One of the major ANIMAL SHELTERS IN PITTSBURGH is the Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center (ARL) was formed in 1909 by a group of citizens who shared a concern for animal welfare and public health. Since opening its doors in 1910, the ARL has remained true to its mission i.e. to provide temporary shelter, food, medical attention, and comfort to all abandoned, neglected and injured animals brought to us by the community; to restore lost animals to their owners or seek new homes for them, to educate the public about the humane care of animals with a goal of reducing overpopulation and to rescue and rehabilitate native Pennsylvania wildlife.
The ARL helps any animal in need regardless of species or breed. At ANIMAL SHELTER IN PITTSBURGH, they care for and find permanent homes for dogs, cats and other companion animals. Theirs is the ‘only’ shelter in the region that takes in and cares for both wild and companion animals.
Originally incorporated as the Animal Rescue League of Pittsburgh, the organization opened its first shelter in May 1910. The shelter was small, but later that year a 16 acre farm called Rosedale was donated to the League.
Rosedale’s initial use served as overflow housing of dogs and cats that were in the ARL’s care. Alleviating some of the space issues, the ARL relocated its quarters to a larger building a few blocks away and contracted a local veterinarian to provide the necessary medical care to the agency’s animals.
During its third year in operation, the ARL negotiated a contract with the city of Pittsburgh to provide, “for the arrest, care, and disposal of unlicensed dogs found running at large in the streets.” This contract helped to ensure that all stray animals in the city received proper care and treatment. The partnership was also the first of its kind between a local municipality and a voluntary humane organization.
In midst of World War I, the ARL found itself in a battle with both the city and the US Department of the Interior. Both government agencies mandated that stray cats and dogs be used in trial gas mask development for the war effort. The ARL fiercely opposed this direction until the federal government finally exempted cities with humane societies from the order. Shortly after the end of the war, a pet cemetery was established at the Rosedale campus.
The 1940s brought more changes to the ARL, particularly at Rosedale:
- Ø A new building was opened at the site for the purpose of boarding owned pets.
- Ø The ARL shelter moved once again to its current facility on Hamilton Avenue.
- Ø The new building was not only equipped with more kennel space, but also a spay and neuter clinic to alter every adoptable pet.
- Ø A veterinarian was subsequently hired as a full-time staff member in 1975.
- Ø The new facilities also brought about a name change for the ARL, now to be known as the Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania.
- Ø 1997 marked perhaps the largest expansion of the ARL: a wildlife rehabilitation division.
- Ø The Pennsylvania Wildlife Center was opened at the Rosedale campus allowing the League to provide services to injured wild animalsin addition to the domestic animals it already served.
- Ø Opened a Cat Adoption Center on a parcel next to the main shelter in 2010.
This kind effort of the animal shelter in Pittsburgh is no doubt commendable and applaud able. Our hats are off to them.