animal rescue league

Nonprofit of the Month: Animal Rescue League of Iowa

Standing behind the belief that all animals deserve a second chance, Des Moines-based Animal Rescue League of Iowa works to promote animal welfare, strengthen the human/animal bond and prevent the overpopulation of pets. Here, Amanda Nuzum, director of development and communications, discusses the nearly-century-old nonprofit’s greatest needs, its adorable retail shop (just in time for Christmas shopping!) and how the pandemic has affected pets.

What prompted the start of the nonprofit? Since its founding in 1926, the ARL has continued to expand to serve people and homeless animals across Iowa. The ARL has cared for, treated and found second homes for thousands of animals that deserved a second chance. Over the years, ARL has increased its number of programs that help people and families better understand and care for their pets, helped pets with behavior training and worked with our community, providing much-needed resources.

What is the greatest reward in being involved with Animal Rescue League? All of the animals that come through our doors are in need. Being able to assist that animal in being ready for a new home and then seeing the joy in that animal and in its new, loving family is about as heartwarming as it gets. These animals deserve a second chance.

What is the biggest challenge the nonprofit faces? As the number of animals in our care increases, the number of resources needed to care for them increases as well – from medical procedures and supplies to staffing to care for them all. Unfortunately, funding is always a need.

What is ARL’s Animal House? Animal House is our retail store – you will find anything from apparel and jewelry (for people and pets!) to supplies like food, bowls, treats, collars and toys!

In what ways, if any, has the pandemic affected Animal Rescue League? The pandemic has had a significant impact on animals – when people and families struggle, so do their pets. The ARL continued its services (with modifications to the number of patrons at the physical facility, appointment-only processes) and continued to be a resource for our community. The animals in our care, and those unexpectedly in need due to pandemic impact, needed us and we have been there for them every step of the way.

What are your goals for the remainder of 2021? Our goals are to continue to find homes for the many animals in our care and to hopefully close out our year meeting our budget.

How can readers help? What donation items are most needed at this time? The ARL has several staff positions open right now, and we are always looking for great volunteers as well. We are in need of foster homes; and monetary support goes a long way here. Readers can donate and find a list of some of our largest needs here:

Does the foundation have any events or fundraisers on the horizon? We have Santa and Paws events taking place in November! You can find our events here:

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