Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc.


The Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) 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 from a few thousand animals a decade ago to more than 15,000 animals in 2013.  Through our proactive community outreach and spay/neuter programs, in the past few years we have begun to see a decrease in the number of animals we care for, but our work is far from over.

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. 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 shelter continues to spay and neuter all dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets and pigs that are adopted from our shelter.

In addition to the animals that come through the ARL's doors, the ARL also serves the people of Iowa through its many services.



To promote animal welfare, strengthen the human-animal bond, and prevent the overpopulation of pets.


  • The Animal Rescue League is a nonprofit organization dependent on individual and corporate contributions to care for its animals.
  • The ARL receives no state, federal or United Way funding.
  • The ARL takes seriously the investments of its donors and supporters for the care of the animals.
  • The ARL, governed by a volunteer board of directors, adheres to standard accounting practices; conducts an annual independent audit; and carefully and frugally manages its resources in order to care for as many animals as possible for decades to come.
  • The ARL has cared for Iowa’s homeless animals since 1926.
  • The ARL is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.
  • The ARL has received high marks by independent charity watch organizations including
  • The ARL is a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity, meeting all 20 Standards for Charity Accountability

To learn more about the ARL and its' programs please visit today!