People for Pets was founded over 20 years ago with a handful of dedicated volunteers. Originally dogs and cats were fostered in private homes. In 2001 the building was purchased and we have continued to grow. We remain based on volunteers but now have a director and 3 dedicated staff members. We are a no kill shelter and animals remain in our care until their forever home is found. We were originally founded to accept the stray animals in Spencer because at that time the dogs/cats found at large were euthanized after 3 days of impounding. Now the animals impounded come to the shelter after 3 days of being impounded and not claimed.
People for Pets offers many services not only cat and dog adoptions. Often we work with law enforcement concerning abuse and neglect. We work with landlords who have animals abandoned in their rentals. Elderly owners who need to surrender their pets due to health reasons and often moving to assisted living. We accept pets that owners can not find pet friendly housing. People for Pets accepts many, many pets simply because they are no longer wanted and in danger of being dumped on a gravel road or have a worse fate.
The Kaylene Rose fund was established to help owners who can not afford to vet their animals in emergency situations. This fund is often used to euthanize companion animals that unfortunately the owners just can not afford. Vet clinics will not accept payments. Often people make donations to this fund in memory of loved ones.
The Find Free Fix Fund is a fund created to assist individuals who have feral/stray cats living in their neighborhood. This fund pays for altering as many feral cats as possible. We also assist towns attempt to keep the feral cat population under control by altering as many feral as possible. Both the Kaylene Rose Fund and The Find Free Fix Fund are always in need of donations.
People for Pets animals are adopted locally but often are adopted to other states. We have dogs in Nebraska, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Washington, Oregon, Florida, New Jersey and Texas as well as Iowa.
As time goes past, we accept animals from a larger area including, the state of Iowa, Minnesota, and Missouri. Staff and volunteers often provide programs for the Girl Scouts, church youth groups, people with disabilities and other programs.
Our building from the north.
Our building from the south. In this picture you can see our cat outdoor area!
*The number of rescued animals doesn't include the animals that we spay/neutered for owners or the animals assisted by the Kayleen Rose Fund.
If the Spencer Police Department picks up your cat or dog it is taken to Animal Medical Center, which serves as the impound. The pet stays in impound for three days waiting for you to pick it up. If the three days are reached without you claiming your pet, it is sent to People For Pets to be put up for adoption. Many of these pets are still waiting at People for Pets. If you have lost your pet check our website to see if we have your pet. If not you may try the contacts listed.
How can I help?
Memorials and Tributes
A donation is a wonderful way to remember the life of a friend, family member, or companion animal. You are also aiding us in helping animals who can't help themselves.
You may make a donation using the Donate Now button below. Your donations safe, secure and private. Also, it helps support our mission of "saving lives four paws at a time". If you do not wish to make an online donation we have attached a Memorial Donation form you can download and print. Mail in the form, along with your donation, to People For Pets. Please include contact information in the appropriate place and the shelter will send an acknowledgement of you thoughtful memorial donation to the person(s) specified. Your donation is tax deductible.
Gifts of Time
At People For Pets many hours of work put in at the shelter is donated by volunteers who are also busy with full time jobs, family, and home lives. Our volunteers come in many times a day to care for the cats and dogs, transport animals to veterinary visits, adoptions, and rescue placements. Our volunteers also coordinate all paperwork, adoption applications, phone calls, inquiries, as well as those fun tasks like scooping poop, cleaning, and building maintenance. If you can help please contact us today.
Responsible adults are needed to do everything from daily dog or cat chores, scooping poop, cleaning, lawn care, and building repair. Whether you can spare an hour a week or five hours a day we can use your help. Transport Volunteers are also needed.
People For Pets is a 501c nonprofit incorporated organization. Because we are staffed by volunteers, you will know that your gifts of money will go 100% towards direct animal care such as veterinary bills which average well over $3000 a month, food bills in the hundreds, utilities and the miscellaneous costs of running our shelter each month. A gift of money is greatly appreciated. Please contact a volunteer if you can donate generously, a receipt will be issued for your tax deductible contribution.
Perhaps you have items laying around the house that we could use at our shelter? Maybe the next time you're at the store you could pick up a few extra items to help all the homeless pets at our shelter? You can print this off and take with you when you go shopping. Items that are needed most are listed in bold.
We would love to hear from you and your furry family members. If you have a Happy Tail you'd like to share with us please send us an email! Don't forget to send some pictures.
“I Muddy 'Mudd' Rose passed away on 1/27/22. He is survived by a number of foxy, boxy Black Lab girlfriends across the country. Muddy was born near Spencer, Iowa. His earliest days are unknown (though there are rumors he was a circus dog... these rumors lead back to Kirk). He found himself 'behind bars' at a local pet shelter and operating under an assumed identity as 'Buster', he met Kay Rose. Kay's renown for pairing animals and humans was barnone, but somehow she recommended that her son, Kirk, select another dog - 'Buster' was known to bite. Well, you know how it ends. With one glance, these best of friends found each other and with Kate made a family together for the rest of Muddy's 13.5 years. Muddy was very much a headstrong teenager in his first years with his new family. He swam the lakes of the Boundary Waters, roved the shoreline of the Puget Sound, ate a couch, convinced Kirk and Kate that he didn't kill a few neighborhood chickens... Famously once, he was returned to Kate in the back of a police car. He knew the exact moment you weren't looking anymore. He knew when to pretend he couldn't hear. He was actually fast... once upon a time... sprinting away from Kirk and Kate who were known to have leashes and to try and keep him in one place. He was described as handsome. He had a look on his face that said, I'll go home with you. Especially if you had food. On his first day in Olympia, WA, he was adopted without permission by a local library patron. As Kirk and Kate printed 'lost dog' posters and raced around the city looking for him, Muddy swam in the local pond and was walked all over town by his new friend. If you knew him, you loved him. Muddy came of age in Alaska. He found a profession working as the Office Dog and Head Lunch Inspector at Anchorage Community Land Trust and later in a full-time gig with the Foraker Group. He knew every inch of his neighborhoods and had a talent for finding buried, disgusting trash and devouring it in a bite. He loved to share beds. Any guest of the house experienced this. He was the consummate outdoor companion. He was the guy who came into the tent wet and stunk it up with farts. He was never the trail leader, he was the dog who made sure to double check on you if you were the last of the party on a hike. He got acquainted with porcupines, moose and beavers. A little too acquainted. He saw miles and miles of trail and kept us company on daily walks. And, I mean daily, in any weather. He was the center of our attention and a steady, constant friend. Often, we talked to him as much as any other person in a day. In his senior years, Muddy was given joy by the most unexpected of duties. Kirk and Kate had brought home a new puppy to rear. This puppy followed Muddy around, drank from his water bowl and watched rapt to see what Muddy might do next. Muddy and his newest 'puppy dog' best friend, Desmond, were the cutest match you ever saw. Muddy was the best dog any family could ever ask for. We just wish we had the chance to do it all over again with you, Muddydog. We'll love and miss you all our days. -Kirk, Kate and Desmond Rose ”
“I Just had to share these… Bean was a big hit with everyone at Christmas! Here are some photos! ”
“I Hi! I wanted to update you on how Finn (Jasper) is doing. He has settled in great. He is a loveable, goofy boy and is such a great addition in our house. Roxie has warmed up to him a little bit and River has a ways to go. Each day she gets a little more comfortable with him. Hoping it continues! He did jump the fence once ( we have a 4 foot) so we are figuring that out. He is getting microchipped this morning and getting an overall wellness check. He has healed nicely with being neutered and is itching a little bit behind his elbows. I will ask about that today. Overall, he has done AMAZING and is so fun to have in our family! Thank you so much for everything! Here are some photos! Amanda.”
“We had recently lost our Fox Wire Terrier and a couple of months later we started our search for another dog. Fortunately, we came across a listing on Facebook from People For Pets organization in Spencer, Iowa that had a eight month old FWT available for adoption. We immediately replied with all the information that we could think of and later that day, much to our delight, Donna contacted us and said you seem like the right people to adopt Bean. A few days later we started our trek up to Iowa. We were amazed how clean and orderly the adoption center was. And by the way, if anybody is looking to adopt a pet, especially a cat, this is the place for you! Donna and the rest of the volunteers are absolutely wonderful people. They’re knowledgeable, loving and caring people that spend an inordinate amount of time caring for their pets and making adoptions possible to find each of their forever homes. Our new FWT Bean is an absolute joy and she is filling our home with love and laughter each and every day. She loves the large back yard and chasing the squirrels keeps her busy all day. I can’t thank People for Pets enough for choosing us to share our lives with such a wonderful pet such as Bean. Sincerely John and Rae Astles Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.”
“I hope you have been well. 2020 has been such a tough year, besides COVID and the riots, losing Jersey just about broke me. I miss her so, so much. Thankfully I have all of the wonderful memories of her, but nothing beats the feeling of getting one of her sloppy, wet dog kisses or snuggling up in her think, curly coat. To make matters worse, my dad passed away from cancer six weeks after Jersey died. Like I said, it has been a rough year. When Jersey was still with us, she would accompany me to care for my sick aunt, Faith. She would ride in the car with us down to the Mayo Clinic or to any of the other places we went. Faith would always talk to her in the car, remarking about what a good dog she was; how you wouldn’t even know she was there in the backseat because she was so chilled out. Faith loved her too. When Faith went into hospice care in 2019, I would bring Jersey to the care center when I went to visit her. Many other people always wanted to pet her or come see her, it was so sweet. Faith loved knowing that Jersey was by her side when we were there. Most of the time Jersey would nap, but when Faith would try to pet her, Jersey would perk up and put her face close so Faith could rub her nose. It was like Jersey knew that Faith needed her. Faith passed away in March of 2019. Her estate is just getting settled. There was a little bit money left over and my uncle, Michael, the executor of her estate, divided it up between us. Instead of taking it for ourselves, we asked that the $500 be donated to People for Pets in memory of Jersey. It’s the least we can do. Jersey brought so much joy and happiness into our lives and we hope that this gift can help you get other animals adopted so that they can bring the same to others. Michael said he mailed the check yesterday from Fargo, ND, so it should be arriving soon. I know I’ve said this a hundred times to you, but thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to love Jersey. She was such a sweet, loveable dog. And I know she had a special place in your heart too. Just know that had had the best life for the five plus years that we had her. We will keep her memory alive always.”
“Oz just wants to say Hi again. We had a scare a couple weeks ago and thought it could be the end because he was very sick and couldn't even walk. I brought him home hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. But there was a miracle and he bounced back to being normal Oz again! I'm so happy. We did discover a mass in his chest even though we were looking for gastric issues. It may be cancer, but Oz is almost 11 which is good in bulldog years so I'm not going to test it because surgery is out and I don't want to make him suffer through chemo. He's the best dog and I'm so glad you put him in our lives!”
“So Leila is fitting right in and everyone is smitten with her! Here are a few pics of her ride home! Also, once we got her home we gave her a good bath, blow dry and clipped her nails.”
Leila's mom also called Hailey and mentioned that she had to have surgery due to a mass in her bladder, which was causing the frequent urination and constant infections. After a few weeks of waiting the call came that the mass was non cancerous, how amazing! This is one lucky girl who has the best home that will love her and dote on her for the rest of her life!
“Louie is doing great for almost 11 years old, but starting to show his age. He can only swim for about 15 minutes or he limps and is dead to the world for a couple of days if he swims the entire 1/2 hour. This is a picture before the blizzard. (everything is shut down here too) The drift by Louie’s head is up to my shoulders now. I feel terrible for him because we don’t get much walking in during weather like this. We have a huge back yard so I snow blow a race track for the old fart. He won’t go potty on a sidewalk, so he just holds it until a blow the path for him. Then he goes to the farthest point from the house, does his business and comes running back like he is 2 years old again. We can’t leave him alone with anyone overnight anymore, I think he has developed separation anxiety. He barks non stop and gets the trots. He pretty much rules our lives and we would not have it any other way. Thanks again for letting him be a part of our family.”
“Well it's been almost 2 years since we've adopted her! Just wanted to know that I am doing well!! (says kyra) hope you remember me!! I love going for walks,swimming,golfing and ice fishing!! But getting older and still love to just cuddle with my mom and dad and 3 brothers. Hope this message finds you well as I am doing great!”
“Everything is going great! Bo is now known by the name Rev and he is a wonderful dog. We couldn't have asked for a better dog for our family. A week after we adopted him we found out we were expecting our first child and through out the pregnancy rev was such a comfort to me. Our son is now 2 and a half years old and rev took to him amazingly. They are best friends and rev is very protective of our little boy. He makes sure our son is safe and happy. They love to play together and rev will make sure our son does not wonder out of our yard. Our son refuses to go to sleep unless rev is with him and rev stays by his side all night. We are now expecting our second child and I can't wait to see how rev is with the newest addition to our family. We cannot thank you enough for the blessing you brought to our family and we are so grateful every day for him!”
“Great to hear from you. Bernie (we named him Spencer since we got him in Spencer, Iowa) is doing great! He just had his first Thanksgiving with our families--my mother, Dave's parents and his cousin's family. Spencer charmed everyone with his sweet personality, and of course, everyone loves him.He's honestly the best dog we could've ever asked for. He's so affectionate and loves to be where we are. He's in obedience classes and doing great. We take him for walks in our neighborhood, and he makes friends with other dogs he meets along the way. One thing we've noticed is he's afraid of fires. We've had a few in our fireplace, and he gets tense and leaves the room. We're just trying to encourage him to stay with us and let him know the fires aren't harmful.”