Working Cooperatively for the Welfare of Animals Since 1975



About the IFHS

Mission and Goals   •   Objectives   •   Accomplishments   •   Position Statements   •   Officers and Board  

The Iowa Federation of Humane Societies (IFHS) unites the efforts of both individuals and groups in the state of Iowa in promoting and maintaining the humane care, handling of, and regard for animals. Though the primary concerns may be directed towards the welfare of animals, members of this organization are firmly committed to educating the general public about animal issues.

The individuals who serve on the Board of Directors represent diverse locales, organizations, and occupations within the state of Iowa. The Federation encourages others to join the growing numbers who share the desire to attain new and continuing goals for ethical standards of animal care and treatment.

Mission and Goals

Our mission is to support and promote, by any legal means possible, the humane treatment of all animals.

IFHS Objectives

As the “umbrella” group for a cohesive statewide network of licensed humane organizations, we assist Iowa’s humane organizations by providing programs and expertise that promote individual strength and organizational sustainability.

Our objectives are:

to unite county and local humane societies and animal protective societies;

to encourage the support and sponsorship of humane education programs aimed at developing more compassion, better understanding, and a deeper appreciation of all animals;

to actively serve as animal advocates by providing for the rescue, relief, and humane disposition of homeless and suffering animals;

to advance the education of the public on the subject of animal protection, exploitation, and abuse by cultivating the public’s understanding that all animals experience suffering;

to appoint special humane agents within the field of operation of this organization where none now exist;

to secure and support just laws for the prevention of cruelty to and the protection of animals in cooperation with city, county, and state authorities.

Photo: Bob the cat with the amputated front leg, eating.
Photo: Maggie the pregnant dog.


We have been successful in many of our efforts to promote humane treatment and care of animals.

 Pound Seizure Reversal 1995 (145B.3 Dogs Held for Redemption by Owner. Code of Iowa)We helped change the language of this law that required pounds and animals shelters to release unclaimed dogs to research facilities that demanded them.

Currently, the institutions may ask, but the agencies may refuse.

Spay/Neuter Law—1999 (162.20 Sterilization. Code of Iowa)With our support, a law was passed that requires the sterilization of cats and dogs adopted from licensed pounds and animal shelters, preferably before they leave the site.

Animals who are adopted intact are covered by a signed sterilization agreement that specifies the date by which the spay/neuter must be done.

-Adopters who do not comply with the provisions are guilty of a simple misdemeanor.

-Pounds or shelters who knowingly fail to provide for the sterilization of a cat or dog are subject to a civil penalty of up to $200.

Photo: Maggie's five newborn puppies.

Mourning Dove Hunting Veto2001. Mourning doves have been protected in Iowa since 1918, although there have been numerous unsuccessful attempts by nonresident-hunting/industry groups over the years to overturn the protection. The dove hunting issue generated more communication than any other piece of legislation in Iowa history!

IFHS played a significant grass-roots role by encouraging thousands of Iowans to contact then-Governor Tom Vilsack saying they did not support changing the current law to legalize dove hunting and asking him to veto the narrowly-passed bill. The bill was subsequently vetoed by the Governor in January, 2001.

Photo: Mourning Dove sitting on a nest.
Photo:  Rescued piggy in a pen.

Livestock Abuse Law Rewrite2003 (Chapter 717 Livestock Abuse. Code of Iowa)IFHS was instrumental in the revisions of this chapter to include the abuse and neglect of companion animals.

The result was “717 Injury to Livestock” and “717B Injury to Animals Other than Livestock.”

Felony Animal Torture Law2004 (717B.3A Animal Torture. Code of Iowa)IFHS worked very hard to make a provision for animal torture and its punishment in State law. A section was added to Chapter 717.

-A first conviction results in an aggravated misdemeanor and requires psychological evaluation and treatment and a community work assignment.

-A second conviction results in a class “D” felony and requires psychological evaluation and treatment.

Puppy Mill Law2010HF 2280, sponsored by Sen. Matt McCoy (D-Des Moines) and Rep. Jim Lykam (D-Davenport) was signed at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa in Des Moines.

-The new legislation gives State officials the authority to inspect mass-scale puppy production facilities upon complaint.

This inspection will now be possible whether the facilities are federally licensed by the USDA or not.

-IFHS worked with Mary LaHay (Iowa Voters for Companion Animals) to educate Iowans about the misery found in puppy mills.

Photo: Gov. Culver and his dog, Buck, signing the Puppy Mill bill into Iowa law.

Iowa State Fair Animal Welfare CommitteeWe train volunteers to monitor the well being of animals on the fairgrounds every day the Iowa State Fair is in session to ensure their humane treatment.

Position Statements

• Animal Torture—the IFHS believes that animal torture is a serious offense and the animal torture laws should reflect the serious nature of these acts.

• Horse Slaughter—the IFHS is against the slaughter of horses for any reason.

Officers and Board Members

office first name last name  affiliation (if any) city 
President Tom Colvin Animal Rescue League of Iowa Des Moines
Vice President Jerry Dominicak Siouxland Humane Society Sioux City
Secretary Glenda Stormes-Bice   Ames
Treasurer Bernie Lettington   Cedar Rapids
Board Member Janet Ashman Johnson County Humane Society Iowa City
Board Member Maria Benham Dubuque Humane Society Dubuque
Board Member Dan Campbell, DVM Animal Rescue League of Iowa Des Moines
Board Member Carol Griglione Animal Rescue League of Iowa Des Moines

Our last update was onó10.27.18

Contact Us

IFHS   •   5452 NE 22nd Street   •   Des Moines, IA  50313-2528


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