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UPDATE: ARL Deploys Mobile Rescue Team to Areas South of Houston


The Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) Mobile Rescue Team dispatched Monday morning after receiving a request to help rescue 20 dogs from a large-scale rescue operation in North Texas. This rescue was scheduled before Hurricane Harvey made landfall, but it removed some burden from the Texas shelter system so they could assist animals who urgently needed their help due to the hurricane.

Our Mobile Rescue Team arrived with the 20 dogs late last night and our Animal Care Team got them settled with a warm place to sleep and full bowls of food and water for their first night in a new place.

At the same time our Mobile Rescue Team was helping these North Texas dogs, we were also in communication with the rescue teams on the ground in Houston and throughout Texas to offer our assistance with their disaster response.

This could mean anything from transferring additional animals into our care from the impacted areas, deploying our Mobile Rescue Team to the scene of the disaster, transporting supplies, or numerous other scenarios. 

We have activated our Emergency Response plan so we can quickly assist in these efforts with our rescue teams, vehicles and equipment. Our staff train regularly for a variety of emergency response scenarios. Thanks to rescue-related grant funding, we already have the necessary rescue equipment for companion and barn animal rescues, and are ready and able to deploy within hours.

Prep Iowa


In anticipation of more animals arriving at the ARL very soon, we are hosting a “Clear the Shelter” adoption event. Today through Sunday, you can “Name Your Price” for cats and kittens of all ages and dogs 6 months and up. We have more than 1,400 animals in our care right now, and placing those animals into homes will greatly impact our ability to help animals displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

Across the country, the animal shelter system will be full of animals as rescue efforts – and the eventual rebuilding – continues.  If you are considering surrendering your pet, please contact the ARL first, so we can explore other resources to prevent your pet from entering the shelter system right at this time.

The animal welfare community learned a lot during Hurricane Katrina where lost/found/rescued animals were dispersed all across the country, making it impossible for people to be reunited with their pets. Now, the animals that are being transferred to shelters outside of the hurricane-hit area are those that were already in the impacted shelters and ready for adoption. By sending those animals to other parts of the country, it frees up space for local shelters to help the local animals affected by this tragedy in the same area – and will ensure more families are reunited with their pets in the process.

The ARL has always stepped forward to meet the needs of animals wherever they are and we will continue to do so. We will continue to update you on our involvement as things progress.

Stay up to date on the latest information at or

UPDATE (08/31/17):  The ARL Mobile Rescue Team arrived in Kemah, TX just before 3:00 a.m. this morning, after driving a non-stop 18 hours, while towing the ARL’s emergency rescue boat. The team that was sent to help on this first deployment is specifically trained in animal water rescue. Now, after a few hours of sleep they are awaiting their assignment for the area of most need, currently focusing on rescuing animals by water or land in the areas of Kemah, League City, and Dickinson.

We are also preparing for the next round of deployment to help even more animals. We will continue to keep you posted.

UPDATE (08/31/17, 4:21 PM):  Several of the 20 dogs that arrived in Des Moines from Texas on Monday night are now available for adoption, with others becoming available over the next few days.  Adoptable dogs can be viewed at  The ARL’s “Name Your Price” adoption event continues through Sunday to continue to make room for the anticipated arrival of more dogs from Texas shelters.  Applies to cats of all ages and dogs over 6 months. 

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