Animal Lifeline of Iowa + Animal Shelter Appreciation Week

Grant from Animal Lifeline of Iowa

What does Animal Shelter Appreciation Week mean to you and those at Animal Lifeline of Iowa?

Animal Shelter Appreciate week sheds light on our furry, scaly or feathery friends who do not have a voice and what more we can do to help them and it recognizes the important work our staff and volunteers do every day. It helps us remember the kindness that they show and the compassion they give. It raises the awareness to people who may not be involved in animal rescue/shelter work.

How and when did Animal Lifeline begin?

Animal Lifeline began in 1987 when our founder came across a dog who needed special care and she realized there were very little options for special needs animals. It was then that she knew a no-kill facility was needed for sick and injured animals to receive proper vet care and temporary housing until they found their forever homes.

What is the mission of Animal Lifeline?

Animal Lifeline is a special needs, no kill animal shelter seeking to reduce the number of special needs dogs and cats that are euthanized by providing care, temporary shelter, and by promoting positive long-term pet guardianship.

Hannah from Animal Lifeline of Iowa

Do you feel there are characteristics which set Animal Lifeline apart from other shelters?

Animal Lifeline of Iowa is unique because we are a no-kill special needs animal shelter that accepts un-owned dogs and cats who are handicapped, injured, have a serious medical condition, pregnant or nursing moms, orphans that need to be bottle fed and abused or neglected. There are many no-kill shelters across the country, but a majority of them do not have the resources to care for special needs cats and dogs.

Your 9th Annual Paws and Claws Auction took place over the weekend. Can you please tell us a little about it and the success?

We were very excited to have over 500 guests attend and hoped to raise over $70,000 for our organization. The event is hosted by local celebrities, Colleen Kelly, Stacey Horst and Steve Berry and features a silent and live auction, dinner and cash bar. The event gives a chance for animal lovers across central Iowa to come and bid on unique items such as artwork, jewelry, beauty and spa packages, vacations, family friendly packages, pet packages and much more! Our annual Paws & Claws Auction is our largest event of the year….and my personal favorite!

Is there one ALI rescue story which sticks out most in your mind?

I started working at Animal Lifeline in 2006 and I first realized the impact Animal Lifeline has when I met Squirt. Squirt was a handsome, young, long-haired, orange cat who was born blind and after further examination at Iowa State University Veterinary College/Clinic, only had one third of a brain. Squirt was considered a special needs cat but he was truly remarkable in the fact that he loved to play, had no issues in getting around and functioned like any “normal” cat. At most shelters, Squirt would have been immediately euthanized. Because of Animal Lifeline, Squirt was able to find his forever home and to this day is still king of the castle.

In addition to donations, what are other ways readers can help Animal Lifeline’s mission?

We’re always looking for volunteers to help at our shelter, Thrift Shop and events! We have a wide array of volunteer opportunities available and information as well as a volunteer application can be found on our website at Individuals can donate their gently used items to our thrift shop, adopt a cat or dog from us and encourage their friends to adopt and promote spaying and neutering.

Thanks to Hannah at Animal Lifeline of Iowa for taking the time to answer our questions. In addition, ALI is sharing with us their signature dog biscuit recipe which they use for their fundraisers, so you can make them at home!

Animal Lifeline of Iowa's dog biscuits recipe

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  • When I adopted two cats from the shelter here in Panama City, Florida I learned the shelter is “a no kill shelter.” The population is huge. I was doing paperwork for the adoption, and saw how much love these special volunteers give to each and every dog and cat. Their work load is unbelievable and because it is a no kill shelter some of the cats and pups have been there long enough for the girls to get attached.

    The Fund Raising just blew me away. 500 guests and $70,000.00. That is a HUGE WOW FACTOR!! When I was a volunteer, back in 1970, at the Prince George’s County Humane Society, we did pretty good doing fund raisers, but it was hard work. We also did a monthly newsletter, and back then there were no computers. We had very few volunteers because we didn’t have the “means” to get the message out.

    Animal Lifeline of Iowa is a first class outfit.

    Thanks for the recipe, and the Administration did a fantastic job posting this story which provided so much information and I’m sure it will motivate “pet lovers” to volunteer their time for such a special cause.

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