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DES MOINES, Iowa — Most animals at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa find new homes in about two weeks, but some wind up waiting for months. In this week’s Clear the Shelters, we introduce you to a few long-term stay pets.

“His name is Hercules. He’s 7 years old.  He’s a whopping 119 pounds,” said Megan Davies, ARL Animal Care Manager.

Due to his age and size, some people might find Hercules a little intimidating.  He has been at the shelter since June.

“All we say is meet him.  You don’t know what you know.  You may be looking for a cute little small dog and you meet this hunk, this handsome guy and you kind of fall in love with him,” said Davies.

The summer is one of the busiest times of the year at the ARL. While the shelter environment is a fantastic resource, it’s not home.

Most pets at the ARL are suitable for the back yard, however, the shelter also cares for animals that are most at home in the barn yard.

“They’ve been here for quite some time,” explained Davies.

Penny is one of three pot-bellied pigs that came to the ARL in April.

“Penny unfortunately was from an eviction.  So that person had lost their home and then the pigs didn’t haven anywhere to go so they came to us,” said Davies.

Full grown, she will be well over 100 pounds.  Her ideal home is farm land or open pasture.

“They are so, so smart. That’s something people need to be aware of.  You need to keep that pig busy becuase they will otherwise make themselves busy,” warned Davies.

You’ll find more information about Hercules and Penny at