July 11, 2013 (Des Moines, Iowa) – Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) officials are asking for the public’s help as they face a record number of homeless animals in their care.
To add to the already crowded shelter, on Monday ARL officials removed 40 cats from a house in Des Moines, the second cat hoarder rescue the ARL has assisted with in the past month.
“While we have had a record number of adoptions and great success with reuniting lost pets with their owners this summer, we continue to receive dozens of animals every single day,” said Tom Colvin, Executive Director for the ARL, “We are doing everything we can to keep up with that number of animals and are getting them into homes as fast as we can, but we really need the public’s help.”
The ARL is asking the public to help in the following ways:
1) Keep Your Pets: If you are considering surrendering your pets to the ARL, they want to help you overcome the challenge you’re facing so you can keep the pet in your home. The ARL has always counselled people to help overcome the reasons why they are bringing in animals and now with even more programs, they can offer or connect people with the following resources:
-FREE spay/neuter services for those on financial assistance
-FREE cat & dog behavior counseling
-FREE pet food or litter for those who cannot afford it
-FREE collars, leashes, and ID tags
-Pet-friendly housing assistance
-Crisis foster programs for people experiencing a temporary loss of home through homelessness, disaster, domestic violence, etc.
(some restrictions may apply, so contact the ARL if you need help with any of the above services)
If all other options have been exhausted, the ARL is asking people to keep the pet until the number of animals in their care starts to decline. The ARL will never turn away a pet in need, but if possible, they ask that people do their best to keep their pet, at least for now.
2) Foster A Pet: If you have a spare room or other space for a cat or dog to hang out – for either 1 week, 1 month, or however long you can help – the ARL will match you with a pet that fits your lifestyle and the other pets in your home (if applicable).
Donations of cat/dog food, cat litter, and funds to help underwrite the cost of the medical care provided for each animal are always welcome and adoptions are always encouraged as well.
“The homeless pet problem cannot be solved through adoption alone, it also needs a combination of low-cost programs and education,” said Colvin, “As we continue to expand our services to pet owners, we need them to take advantage of the resources to spay or neuter, train, and care for the pets. The ARL isn’t the only solution and neither is the community – we truly look at it as a partnership to save the lives of pets in need and to help keep pets with the people who love them.”