Animal Rescue League of Iowa

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About Us

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa Inc. is Iowa's largest nonprofit animal shelter, caring for many thousands of pets each year. The ARL serves people and pets from across the state of Iowa through its programs, which include pet adoption, humane education, pet behavior training, spay/neuter, animal cruelty intervention and much more.

The ARL has grown dramatically since its founding in 1926 — expanding its programs that serve both people and homeless animals across Iowa. The most obvious growth is the number of animals the ARL provides shelter and care for each year. Intakes have increased annually from a few thousand animals a decade ago to over 19,000 animals in 2008.

Other areas of growth include the ARL’s programs designed specifically to address the reasons animals end up in shelters, including spay/neuter, behavior training, and humane education programs. For example, the ARL’s humane education program does more than offer classroom presentations and tours to community groups and schools. The ARL also has a theatrical presentation for assembly presentations to large groups of students including entire schools as well as a mobile puppet show. The ARL’s positive reinforcement training program has expanded to offer year-round classes, as well as free behavior advice for dogs, cats, rabbits and other pets. The behavior program has also started a collaboration with the state prison system, where inmates help teach basic manners to dogs and cats to increase the pets’ adoptability. The shelter continues to spay and neuter all dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets and pigs that are adopted from our shelter — some 5,000 animals annually. Additionally, the ARL offers a Spay the Mother program, where free dog/cat spay certificates are provided to owners so they can spay their pets and prevent future unwanted litters.

In addition to the animals that come through the ARL’s doors, the ARL also serves the people of Iowa through its many services. For example, in 2008…

Visit for more information about us and our many services.

Animal Rescue League of Iowa
Main location
5452 N.E. 22nd St.
Des Moines, IA 50313
Phone: (515) 262-9503, ext. 0
Web site:

ARL West
1500 22nd St.
West Des Moines, IA 50265
Phone: (515) 440-0979

ARL PetSmart
1715 S.E. Delaware Ave.
Ankeny, IA
Phone: (515) 289-0667

ARL South
West end of Southridge Mall
Des Moines, IA
Phone: (515) 285-9870


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