If you live in West Des Moines, you have been able to live in one of the nation’s safest cities to be an animal in need for the last decade.  City council will be voting to change that on May 15, 2023.  While Furry Friends received less than 5% of the city’s budget for animal welfare, it has done the vast majority of work for animals within the city.  Read more about where your tax dollars have gone HERE.  The majority of the work provided for West Des Moines animals has been paid for by donations and supported by volunteer labor.  Despite this, the city is voting to throw away all the important programming provided by Furry Friends and will be building its own city-run shelter with your tax dollars.  This was proposed many years ago, but the city happily placed the burden of building such a facility to Furry Friends.  We have invested millions of dollars building shelters and services in the community and provide low and no cost veterinary services, training, owner surrender services, and on call emergency care for strays at no cost to the city.  The city will now be operating its own facility and will send around 1/3 of the animals Furry Friends handled for the city of West Des Moines to AHeinz 57.  AHeinz 57 is located 20 miles from West Des Moines in DeSoto and is a limited admission facility that takes in animals from a variety of geographic locations, including many out of state.  AHeinz 57 will not commit to prioritizing owner surrendered pets from West Des Moines as Furry Friends has done for over a decade.  The city claims that there are other shelters and rescues to take all this on–that is not true.  AHeinz 57 and all other area shelters are constantly full, meaning these animals have no place to go under the city’s new plan.

The city council and mayor have had no contact whatsoever with Furry Friends Refuge for the duration of its current contract and have remained unresponsive to citizens concerned about the wellbeing of the animals and the wasteful manner in which resources are allocated for animal welfare.  The citizens have every reason to be worried–the last time the city ran its own shelter only 32% of cats left there alive.  Even when Furry Friends had agreed to take cats from the city, the city employees killed them while Furry Friends was prepared and paying medical staff awaiting the arrival of these animals in need.

Read the letter provided to city council HERE.  If you love animals in West Des Moines, please come and speak during the citizen’s forum at the May 15 city council meeting.

Others ways to help:
Purchase high priority items from our Amazon Wishlist.

Donate: Our animals will need your financial support to continue to navigate this health emergency: https://furryfriendsrefuge.org/donate/

 — at Furry Friends Refuge.