What services does an animal rescue league and pet shelter offer its community, and potential adopters?
Services will vary at an animal shelter, according to the size of population served and the amount of volunteerism and resources. However, here’s an inspiring list of services offered by one very large pet shelter in Des Moines, Iowa (the ARL, Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc. ™ at arl-iowa.org).
Bear in mind that the Des Moines ARL started in 1926, so has had time to grow. They also have a remarkable number of volunteers: currently, 1700! Your own local shelter may not offer everything on this list.
But then again, who knows what your own city’s animal rescue league or pet shelter could offer if YOU got involved as a volunteer! Here’s the list of what ARL provides:
1. Pet Adoption Services
- Pet Adoptions for cats, dogs, and other small animals.
- Horse Rescue and Adoption Program.
2. Education, Counseling and Training
- Pet Behavior Counseling and Training classes (for dogs, cats and rabbits).
- Humane Education
- Pet First Aid Training
3. Veterinary Services and Pet Safety Programs
- Spay and Neuter Programs
- Lost & Found and ID Me Program.
- Pet Receiving (of strays and owner-released animals).
- Cruelty Intervention Program.
- Disaster Planning Service for Pets.
- Humane Euthanasia and Cremation Service.
4. Community Outreaches
- Whinny Program in collaboration with Iowa prison system providing extra care and training for horses awaiting adoption.
- City Animal Control services for animals found by the public or picked up by animal control officers.
5. Volunteer Opportunities.
- Pets in Crisis (temporary housing for pets of people in crisis, i.e. house fire, domestic abuse, homelessness).
- Temporary Love and Care Program for special needs animals.
- Animal Assisted Therapy.
- Legislation/Advocacy for animal welfare laws.
How do you find your own local pet shelter? One easy way is to type into an Internet search box the name of your city, plus the phrase ‘animal shelter”. One of the first search results should direct you. Expand your search results to your nearest large city as well, to get a feel for the variety of options in your area, including volunteering and animal adoption opportunities.
From the cat book, For Love of Cats and the dog book, For Love of Dogs by the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc. Contributors: Tom Colvin, Carol Griglione, Mick McAuliffe and Paula Sunday. ©2012 Landauer Publishing LLC .