10 Dog Rescues In Iowa To Adopt From

A small commission may be earned on any purchases made via links on this page. Read our full affiliate disclosure.

10 Dog Rescues In Iowa To Adopt From

Thinking about adopting a dog from a rescue in Iowa?

You have taken the first step in the process by researching places near you that you can adopt from.

Adopting from Iowa-based dog rescues not only benefits you in welcoming a new family member into your home, but it also helps out your community in saving more dogs from shelters, the streets, and abusive or neglectful owners.

Why Is It Important To Adopt From Dog Rescues In Iowa?

There are many places that adopt out nationwide, but if everyone focused on adopting dogs in their area, it could help reduce the number of dogs in shelters and foster homes waiting to find their new family.

As Veterinarian Kim Langholz from ISU Veterinary Teaching Hospital puts it, “there are a lot more dogs and cats being born than humans”.

This means that animal shelters and rescue organizations are constantly saturated with unwanted pets, and the State of Iowa is no exception.

By adopting from your local dog rescue in Iowa, you will be doing your part to help reduce the population of dogs in shelters.

Dog Rescues In Iowa

1.) Animal Lifeline of Iowa (Des Moines IA)

Animal Lifeline of Iowa is a no-kill shelter in Des Moines that has been serving its community for over 35 years.

They are the only special needs shelter in the state who takes in cats and dogs that are disabled, injured, have health issues, are abused, pregnant or lactating, and young animals that still need to be bottle fed.

The animals that they receive are mostly those with a high chance of being euthanized, and they take all necessary measures to rehabilitate them and find wonderful families to adopt them.

As a no-kill shelter, there is no time limit placed on their rehabilitation or adoption, and no animal is turned away because of age, injuries, or illnesses.

Inquiries regarding special needs dogs or cats that need assistance can be made directly by phone with Martha.

Animal Lifeline of Iowa is a rescue that depends on the kindness of volunteers and donations.

You can donate items to their thrift shop so that they can raise funds, or you can make a direct monetary donation. All donations are tax deductible.

If you are looking to adopt, the organization always has animals that need a good home, and they are constantly updating their adoptable dogs database.

They also update their Facebook page with rescue stories and dogs that are ready to be adopted.

Adopting a dog involves filling out an application that takes about 20 minutes to fill out and submit.

There is also an adoption fee of $200 for puppies that are less than 6 months old, $75 for adult dogs, and $75 for a pair of dogs who have strongly bonded.

Senior adoptees ages 65 and older are eligible to receive a 20% discount on these fees when adopting an adult dog.

The adoption fee helps offset the dog’s medical costs that they receive when arriving at the shelter, such as spaying or neutering, vaccines, heartworm test, deworming, and microchipping.

Adoptees are also given a complimentary veterinary examination for their pet at selected veterinary clinics.

Feel free to view Animal Lifeline of Iowa’s rescue dogs that are available for adoption as well as read through their adoption application requirements.

Rescue and Adoption Details

2.) Racoon River Pet Rescue (Perry IA)

Raccoon River Pet Rescue was established with the goal to create a humane place for animals in the Perry community where they can be taken care of until they are adopted.

They also have a foster program in place for animals with special needs or that are stressed and need some time away from the shelter.

The organization commits to providing pets in foster care any veterinary attention that the pet may need as well as a kennel.

Other basic necessities such as food, litter, and bedding will need to be covered by the foster home.

Special cases such as injured pets may need more care than otherwise healthy dogs or cats.

Fosters are also expected to do their best to socialize pets so that they have a higher chance of being adopted.

If interested in applying to be a foster home, you can apply here.

If you can’t foster, but have some spare time, you can help Racoon River Pet Rescue by volunteering.

Alternatively, you can either make a one-time donation or commit to donating monthly to help them continue their work.

Monetary donations start at $10 and can be made here.

In order to adopt a dog, you must go through four steps:

  • Fill out an application and get approval
  • Talk to someone and get all doubts and questions answered
  • Schedule an introduction with the dog and your family to see how everybody gets along
  • The adoption will be processed after a successful home check

All adopted dogs are spayed or neutered, microchipped, have all of their vaccines and preventative medication such as for fleas/ticks and worms.

There is an adoption fee that will help cover the expenses that have been made in order to rescue each animal.

The fee for puppies less than 6 months is $300, $200 for adults between 6 months and 7 years of age, $100 for geriatric dogs over 8 years of age, and $200 for a pair of dogs that are bonded.

Note that fees may fluctuate depending on the dog’s age, breed, or special requirements.

Visit their adoption page to view all dogs that are ready to be adopted.

Rescue and Adoption Details

3.) Animal Welfare Friends (Monticello IA)

Animal Welfare Friends was registered as a non-profit on March 30th of 2004, and by 2016, they had a shelter building in place to serve the animals of Jones County.

Since then, they have been helping homeless animals in Monticello and surrounding areas.

The shelter includes two rooms where cats are free to roam as well as a large window that they can look out of, inside and outside kennels for dogs, a yard for exercising, and walkways for volunteers and visitors to take dogs on walks.

The organization is also very inclusive of its community and has even built the Duane Ockenfels Memorial Dog Park in the same location as the shelter for pet parents and their dogs to enjoy at no cost.

If you are interested in helping Animal Welfare Friends out, you can always make a monetary donation.

This form of donation allows them to designate the money towards what they need the most such as treatment, medication, and surgery.

Visit their website to make a donation. They also happily accept supplies for the shelter.

Contact them for volunteer options, or fill out their foster application to be approved as a foster home and make a difference in a dog’s life!

If you want to adopt a dog from the Animal Welfare of Friends in Iowa, take a look at the dogs that are available for adoption.

If a fur-baby catches your eye, contact the organization directly for further information on the adoption process.

Rescue and Adoption Details

Veterans are eligible for a $25 discount on the adoption cost.

4.) Dogs Forever (Cedar Rapids IA)

Dogs Forever is a non-profit, no-kill shelter that works hard to help needy dogs, prepare them for their new home, and place them with the perfect family.

There is no time limit on how long rescue dogs are kept under their care.

They provide them with a loving, caring, and safe environment as long as is necessary.

They also take in all dogs, regardless of their size, breed, and age, but try to focus on dogs that would otherwise have a slim chance of being adopted such as those who have been abused, are sick or injured, or are elderly.

The organization is volunteer-driven, meaning that they solely rely on volunteers to get everyday tasks done such as walking dogs, feeding them, keeping them clean, among many other things.

If you are interested in volunteering, you can fill out their application or email them for more information.

Another way of helping is by fostering dogs.

This is a great option for people who don’t have a lot of time to go to the shelter, but are happy to offer their home and love to a dog while they find their fur-ever family.

Fill out their foster application here.

Additionally, you can make monetary donations here or donate new or used supplies that are in good condition.

They are always accepting collars, leashes, bedding, and food (as long as it is sealed).

If you are looking to adopt a dog from Dogs Forever, you can fill out an application and wait for approval before being scheduled to meet the dog that you are interested in.

It typically takes around two weeks to hear back from them.

Adoption fees start at $150 for older dogs that are 7 years old or more, $200 for adult dogs that are 1 to 6 years old, and $300 for puppies under a year. Seniors who are 65 or older can get the $150-fee waived if they decide to adopt a senior dog.

All dogs are spayed or neutered, have received their parvovirus/distemper and rabies vaccine, have been tested for heartworm/Lyme disease, and have had a microchip inserted.

You can view adoptable dogs and download the adoption application here.

Rescue and Adoption Details

5.) TLC Canine Center (Newell IA)

TLC Canine Center is another NPO that relies entirely on volunteers to rescue homeless, abused, and neglected dogs in Iowa.

They are located in Newell, and their facility can hold about 24 dogs at any one time.

As previously mentioned, the organization is dependent on volunteers and generous donations to conduct their work.

There are other ways you can help, if making a monetary donation is not an option.

Visit their “How You Can Help” page to view all the different ways that you can make a difference.

TLC Canine Center accepts dogs in need despite of their age, breed, or health status.

Contact the organization for information on surrendering a dog.

They are a small facility and don’t always have sufficient space to take in another rescue, but you have the option of being placed on a wait list.

Once received by them, the dog is indefinitely cared for until they have a new home.

Another way you can make a huge difference is by adopting a dog of your own.

Contact them for more information on the adoption process if you fall in love with any of their available dogs.

Rescue and Adoption Details

  • Address: PO Box 373 Newell IA 50568
  • Website: https://www.tlccaninecenter.org/
  • Contact: [email protected]
  • Phone: (712) 272-3553

6.) Quad Cities Greyhound Adoption (Walcott IA)

Quad Cities Greyhound Adoption is a not-for-profit group whose mission is to place retired Greyhounds who are no longer raced in a wonderful home where they can enjoy the rest of their lives.

After the dogs are received by the organization, they are examined and cared for until they are placed with their new family.

The work they do is purely dependent on volunteers and money that is raised or grants that are given to keep them afloat.

Of course, you as an individual can also donate by clicking the “Donate” button on the top right-hand corner of their page.

Additionally, the rescue is always happy to welcome new foster homes to care for Greyhounds until they are permanently placed.

Quad Cities Greyhound Adoption’s main objective is to find a home that can provide the dog with all their needs from the time they are adopted.

This is done through a screening process where you must complete an application and they then determine whether you meet their criteria to adopt.

Iowa residents are charged a fee of $400, while everyone else is charged $475.

This helps cover the costs such as spaying or neutering, dental cleaning, heartworm test, flea, tick and worm preventative treatment, and vaccines.

View adoptable Greyhound dogs and learn more about their adoption requirements on their website.

Rescue and Adoption Details

  • Address: 9525 New Liberty Road Walcott IA 52773
  • Website: https://qcgreyhoundadoption.org/
  • Contact: https://qcgreyhoundadoption.org/contact
  • Phone: (563) 823-8900
  • Social Media: Facebook Group

7.) Cedar Valley Humane Society (Cedar Rapids IA)

Cedar Valley Humane Society cares for and adopts out over 2,000 animals on a yearly basis.

They rescue stray animals and pets that are surrendered by their owner.

Upon arrival, each dog’s behavior and health is evaluated before they are placed in a temporary or permanent home.

In addition to rescuing efforts, CVHS also provides services to decrease overpopulation and health problems commonly seen in the community.

Some of these services include education on why spaying and neutering is important, affordable training and socialization sessions, and low-cost vaccines.

Visit their “Support Us” page for an exhaustive list of ways that you can help them continue their rescue efforts and community services.

Fostering is another way that you can help Cedar Valley Humane Society.

There aren’t always animals that need to be fostered, but they occasionally have the need for homes that can take in kittens and puppies that need to be bottle fed, litters and their mom, and any special-needs animals.

If interested in fostering, you can fill out their online application.

Looking to adopt a dog?

You can visit their adoption page for more information and to view available dogs.

The adoption fees are as follows:

  • Puppies under 9 months old – $300
  • Adult dogs – $150
  • Senior dogs over 7 years old – $75
  • Dogs that have been at the facility for an extended period – $75

Adopted dogs are up to date on their vaccines, deworming, and flea/tick treatment, and are spayed or neutered and microchipped.

Rescue and Adoption Details

8.) Animal Rescue League of Iowa (Marshalltown IA)

Animal Rescue League of Iowa is a non-profit organization that vows to help homeless animals, without euthanizing, unless they have exhausted all means of rehabilitating the animal, and they have been deemed untreatable.

Otherwise, they are cared for and loved until they find their forever family.

They depend on volunteers and can always use a helping hand to care for the hundreds of dogs and cats that they receive on a monthly basis.

Volunteers can spend time with the animals or do everyday chores such as cleaning, grooming, and maintenance work.

Donations are also greatly appreciated and can be made in the form of money or supplies.

Visit their donation page to make a contribution.

Sometimes the organization needs foster homes for animals that don’t do well in the shelter environment and are stressed or depressed.

Litters and their moms are also preferably placed in temporary homes, as they need a quiet, peaceful place where the babies can be raised.

Visit their website for more information on fostering or to fill out an application.

To adopt a dog from the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, you will need to submit an application.

You will undergo a background check, and the application will be processed within 24 hours.

Once approved, you will be allowed to select the dog that you want to take home.

Adopting a dog with this group usually costs $125, but it may be a little more or a little less depending on the dog’s circumstance.

This fee covers the distemper and Bordetella combo vaccine, spaying or neutering, and microchipping.

All dogs must undergo a physical exam and receive a rabies vaccine within 10 days of being adopted.

Visit their website to view available dogs.

Rescue and Adoption Details

9.) Humane Society of Northeast Iowa (Decorah IA)

The Humane Society of Northeast Iowa is a no-kill organization in Decorah that rescues dogs, cats, and other animals in dire situations.

Besides rescuing and adopting out, they also offer services to the community such as microchipping, low-cost spaying and neutering, and family events.

Being a non-profit organization, they are dependent on volunteers to do everything from picking up strays to taking them to veterinary checks and providing them with their basic needs.

Their work is also kept going through the donations that they receive, whether that be cash or supplies that are used on a daily basis to feed, clean and keep the pets healthy.

For people looking to relinquish a pet, it is always recommended to try and rehome them before choosing to surrender.

If necessary though, The Humane Society of Northeast Iowa may be able to help.

To surrender a dog in Iowa, you need to fill out a form and wait to be contacted for an appointment.

For help with strays, you can call them directly and see if they can receive the animal.

There are two options for adopting with this humane society.

You can either adopt directly or foster-to-adopt.

You will need to fill out an application for both, and once approved, you can decide on which option is best suited for you.

With the foster-to-adopt program, you will have two weeks to see if the dog is right for your home.

Adoptees must pay $100 to $225 to adopt a dog.

This fee helps cover some of the costs associated with housing and caring for an animal at the facility.

You can visit their application and available dogs page for more information.

Rescue and Adoption Details

10.) Noah’s Ark Animal Foundation (Fairfield IA)

Noah’s Ark Animal Foundation is another shelter that chooses not to euthanize strays that are not adopted.

Instead, they have made it their mission to rescue dogs and cats that are in need of help and provide them with the veterinary attention that they require.

They also conduct low-cost spay and neuter clinics and hold events to help educate the community about the humane treatment of animals.

All of their work is kept going thanks to the network of volunteers that help them with their daily tasks.

Volunteers are encouraged to reach out, as there is a high chance that you will find something to do that you enjoy and that benefits the cause.

Donations are also accepted and there are many other ways that you can contribute.

Surrendering of an animal is only done via appointment.

They may not always be able to help immediately because they have limited space and resources, but there is the possibility of being placed on a waiting list.

For adoptions, you can visit the shelter during their regular hours and speak to a counselor for guidance.

If you would like to adopt a dog, an adoption counselor is available during the shelter’s open hours.

The adoption fee for puppies less than 6 months old is between $125 and $350, and for adults older than 7 months it’s $125 to $250.

These fees help cover the costs of spaying or neutering, microchipping, vaccinating, deworming, flea/tick medication, and heartworm/Lyme’s disease testing.

Each adoption also includes a month of insurance with 24PetWatch at no cost.

View available dogs here.

Rescue and Adoption Details

  • Address: 1986 Gear Avenue Fairfield IA 52556
  • Website: http://www.noahsark.org/
  • Contact: [email protected]
  • Phone: (641) 472-6080
  • Social Media: Facebook
Best Dog Rescues In Iowa To Adopt From


As you can see, just about every organization listed above relies on volunteers, donations, and foster homes to do their work.

This is even more of a reason for you should adopt from a local Iowa dog rescue.

You will be giving back to the community by keeping a needy dog out of the streets and allowing more to be helped.

Remember, if you are unable to adopt or foster, there is always the option to become a volunteer.

Many times, you will be able to choose a schedule and activity that best works for you.

Finally, sharing information about these organizations and the dogs that are looking for homes is also invaluable.

Connie Monico

Connie Monico

Connie is a Veterinary Technician with a love for all beings and all things related to animals. She graduated with an Associate of Science in Veterinary Technology from Carrington College in Stockton in 2009 and worked as a vet tech for 8 years. She does rescue work and volunteers at spay and neuter clinics to help out with the efforts to reduce overpopulation and strays. In her spare time, Connie enjoys listening to music, cooking, and doing various handcrafts.

Leave a Comment