Our Story

Our Story

Noah’s Ark Animal Foundation is a no-kill shelter for homeless cats and dogs. Since 1986, we have provided shelter, love and care to abandoned, neglected, abused and lost animals.

Noah’s Ark incorporated in 1988 and was recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt, charitable, nonprofit organization in 1993. Initially, the shelter only took in cats, however, in 1996, we expanded our programs and were able to start accepting dogs.

The Shelter reorganized in 2000 with an expanded Board of Directors, and a new mission statement emphasizing an active adoption and spay/neuter program. The direct result was CCSNAP (Caring Community Spay Neuter Assistance Program), which subsidizes sterilization surgeries for dogs and cats on a shared basis with the pet owner. CCSNAP-sponsored Big Fix Campaigns, have had a significant impact on the number of homeless animals in our area. In 2002, CCSNAP was expanded to include subsidizing 100% of the cost of sterilization surgeries for stray and feral cats.

In the spring of 2004, construction was completed on our new “green” shelter building—the Catherine V. Glann Building. Located at 1986 West Gear Avenue, the new shelter was specifically designed for housing animals, and included for the first time in Noah’s Ark’s history indoor dog kennels.

In 2005, Noah’s Ark was accepted by PetSmart Charities, Inc. as its Adoption Center Partner at the Clive (West Des Moines) PetSmart store. Ten to twelve Noah’s Ark cats at a time are housed and cared for at the Center until adopted through Noah’s Ark. This allows us to offer a 7 day a week adoption program.

Through our cat and dog adoption programs, most animals quickly find good homes with kind, responsible people to care for them, while others live at Noah’s Ark for a longer period of time. No dog or cat under our care is ever “put to sleep” unless a medical condition is causing undue suffering or there is an extreme behavioral problem.

At Noah’s Ark we believe that every animal’s life is special, worthy of our respect, and deserving of humane treatment. Every day we are called upon to rescue and care for more animals in need, whose lives depend upon our ability to give them food, shelter, and medical care. Your gift makes it possible for us to transform a sick and lonely animal’s suffering into a lifesaving treatment, a nutritious meal, a warm bed, and a loving touch. All of this and more is what Noah’s Ark means to the animals and we work diligently to make all of this possible.

Every day at Noah’s Ark we:

  • Rescue stray and homeless animals and give them a safe haven in our shelter facility
  • Provide hospitalization and medical care for sick, injured animals
  • Offer cat and dog adoption programs to place pets in good, responsible homes
  • Offer guidance and investigation concerning animal cruelty complaints
  • Sponsor educational and volunteer programs for all ages to teach and promote proper care of animals
  • Organize spay/neuter discount programs (CCSNAP) to reduce pet-overpopulation
  • Neuter and spay all of our shelter animals
  • Sponsor a feral cat spay/neuter program

Our Mission

Noah’s Ark Animal Foundation is a no-kill shelter whose mission is to rescue, protect, and find loving homes for stray and neglected dogs and cats. We strive to offer the best in both traditional veterinary care and, whenever possible, holistic healthcare for sick and injured animals in our care. We believe we have a responsibility to provide low-cost spay/neuter subsidy programs, humane education, and community outreach programs that not only enhance the lives of the animals, but also the human lives the animals go on to enrich.

The March 7, 1997 Tragedy

Noah’s Ark was founded to provide shelter and sanctuary to lost, abandoned, abused, and neglected animals. For many years we quietly went about our mission of rescuing, loving, protecting, and caring for homeless animals.

The peace of our shelter was shattered on March 7, 1997, with the break-in and heartless beating of 27 cats at the shelter by two teenagers wielding baseball bats. Seventeen of our beloved cats lost their lives that night while a dozen more were seriously injured. Two local teenagers were later charged and found guilty of the crime.

Many of the surviving felines were adopted into loving homes to begin their long road to recovery. A number of the cats were never accounted for. At our new shelter,  surveillance cameras and additional security measures help to ensure their safety. You can visit the March 7, 1997 Memorial here. In addition, you can read the story of the “Captain” (pictured) here.

We are happy to report that we survived that tragedy, and have been instrumental in awakening national awareness to the need for stronger animal abuse laws in all states. Here in Iowa, we have worked hard to bring the Iowa felony animal abuse law to the legislature where it passed. This sends a message to many other states to take action. To achieve this we worked with organizations around the country including the Humane Society of the US, In Defense of Animals, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, Animal Legal Defense Fund and others.