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Iowa Pet Adoptions is not a shelter.  We are a group of pet owners helping pets.  We take pets into our homes until they are adopted, and try to help pets and pet owners.

We do not kill pets to make space for other pets.

It is possible that if a pet is seriously ill, we may not be able to treat the pet, and we could make the hard choice to euthanize the pet.  This has not happened yet.

We rely on fellow pet owners to take pets into their home, until the pet is adopted.  It is inconceivable that we would routinely place a pet in a home, then take the pet out to have the pet killed.  It would violate the only goal we have, which is to help pets.  Few of our volunteers would tolerate this.

People need to understand the difference between Killing and Euthanizing.  In traditional high kill shelters, healthy, adoptable pets are routinely killed, not euthanized.

We require all pets adopted from us to receive:

  • Food and Water
  • Sleep Indoors (with some exceptions, such as feral cats)
  • Not Tied Up Outdoors Without Supervision
  • Heartworm Prevention (Dogs)
  • Flea Treatment or Prevention
  • Medical Care
  • Current Pets Must Be Spayed Or Neutered

Many people do not provide regular medical care for their pets.  We want pet owners to have a relationship with a veterinarian.  This does not mean annual vaccinesMultiple veterinary groups recommend core vaccines NOT more frequently than once every 3 years, and some science points to lifetime immunity for viral diseases.

If you stopped going to a veterinarian because you felt they were taking advantage of you, try a new veterinarian.

Pets can not tell us when they are sick, and have short life spans.  We require pets to have at least yearly wellness exams.  This is a time when the veterinarian can check the pet for a physical sign of an illness.

Iowa Pet Adoptions does not sell pets.  We help homeless pets and pet owners.  We try to be thrifty and encourage pet owners to educate themselves so they can provide care to their pets at low cost.

The adoption fee for cats and dogs is $65.

The adoption fee for other, smaller pets is generally lower.

All cats and dogs are spayed or neutered prior to adoption, unless there is a medical reason such as age.

If a dog or cat is not spayed or neutered prior to adoption, the procedure will be performed without additional cost to the adopter when it is medically safe.

Currently, all our temporary homes and adoptions have occurred in Des Moines.

We would like to work in other parts of the state, and require leaders in the community who will coordinate temporary homes and the adoption process.

  • Spay (females) or Neuter (male)
  • Flea Removal and Prevention
  • Deworming
  • Testing For Heartworm Disease for most dogs and FeLV/FIV for some cats
  • Vaccination - Basic 5 Way Vaccine for Dogs, 4 Way Vaccine for Cats
  • Microchip Insertion and Registration


The Iowa Board of Veterinary Medicine does not consider implanting of microchips in companion animals as a practice of veterinary medicine.  They did have a policy stating it was previously considered a practice of veterinary medicine that was enacted September 23, 1993, and it was rescinded June 24, 2004.

This information was provided by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and all questions regarding licnesing should be addressed directly to IDALS.

Our use of AKC CAR chips is based on two factors: cost and convenience.

There are three main microchip companies used by non profit animal welfare groups:

  • 24PetWatch
  • Home Again

AKC CAR chips cost us $10 per chip, are free to update (though cost $10 to change the name of the pet owner), and are easily updated online.

24PetWatch chips are cheap for us to buy, but can cost $50 for pet owners to update.  We do not want to put adopters into this situation.

Home Again chips cost us about $11 and are free to update.  However, the contact information cannot be confirmed online, we must fax, call or e-mail, which is time consuming and inefficient.

A properly registered microchip is necessary for the welfare of the pet, and AKC CAR provides the best and cheapest way to keep chips updated.

We submit your order to Boomerang the same day as receipt of payment.

If your payment is received Monday, we place the order Monday and Boomerang ships it out Tuesday.

Boomerang ships from California by US Postal Mail first class, and is normally received in Iowa in 3 days.

Des Moines’ ordinance defines any Staffordshire Terrier breed of dog, American Pit Bull Terrier breed of dog, American Staffordshire Terrier breed of dog or any dog that has the appearance and characteristics of being predominately of the breeds of Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, or American Staffordshire Terrier as vicious. The owner of such an animal must provide a current rabies certificate, written proof of spaying/neutering, if applicable, proof of insurance coverage, as in a homeowners policy, with a minimum liability amount of $100,000 in addition to a letter from the agent on his/her letterhead that states the insured’s vicious dog, by name, is specifically covered by the policy in force. The pet must be confined as required by Section 18-56 of the Municipal Code.


Iowa Pet Adoptions can not provide boarding for pets with current owners.  We keep pets in our private homes until they are adopted.  We do not have enough homes to provide a place for pets who already have an owner.  Our goal is to take homeless pets in, and have them adopted out to good pet owners, as quickly as possible.

We would like to provide more help to pet owners, but we are not licensed to provide boarding and do not have the resources.

In rare cases we may be able to connect people who need assistance with others willing to provide help.  In these cases, the relationship and the agreement will be between the two people.  Iowa Pet Adoptions will not take responsibility for the fulfillment of the agreement.

If you would like to help fellow pet owners by providing long term boarding, please apply as a volunteer, so we have your contact information.



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