116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
A nonprofit for nonprofits is in need of a permanent space.
The Animal Resource Foundation of Iowa has served as the Iowa affiliate of Rescue Bank National for nearly two years. This program works directly with pet food manufacturers to distribute donated pet food to reputable pet rescue groups and animal shelters.
“When a pet food company wants to give to the donation program, they contact Rescue Bank which then calls us to see if we can take the donation,” says Sandy Miller, president of Animal Resource Foundation of Iowa.
Food is delivered to one, or more, of the four 10-by-30 feet storage lockers the organization rents in Palo. From there, it is distributed to more than 40 approved rescue programs and shelters in five states.
It's a system that works - for the most part. The group's lack of storage space means some deliveries have to be turned down. At the same time, the organization is paying $300 each month for storage; money that could be used to help with its other program: SNIP.
SNIP (Spay/Neuter Incentive Program) removes the financial barrier of having pets fixed by offering subsidies. Individuals must apply and, if approved, receive a co-pay offer that puts the surgery within their reach.
“If people take care of this on the front end, it leads to less needs down the road,” Miller says. “There are fewer abandoned animals, decreased opportunities for animal abuse and, ideally, less populated shelters.”
SNIP is geared toward cat owners. Miller says programs to help subsidize dog spay and neuter bills exist, but they're not as readily available for cats, which tend to populate faster than canines.
“Kitties can come into heat at four months and become pregnant at six months,” Miller says. “In one year, you could have three generations in one home.”
SNIP also helps those who help abandoned animals.
“We've found that most of the people we help didn't go out and adopt a pet,” Miller says. “Instead, they've found animals or strays have shown up at their home, and they want to help.”
It recently received a grant from The Petco Foundation to spay and neuter 400 cats and kittens for only $15. Applications can be found at www.arfiowa.org or at the Marion Petco, 1450 Twixt Town Rd.
If the foundation had a permanent space, applications could be picked up there, Miller says. The space would ideally have adequate storage for the pet food pantry and, ideally, a meeting space for the volunteers who keep the foundation running. That and monetary donations and more volunteers round out the foundation's top three needs.
“If we could get some more volunteers, some new blood and new ideas, I think we could accomplish some great things,” Miller says.
To learn more about the foundation, visit