spay certificates to dog and cat owners to prevent unwanted litters.
In addition to the many animals it cares for, The ARL also serves the people of Iowa through its many services. For example, in 2008:
- 10,000+ stray animals were brought to the ARL from more than 61 countries and 16 states.
- 4,900+ individuals or families adopted pets from the ARL.
- 1,955 families reclaimed lost pets from the ARL.
- 7,000+ adults and children were provided humane education programs and/or animal assisted therapy visits.
- 5,000+ people received pet behavior counseling or training from the ARL.
- 850+ people from across Iowa reported suspected cases of animal abuse or neglect to the ARL's cruelty intervention coordinator.
- 1,216 adults and children volunteered their time to help the animals.
The Animal Rescue League of Iowa's mission is "To promote animal welfare, the human animal bond, and prevent the overpopulation of pets." The majority of animals received the ARL are dogs and cats, but they also accept a wide variety of others, including birds, reptiles, rodents, pot bellied pigs, exotics, and the occasional farm animal. The shelter continues to spay and neuter all of the dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, and pigs it receives. The ARL has received awards and membership from the Iowa Better Business Bureau, and has received high marks by independent charity watch organizations.