Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc.

5,309 pageviews

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals, Veterinary Services

Mission: The Animal Rescue League of Iowa''s mission is to promote animal welfare, to encourage and strengthen the human/animal bond and to prevent the overpopulation of animals. The ARL''s mission is accomplished through its numerous programs including pet adoption, on-site spaying and neutering, humane education and pet behavior training and counseling. The ARL is the Des Moines area''s only shelter that never turns away an animal in need.

Programs: The ARL depends on private funds to provide services such as humane education; animal assisted therapy; pet behavior counseling and training; animal rescue and adoption; animal abuse intervention and prevention; and resident pets. These programs, together with the ARL's on-site spaying and neutering program, work to reduce the number of homeless pets in Iowa. The ARL also works to pass laws that improve the lives of all animals, including livestock and wildlife. The ARL receives no state, federal or United Way funding to fund its programs.

Community Stories

162 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

jjorgens

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Beautiful, clean facility with staff who obviously care deeply about the animals in their care.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been involved with the ARL as a volunteer, adopter and donor for years and I can't say enough about this organization and its staff. I've adopted all of my pets from the ARL and wouldn't go anywhere else!

Read more

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Caring staff and volunteers, clean, and holds high standard for animal welfare.

Previous Stories
1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The ARL has been a great place full of love for pets, knowledge, and caring people who really put the animals first. There are several programs and resources pet owners and potential adopters can reference. Fostering a dog from the ARL has been a great experience. They've been extremely helpful on any questions I have and very attentive to how the pup is doing!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa worked diligently to save this small puppy that would later grace my life. Bucky came in unable to walk or move without screaming out in pain. He couldn't even eat/drink without support from someone. After x-rays, pain management, and a caring staff support Bucky soon made a slow recovery to the active young pup he truly was. Over three years later he's still going strong!

Angie Sharer F.

Donor

Rating: 5

ARL is grateful for every donation that comes into the facility. Tom Colvin personally signs each thank you letter and is always willing to talk with the public and educate about what the ARL does.

CatLoverx4

Donor

Rating: 5

Great organization to find your next furry friend.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa is a top notch organization. Over the last 15 years, I have been involved with the ARL as a volunteer, foster, adopter and now financial supporter. The shelter is state of the art and very clean. The staff is incredibly friendly and understanding! They do everything they can to find the perfect, forever homes for the animals. The animals are well cared for and loved while they wait for that special home. I would recommend the ARL for adoption services & end of life services over other organizations in central Iowa.

spanks22

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ARL is the best of the best! Iowa is lucky to have such a great organization looking out for animals.

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm about to adopt my 3rd pet from them since all of the animals I've adopted so far from the ARL have been friendly, healthy, and full of love. Highly recommended!

Read more

Client Served

Rating: 5

We were ready to add a new family member and the ARL had the perfect fit for us, Ricardo! He has been such a great animal to train and has become my older dog's best friend. I cannot thank the ARL enough for saving animals of all shapes and sizes and helping me find Ricardo.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I fostered my first dog at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa earlier this year. It was an amazing experience that I hope to do again in the future. I was provided support from the foster coordinator and the veterinarians when I had questions or concerns. I could see and feel the compassion in the staff that I dealt with.

Camille M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Not only have I adopted my pets from the ARL, but I have also volunteered off and on for years. The staff and volunteers are the most compassionate people you will ever meet, and I will continue to support this organization. Top notch.

1 Courtney T.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with, adopted from and donated to the ARL. They are experts in the field and mobilize an impressive volunteer force for the good of hundreds of animals each year!! We are lucky to have them in Iowa!

Jessica D.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The ARL is an amazing organization that I have been involved with for over a decade. Starting off with my first adoption almost 12 years ago and I have adopted 6 animals from them in total including an 8 year old blind cat just last year. They are passionate about animal welfare and provide so many services that benefit the entire Des Moines community. They are champions for so many animals and continually fight to make sure all animals are represented.
I am proud to be a donor and volunteer as well.

Previous Stories
2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been involved with the Animal Rescue League of Iowa for 10+ years. Starting off as an adopter, then volunteer and now donor. Having been involved with every part of this organization, I can tell you that they are some of the most passionate animal advocates around. Animals do come first for them and I am proud to be associated with such an amazing organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The ARL Is a FANTASTIC organization. As a volunteer, I have been blown away by the number of ways I can get involved and the wonderful programs they offer the community. The staff are very knowledgeable and work hard to make sure everyone has a great experience. I seriously cannot recommend this place enough!

Meg T.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The ARL is an incredible facility! I've adopted two pets from them and had great experiences each time! The staff that helped me was knowledgeable and positive which was very encouraging as a new pet owner! Thanks ARL!

Donor

Rating: 5

Wow - this place is a DREAM. I've adopted 2 pets from the ARL and every interaction has been so friendly, informative, and positive. The staff is so caring and will really go above and beyond. It's incredible how they provide so much support to the community, it goes way beyond just adopting pets. I donate to this org because the pets and people in our community would suffer greatly without the resources that the ARL has available.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The ARL has such an innovative approach to helping pets AND people in the community. While adopting animals into loving forever homes seems to be forefront, the organization goes above and beyond to develop new ways to help people keep animals in their homes, whether it be through veterinary assistance, low-cost spay/neuter programs, providing pet supplies, offering behavior help and training classes, and more. I will forever support the ARL and their efforts to help every animal that needs it.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have 3 adopted cats from the ARL, and occasionally foster animals too, and it is the only place I will adopt animals from now. They care about every animal and its needs, and are quick and eager to help out anyone who needs any sort of care for their animals, whether it is an emergency foster, food, medicine, or behavior help. My cats are the best animals ever, and they came home with me already spayed, microchipped, vaccinated, treated for their other ailments (one had eye surgery in the shelter, one came in as a stray with ringworm), and they have been happy and healthy ever since. I attend many of the ARL events, too, and they are always so well put together and people are so excited to be there, and when there are animals involved, it's even better!

Previous Stories
2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We have gotten 3 of our cats from the ARL, and they are the best place ever for adopting & rescuing animals. Each year gets better and better, too, with their live release rate statistics and rescue stories. Plus, each animal you adopt comes microchipped, fixed, and up-to-date on shots & de-worming, which saves a lot of stress and money for bringing them home. The staff cares so much about the animals and the facility is so nice compared to others, it's no wonder they receive so many awards for being great!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

How can there be some that love it and some that don't ?!?!?! Is it just CONTROL that the people like. that is running the ARLI Sometimes that becomes more important then the love of animals. I have seen it happen. Get an animal lover to come in and straighten the place out. People I am getting so that I can't stand people . If people were only as loving as animals what a wonderful world it would be !!!!!

1 Cherise T.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

You killed an innocent dog

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

They killed Diesel.
Liars and killers do not get to use the word "rescue".

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am an ARL volunteer, adopter and donor, and I can't say enough good things about this organization. The staff is top notch and I have seen how much they truly care about the animals and people they serve. I would recommend them to anyone looking to adopt a pet.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Thanks to the ARL we were able to find & adopt our four legged best friend. It’s such a great organization that truly cares about animal welfare and the community. Thank you for everything that you all do & please keep up the great work!

2 Jodi A.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer serving in various roles, I cannot say enough good things about the ARL, it's staff and the services provided to all animals in need. I HIGHLY recommend the ARL as your next stop when looking to adopt a new family member!

2 Angela L.5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I can't say enough great things about the ARL. Their staff is always professional and knowledgeable. And they provide such amazing and loving care to all the animals there! They are quick to respond to questions and are immensely creative when it comes to marketing and fundraising!

2 Heidi K.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've adopted from the ARL and will continue to do so for years to come. They are one of the cleanest shelters I've ever been in. It's obvious everyone who works there loves and respects the animals they care for.

Previous Stories
2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I volunteer with several organizations as well as serve as President for a local animal program in my area. Everything I know about the ARL has lead me to believe this is a top notch facility that other animal shelters should replicate. From the design of the building, all the way to it's marketing practices, I really admire the ARL!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Animal Rescue League is an amazing place. So clean. Organized. The staff is so caring about each and every animal there.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a long-time volunteer and supporter of the ARL. I have been impressed with the organization's compassion and efforts to continue to do more for the animals. The community and the animals are blessed to have such a wonderful organization working for the benefit of the animals.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Have adopted all of my animals from the ARL! Great place with caring staff. Iowa is lucky to have the ARL!!

Lesley Ann G.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

I would love to give them lower than a 1. They are the WORST Animal Welfare organization. This organization's practices and policies are not accurate because they refuse to share their statistics openly. Employees and volunteers are under gag orders, which is against the law.
Ask Pinky, Frosty, Diesel and many other pets that have been tortured by the ARL in a money grabbing scheme. They do NOT put the animal's welfare first. It certainly should NOT be non-profit. They had a funding drive for a puppy with mange. As a former vet tech treating mange is NOT expensive. No need for a funding drive.
ARL needs to be reined in and their practices exposed for all to see how horrible they are

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

The ARL of Iowa has held Pinky( a dog) alone in the back rooms without any visits allowed from her owners. No one on the outside world has seen her for two years. Her crime , getting into an argument with a cat. The cat is fine, Pinky was fine. The owners went through the court system and the Justices decision from the court of appeals ruled they should release Pinky. This happened today April 3, 2018. The Animal Rescue League of Iowa will NOT release her back to her owners! Is she still alive? Think about it TWO YEARS IN A DARK ROOM ON A COLD CONCRETE FLOOR! Does this punishment seem right? Of course not. I wouldn't trust this place with a stuffed animal let alone a live one. Free Pinky! and Diesel who you have done the same too. Show the world all the love you have given her for the past TWO YEARS!

Amanda R.2

Donor

Rating: 1

The ARL does NOT put the animals first!! They have dragged a court battle out where they are dead set on killing a sweet dog for an innocent spat with a cat where the cat's owner wished Pinky no ill will!! The Iowa Appellate Court even agreed with Pinky's owner Diana Helmmers that Pinky should be released into her care and GO HOME after the ARL Has CRUELLY locked Pinky up for TWO YEARS! Helmmers owns AGAPE SHELTERS and took over ownership of Pinky after the cat spat. She has fought to Save Pinky's Life and we support her! The ARL's management is selfish and destructive towards animals. I used to support them with thousands in donations! NEVER AGAIN until they prove they truly care about animal welfare with solid changes and focused action. They have wasted thousands in donations and tax payer money in a 2 year legal battle for Pinky's life! This MUST STOP! We will NOT be deterred in our fight and demand to BRING PINKY HOME!!!!

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I started working at the ARL a year ago, and even though their reputation proceeded them, I have witnessed an increased commitment to the welfare of homeless pets and the services to communities who might be at risk to relinquish their pets. Implementing programs for owners in resource deserts help keep their pet(s) in their home have made a big impact in our intake and the amount of money spent on relinquished animals. I am continually impressed with the innovative actions to enhance the human animal bond in central Iowa and will continue to build partnerships in the community to support our mission.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have always adopted through the ARL. They offer so many opportunities and education. This is my feel good place. Plus they give animals a second chance.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have adopted my 2 dogs and 3 cats from the ARL - the process was seamless and the facility gorgeous! You can tell the employees really care about the animals.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The ARL is a wonderful organization that truly cares about animals! I have adopted all of my pets from the ARL and have volunteered here for years - The facility is clean, the animals well taken care of and the place is full of people that obviously love what they do (both staff and volunteers!)

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I can't even begin to put in words all the great work ARL does for pets, people and our community. I love all the programs they have implemented over the last several years to help combat pet over-population. From spay/neuter programs, community outreach to foster & adoption. I have adopted all my cats from the ARL and would highly recommend their shelter for anyone who asks.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have adopted 5 cats and 4 dogs from the ARL. We are grateful that the ARL cared for our four-legged families members until they became a part of our family.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa is a very special place that serve very special animals. I have adopted pets from the organization, volunteered for the ARL, and now have the great privilege of working for them. This organization is always there to speak and care for the animals and they do it all without State, Federal or United Way funds. I would give them a 10 star review if that was possible.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Love to visit the ARL! It is always so clean and the staff are so friendly!

2 Megan150

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted from the ARL in November and could not be happier! I started out thinking I would just foster him and give him a break from the shelter but the moment I got him home I knew he was mine, he got along perfectly with my other dog and slept in the bed on his first night in the house. The foster staff were thrilled when I told them I wanted to adopt and made the process really easy for me, they had all the paperwork waiting at the front desk when I got there! This is an amazing organization that does great work for animals! I will continue to send all of my family and friends there to find their new family members and remind them 'Adopt don't Shop!'

Review from Guidestar

11

Volunteer

Rating: 1

A secret group filled with wives, sons, daughters, and relatives veiled behind millions of dollars for public relations. Volunteers afraid of speaking out of the stacked frozen bodies of perfectly adaptable animals. They have written a gag rule I to their newest contract where the city cannot ask about their finances in regards to the animal control contract. They are not a friend to animals.

2 Karen404

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My family recently adopted our second Italian Greyhound from the Nebraska Greyhound Rescue Org in Lincoln. We worked with Jane Allison Lacey and couldn't be more pleased with our experience.

I communicated with Jane for several weeks before the adoption and she was thorough answering my questions to ensure we had the perfect pet for our family.

We have had our new addition for several weeks now and we couldn't be happier. I highly recommend working with Jane if you are looking to adopt a new IG.

12

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Sadly, this organization's practices and policies are not accurate because they refuse to share their statistics openly. They claim to be leaders in animal welfare, but it's not for saving lives...it's for deception and the killing of healthy adoptable animals. I expect better from Iowa's largest Animal Welfare organization.

11

Former staff

Rating: 1

Tom Colvin, executive director of ARL, his wife, Carol Griglione, who is president of the board that oversees his work, and their son, Josh, who they hired and refuse to publicly share his salary have been running one of the worst managed, least transparent non profit organizations. Their conflicts of interest expand beyond their own walls into the halls and corridors of state and local government. Their PR staff, Stephanie Filer, and social media managers will actively deny citizens their First Amendment Rights for asking questions they just don't want the public to ask. A CITIZEN LED REVOLUTION IS OCCURRING IN IOWA TO ESTABLISH AND SUPPORT A NEW, MEMBERSHIP BASED, NO KILL SERIES OF SHELTERS. ARL's operations are under increasing examination and investigation by a untrusting public.

Review from Guidestar

12

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Arl recently used MY picture of a neglected dog to promote their business. H.E.A.R.T OF HARDIN COUNTY was sent this picture.THey brought this dog a donated dog house yet made a big deal about helping the dog.This dog had been without food and water for 4 days!! Where are you now ARL as she is still being neglected? H.E.A.R.T of Hardin County worked very hard to save this dog .They are a non-profit with no money going to administrative fees. You stole my picture from their website! Please if you want to donate consider H.E.A.R.T they are the real animal humanitarians!

13

Client Served

Rating: 1

Killing more animals then saving. Won't reveal their save versus kill numbers. Does not work with many Iowa Rescues to save lives. Mislabeling animals for excuses to kill them.
Too much nepotism with Tom, Josh and Carol Colvin all on the payroll directly or indirectly.
Not transparent with the public. Adopting an animal from any facility does not make them a loving, compassionate place. Transparency and allowing what goes on behind closed doors with high save numbers and working with all to protect and save animals is what makes a 4 star place as there are no 5 stars facility as no one is perfect.

Review from Guidestar

5 Ronda V.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering at the ARL. The people are great the facility is amazing and the animals are in my heart forever.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter first took me to the main facility several years ago. She regularly takes small groups of developmentally disabled adults there on field trips. It is such a nice facility! Clean, well run and friendly. They are all about the animals!

When our 20 year old cat passed away last year my husband and I were on the hunt. We looked for weeks, found the perfect cat and brought her home. She is a joy and great companion. She was sent home with a small knitted blanket and she carries it around and sleeps on it every night (usually perched on top of one of her humans). She usually uses it during her daylight catnaps too. We love her and continue to enjoy an afternoon trip to the facility just to pass the time and visit. What great people.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Most amazing shelter I have ever had the pleasure of working with.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

ARL has saved countless furry lives. I know not all can be saved. I wish I could do more for them. I will be getting involved in knitting for them, now that I'm unemployed.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

They are so wonderful with the animals and are all truly good people. Very clean!

4 Meg N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Clean, helpful, careful, informative, proactive, positive attitude, professional

5 Shannon83

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've had 6 stray Cats/kittens spayed & neutered with their wonderful Purr project programs! Their programs help
make it adorable for families! I know we appreciate it so much!

3 Kerry L.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

My bf got his cats from the ARL and had him for 13 wonderful years. The ARL does so much for animals and make an effort to place them all in loving homes. They help people keep their pets when they might otherwise have to give them up. They off spay/neuter clinics for people who can't afford it otherwise and they spay/neuter, microchip, and give all animals their shots. They are a great organization

3 Angela107

Donor

Rating: 5

I have seen the good works that the ARL provides for animals in need during the major flood in Cedar Rapids. Their facility is top notch and they have many loyal volunteers. The ARL is a beloved Iowa organization. and I donate whenever I can. They are helping little furry friends find a family to bless with their love. This work is priceless and absolutely worthy of this award.

2 Jeff88

Donor

Rating: 5

This place is heaven on earth for animals of all kinds the staff are very compassionate and caring love this place and I know the animals do

2 Carleene R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have recieved help from the ARL of Iowa for behavior problems with my pets that have mad it posable for me to keep them. which was grately appreciated

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our ARL ROCKS! They have been going city by city changing the pit bull laws! They rescue, feed, love and find new and loving families for all pets. They so deserve to recognized and applauded for all they do for our State of Iowa. Thank you for all you do!

Jessica196

Client Served

Rating: 4

My husband and I adopted our dog from the ARL. The volunteers and staff were very friendly and we could tell they take good care of each and every animal in the shelter!

1 Ginny15

Donor

Rating: 5

I donate items needed at the shelter for community projects and for sale in their store. I am also a cat foster parent, but my current foster will be staying!
The ARL is simply wonderful! They not only care for animals in need, they help the community to get involved on so many levels. Through their inventive (and numerous) programs the people in our area are providing loving homes for thousands of deserving animals.
My ARL rocks!!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adore the ARL of Iowa and all of the work they do. My family and I all rescue from them and have great experiences every time!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted our two amazing dogs from the animal rescue league this summer. The staff & volunteers were very knowledgable & caring & helped us transition to life with two dogs smoothly. They were so helpful through every step of the process, including after the adoption for additional support & advice!

2 Michelle268

Donor

Rating: 5

Love the ARL. Many many lives saved. We donate evey month because our four legged babies our family too!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

The ARL of IA does outstanding work saving all types of animals in our community. Their efforts & events are so inventive & creativite, people just want to jump in and get involved. While I am a monthly donor, I found myself donating several extra times a year to help the reach their goals. We are a "rescue dog only" family!

2 Vivian H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Animal Rescue League of Iowa does amazing work saving lives. We adopted our 2 cats from them in 2013. They had all their shots and were neutered and spayed when we took them home. They are the most lovable cats we have ever had. I believe that is due to the wonderful love and care they received from everyone at the Animal Rescue League. Thank you, Vivian Hill

2 Teresa55

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an awesome organization that I am proud to have my family associated with. The staff, volunteers, & foster families are some of the most caring & hard working people around. People seem to have heard that the ARL of Iowa won't turn an animal in need away, other shelter can't say that. No matter how packed the facility becomes (& how many foster homes they continue to look for now & in the future) they continue to struggle & continue to overcome the challenges of major overcrowding.
I am deeply grateful for the policy of the ARL which is TO NEVER PUT DOWN AN ADOPTABLE ANIMAL. Cats especially have remained in their care for over a year because they have not been adopted out yet, in no way, shape or form makes them any less valuable of a special animal in need of a chance for them & the ARL will continue to do their best to keep that animal in a home like surrounding until such time that the lucky day comes that the animal finds it's "furever" home & there is a place for everyone!!

2 Ronda6

Donor

Rating: 5

I have watched the ARL do its wonderful work for many years. I gladly support them and their goals. They make every effort to reunite lost pets with owners. To find homes for all their beautiful fur babies. And to help the community spay and neuter their pets. Not to mention the programs they have to help those in need keep their pets in their homes. They area true asset to Des Moines, and the surrounding communities.