Reports From This Organization

Animal Rescue League of Iowa: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

To purchase cat scratchers that provide enrichment and the opportunity to exhibit normal behaviors for the cats and kittens in our care at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

In 2020, the ARL cared for 6,045 homeless cats and kittens. We are grateful to have the space and foster programs to care for the cats and kittens until they are adopted (we do not euthanize for space or time, only for suffering or severe behavioral issues). In addition to the basics of food, water, and medical care, we provide enrichment items for the cats’ and kittens’ benefit while they are in our care.

Because of this grant, we were able to purchase a bulk supply of 1,000 cat scratchers. The cats love them and the staff enjoys providing the scratchers for the cats. We also send the scratchers home with the cats or kittens when they are adopted so they have something familiar to help with their transition.

How many pets did this grant help?

1,000

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Billy Boss came into our care as a stray from the city of Des Moines. As we worked to move him towards adoption, our medical team tested him for FIV and found out he was positive. Our veterinary team determined he was in good health, so he was neutered and made available for adoption with a waiver informing potential adopters of the positive FIV test and providing information about what that means for him and other potential resident cats.

Sometimes the cats (and dogs) with special needs take a bit longer to get adopted, and that was the case with Billy Boss. But once our Facebook administrator posted his photo in the thank-you post for the cat scratchers (third photo), Billy Boss was adopted the same day!

Animal Rescue League of Iowa: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

To purchase individual cat scratchers for enrichment for cats in our care.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The shelter environment is stressful for the homeless animals, and cats are typically the sensitive and most likely to experience stress while in the shelter no matter how nice the shelter and staff are.

The ARL is committed to providing adequate space and enrichment for the cats in our care to exhibit natural behaviors; one of their natural behaviors is scratching. The cat scratchers provide enrichment for the cats while they are in the kennel environment and provides a familiar smell/belonging for them to take with them to their adoptive home.

How many pets did this grant help?

900

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Lamb came to us as an owner surrender. They suspected he was born to a feral mama and his people were unable to keep him due to lifestyle changes. He enjoyed his cat scratcher and the opportunity to exhibit normal behavior while in the shelter. I love to see the creative ways the cats use the scratchers! Lamb enjoyed working on the top of his! He is now adopted and living a wonderful life in his new home.

Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL): COVID-19 Operation Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

To feed the animals in our care at the shelter.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

In early 2020, the ARL entered a partnership with Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love program to provide consistent high-quality food for the animals in our care. Once we entered into this partnership, we were able to purchase food at an extremely discounted rate: $31 will feed one cat and one dog for a month – that’s just $1 a day. Our leadership was committed to providing this consistent food source for the pets in our care (prior to that, we fed mainly donated food, which was not consistent or always high-quality) to improve and reduce stress and digestive issues. The COVID-19 Operation Grant allowed us to purchase Hill’s food to feed 65 homeless animals for one month!

How many pets did this grant help?

65

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Barney, an 8-year-old domestic shorthair, came to the ARL as a stray.
He was a bit shy and fearful at first, but quickly warmed up to the staff and is now enjoying life in his forever home; he was adopted on May 22! Oh, he says thank you for the Hill’s food!

Animal Rescue League of Iowa: Purina Adoption Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

To subsidize name-your-price adoptions.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

It helped to encourage those who were thinking of adopting to come adopt during the name-your-price adoption event!

How many pets did this grant help?

117

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Ritz and Charm (first photo) were kittens who came to the ARL in terrible shape. Victims of abuse, they both were in grave condition when they were surrendered: Neither could walk due to trauma to the head; Charm, the black kitten, couldn’t even hold her head up and her face was very swollen. Our medical team took action immediately and worried that Charm might not make it through the night — but she did! Over months of care at the ARL, the two made miraculous progress. They even won the heart of an ARL medical staff member, who cared for them from the moment they arrived, fostered them in her home and adopted them during the “Friends” adoption event. Ritz and Charm will always have some neurological damage due to their abuse, but they are now safe and LOVED, adopted members of a wonderful family!

Animal Rescue League of Iowa: P.L.A.Y. Pet Beds Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We received the Warm Bellies grant of P.L.A.Y. Chill Pads. They were used for the dogs in our shelter to lie on and snuggle with!

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

By providing comfort for the dogs in our care. Thank you!

How many pets did this grant help?

100+

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Jonah, an older dog in our care (first photo), was diagnosed with some health issues that indicated that he might not have a lot of time left. Although his body was failing, Jonah had a lot of personality and LOVED to share, so we looked for a hospice foster home for him. While he waited at the shelter, he spent time in a staff member’s office and Jonah was quite comfortable on the cot with a Chill Pad on top!

Animal Rescue League of Iowa: Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) used the grant funds to provide 26 Animal Safety Program presentations to Des Moines public school elementary school classrooms.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The ARL’s Animal Safety Program gives elementary students (kindergarten – 3rd grade) in the city of Des Moines the tools to be safe and responsible around animals with a focus on bite prevention (According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children under the age of 12 are at the highest risk for dog bites) and connect families resources at ARL to keep pets healthy and safe and with the family that loves them. Additionally, the students get to practice what they have learned and demonstrate how to safely interact with a certified TheraPets dog (and handler).

How many pets did this grant help?

This grant allowed the ARL to provide our Animal Safety Program (at no cost) to 477 elementary aged school children that attend Des Moines Public Schools. This program impacted the students, their family and friends, and their current and future pets.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

The grant was for humane education and provided our Animal Safety Program to elementary school-aged children. “Our Animal Safety Program provides the children with a great opportunity for them to learn about the animals, how to treat others, safety, responsible pet care and so much more.” said Tom Colvin, Executive Director with the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. “Through this program the relationship with the ARL begins with the children, and impacts their family and friends, their current and future pets, and the community as whole. We’re so thankful to have received this grant in order to provide this important (and fun) program.”

Animal Rescue League of Iowa: Petfinder 20th Anniversary Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) was grateful to receive the Petfinder Foundation’s 20th Anniversary grant. We utilized the funds fully to purchase five new Shor-Line cat condos (two kennels per unit) to be used in our cat-adoption area at the ARL’s main shelter. The cat condos purchased are larger and provide plenty of space for a single cat and/or two bonded buddies, and additionally the litter box is separated by a portal, which keeps the litter area away from the food/water and resting space for the cat’s comfort. The location where the cat condos were placed gets plenty of guest traffic, but it is a less-stressful location for the cats because they are not in a room with many other cats — so this location is ideally suited for our older cats and others who do best in an area that has fewer cats and more space!

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

While cats are just one of the many different species in our care, they represent the vast majority of our total animals. Cats are the most at-risk animal in any shelter. Shelter environments are stressful for cats for a number of reasons, including cage size. Stressed cats are more likely to become sick cats and require additional treatment, leading to a longer length of stay, and increased expenses. This grant allowed us to provide our cats with increased space and a set-up that is pleasing to them (litter box separated from their living area and a separate door to the litter area for staff use so as not to disrupt the cats), and also to provide an environment in which potential adopters can see the cats well, and get to see them with space to exhibit natural behaviors; both of which will lead to the cats being physically and mentally healthy and getting adopted more quickly!

How many pets did this grant help?

We just put the cat condos in to our adoption area on Saturday (May 27, 2017) with 10 cats as the first guests, and I am happy to share that three of the 10 have been already been adopted! We anticipate these condos will help hundreds of cats get adopted each year!

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

One of the first feline guests in the new cat condos was Handsome. He’s only a few years old, but he’s been very shy and fearful since he came to us in February. Since then, our cat-behavior volunteers have been working with him and have found that putting him in a larger space makes him feel more comfortable. Because of these new cat condos, he now has a larger space in a quieter area than he had before, and we are grateful to be able to provide Handsome with the space that will benefit him during his time at the ARL and his future home! Meet Handsome: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/38029101

Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc.: Cat Castles Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc. (ARL) received a grant of 1,200 Cat Castles for the comfort and enrichment of the cats in our care as they wait to be available for adoption, and in adoption.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

In 2013 the ARL took in over 7,000 cats and kittens in our shelter and sadly we do not anticipate our intake numbers to be reduced dramatically (but hopefully lower — our many community outreach programs efforts are focused on reducing the number of intakes and to help keep pets in their homes). With so many cats/kittens in our care we are grateful for the grant of the Cat Castles. We have witnessed a decrease in stress, a faster healing time for cats while in isolation, an increase in enrichment and stimulation; all of which helps the cats to be adoptable. The Cat Castles have had a huge effect on the cats and the staff at our shelter; we are not sure who is happier about the boxes: the cats or the animal care techs who care for the cats. Either way it is a win-win for all!

How many pets did this grant help?

1,200+

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Tom and Huck were 3-year-old Siamese cats that came to the ARL as strays. The ARL has a bonded buddy program which “bonds” animals that come to the shelter from the same home or are found as strays together so then they will be remain together and must be adopted to the same home. This bonded pair were very shy, Tom in particular. It was determined by our cat behaviorist that Tom was too shy to go to directly to adoption, so they were office fostered in one of our administrative staff members’ office. Tom and Huck were set up in the office with everything they needed, which included a Cat Castle! When Tom and his brother Huck were brought to the office, Tom went right to the Castle and for the first few days he only came out of the Cat Castle at night. As he became more comfortable in the office and with the staff member, he slowly started to gain confidence and trust of the staff member and others. After about two months of office foster time, Tom and Huck were ready to be available for adoption; instead of being moved to the adoption area, they stayed in the office and were made available for adoption on the ARL website. Soon a potential adopter inquired, and came to the shelter to meet Tom and Huck in “their office.” Tom and Huck were adopted together and the Cat Castle went with them to their forever home to help with the transition.

Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc.: Stretch and Scratch Cat Scratchers Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc. (ARL) received a grant of Stretch and Scratch cat scratchers for the enrichment of the cats in our care as they wait to be available for adoption, and in adoption.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

In 2013 the ARL took in over 7,000 cats and kittens in our shelter and sadly we do not anticipate our intake numbers to be reduced dramatically (but hopefully lower — our many community outreach programs efforts are focused on reducing the number of intakes and to help keep pets in their homes). With so many cats/kittens in our care and the reality of them being in stainless steel kennels (for disease and germ control) we recognize that the kennels do not provide enrichment and stimulation opportunities for the cats/kittens. The ARL gratefully uses the Stretch and Scratch cat scratchers for the stimulation and enrichment of the cats/kittens which reduces boredom, stress and illness.

How many pets did this grant help?

3,000

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Carter is an adult cat who came to the ARL with an old injury to his right rear leg; he had surgery to repair the injury and was on cage rest and now has limited activity. The Stretch and Scratch cat scratcher has provided Carter with much comfort and stimulation and we are sure it helped him to heal and remain happy and content during his restriction.