When dogs in West Des Moines and surrounding areas suffer abandonment, abuse, or neglect, there’s no shortage of dog lovers willing to step up to the plate and help out. There are a plethora of excellent animal rescue and welfare groups working in the area, headlined by the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.
As the state’s largest non-profit animal shelter, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa cares for thousands of pets each year. It serves people and pets across Iowa by offering pet adoptions, humane education, pet training, spay/neuter services, intervention in cases of animal cruelty, and much more.
The group receives no government funding and depends on donations from individuals and the corporate sector to keep caring for animals in need. With a mission to promote animal welfare, strengthen the human-animal bond, and prevent the overpopulation of pets, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa is well worthy of recognition and support.
Forever Home Dog Rescue is also ready and willing to give unwanted and unloved dogs a second chance at life. This non-profit organization is committed to rescuing homeless and abandoned animals across central Iowa, mostly from high-kill shelters. Thanks to the help of dedicated volunteers, temporary foster carers, and local veterinarians, Forever Home Dog Rescue can save canines in need, give them the loving temporary care they require, and then match them with loving and responsible owners.
Founded at the start of 2014, this paw-some local group doesn’t receive any government funding and relies entirely on donations to survive. If you’re looking for a hardworking rescue group to support, keep this one in mind!
Get ready to pound the pavement to raise some funds for a very good cause at this paw-some annual event! The Iowa Dog Jog is a 4K and 2K run/walk designed for dog lovers and their canine companions. Held at Terra Park in Johnston, it sees scores of pet owners and their pooches get active in a social, relaxed setting. The route is scenic and you can complete the course at your own pace, and once the walk/run is over your furry friend can enjoy himself at the event’s pop-up dog park. Best of all, event proceeds benefit The Animal Rescue League of Iowa, the state’s largest non-profit animal shelter!
If you think dogs and ice hockey are a match made in heaven, you’ll love Pucks N’ Paws! An initiative of the Iowa Wild and the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, this grrr-eat night out allows you to take your four-legged friend along with you to watch the Iowa Wild in action. Dogs get in free with their humans, and must be leashed, at least six months old, and under your control at all times. There’s also a pet food drive on the night to benefit the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, so you and your pet can make a donation and go home feeling pretty good about yourselves.
Looking for an event that not only celebrates pets but also offers the latest and greatest products and advice for dog owners? Look no further than the Great Iowa Pet Expo, held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in October! Pets are welcome and you and your pooch can enjoy flyball and stunt dog demos, pick up some free training trips, marvel at some entertaining canine contests, and access plenty of pet health advice from the experts. There’s even a yappy hour to benefit local rescue groups, so there’s no excuse not to grab your pooch and join the fun. Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for children aged six to 12. Best of all, pets and children aged five and under can get in for free!
Each October, in the leadup to Halloween, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa hosts a Howl-o-ween party especially for dogs! Guests of all ages are invited to dress their dog up in costume and then get on down to the Animal Rescue League Training Center for an afternoon of fun and games. You can capture memories in the photo booth, give your dog a chance to show off his best trick in return for tasty treats, buy discounted Halloween-themed pet toys and dog treats, and even have a pet photo taken by a professional photographer. And the best part of all? Admission is free for dogs and their humans!
Get ready for a spooky, scary, and furr-iffic event with your dog in the historic East Village. The Spooky Paws Parade is held at Halloween each year and gives you the paw-fect excuse (as if you needed one!) to dress your dog up in his or her cutest, most spine-tingling Halloween costume. There’s an adorable and extremely entertaining pet costume contest with some grrr-eat prizes, followed by a parade through the district. It’s paw-some to be a part of and free to participate in, but is just as much fun to watch if that’s what you and your pet prefer. Add it to your diary for the year ahead!