Iowa ARL: Surrender, don’t abandon animals this summer

“We get about an average of 50 animals per day as an organization throughout the summer,” said Michael Lovien, director of ARL shelter operations.

ALTOONA, Iowa — The Animal Rescue League of Iowa is the state’s largest nonprofit animal shelter, caring for thousands of pets each year — but summer brings a variety of challenges for the rescue organization.

“We get about an average of 50 animals per day as an organization throughout the summer. And that’s our high sort of peak season,” said Michael Lovien, director of shelter operations.

But recently, more unwanted pets aren’t making their way to the shelter. Instead, they’ve been dumped in places like the Altoona Hy-Vee’s parking lot.

Dalton Butrum stopped at Hy-Vee on the way home from work one day, where he found an abandoned, bloody kitten.

Butrum’s friend, Devin, shared the experience on the NextDoor social media platform with an important message: “If you don’t want your pets, ask people if they want a free pet or take them to an ARL.”

The ARL said their organization and shelters across Iowa have the resources to make sure these animals are properly cared for and rehomed.

Lovien also emphasized that there is no shame in surrending a pet. The ARL is open seven days a week, and appointments can be made during business hours. They also have a drop-off location inside their Pet Help Center outside of those hours.

The bottom line here is, these shelters want people to utilize them, rather than leaving an animal somewhere unsafe.

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