Pet society

Chicago animal shelters are approaching “catastrophic” levels of overcrowding; rescues encourage pet adoptions, foster homes

CHICAGO (WLS) — Chicago’s animal shelters are near “catastrophic” levels of overcrowding, and local rescuers are hoping the community can help save lives.

This crisis is impacting the space available in shelters, especially for large dogs.

“We’ve got a full-fledged crisis on our hands. We’ve got way too many big dogs that we can’t place,” said Darlene Duggan, director of operations at the Anti-Cruelty Society.

The Anti-Cruelty Society, along with its partners at the Chicagoland Humane Coalition, is trying to take action by encouraging more adoptions or placing animals in foster homes.

“The Anti-Cruelty Society is severely limited in housing additional animals, especially dogs over 40 pounds who require larger living spaces,” said Darlene Duggan, director of operations for the Anti-Cruelty Society. ‘Anti-Cruelty Society. “We have received over 100 requests for assistance with dogs in the past week alone, and other shelters are also overcrowded, so we cannot easily transfer animals to our coalition partners. We are desperate to keep these animals safe and find homes for them.”

Chicago Animal Care and Control issued a similar appeal last week, with more than 275 dogs needing help at their facility. In an effort to clean up the shelter, CACC is waiving adoption fees this week for pets, as well as finding foster homes until animals can be placed permanently in a furry home .

Jameel Willis and his family adopted the nearly 70-pound pit bull mix as many Chicago-area animal shelters are packed due to plummeting adoption rates for some dogs.

Rescue officials said the society’s dog adoption rate over the past three months was 33% lower than in previous years. This is because they currently house and care for over 259 animals, along with another 100 foster animals.

This trend isn’t just local, it’s also happening nationally, which means dogs are staying longer in shelters.

The average stay has gone from just 25-30 days to over 70 days for some pooches.

However, shelters said they don’t see the same issue with adoptions of small dogs, puppies or cats.

But why? Experts said it’s a combination of factors.

“It comes from a pandemic. The last two years have been difficult for the world, basically, and I think it’s also the economy,” Duggan said.

The organization not only advertises that it is open again, but has launched several adoption promotions, such as their “Big Dogs, Big Love” promotion, where any dog ​​over 40 pounds is only $40. $ to adopt.

Shelters also encourage people to foster an animal before adopting it.

“So we want to try something new. That way our baby will be our dog,” said Daija Brown, who tracked the pups in search of loving homes.

The Anti-Cruelty Society is currently home to nearly 300 dogs, cats and other animals, and hopes they will eventually find them all soon.

“I’m so excited. My daughter wanted — I wanted a dog. We just wanted to add this new addition to our family,” Willis said.

To help animals find their forever homes and secure space for other animals in need, the Anti-Cruelty Society and other Chicagoland Humane Coalition shelters are providing a number of other opportunities to encourage people to adopt or adopt. These include:

  • The Anti-Cruelty Society offers a variety of programs to the public, including: Big Dogs = Big Love Promotion through the end of April, and all dogs over 40 pounds can be adopted for $40. The public is invited to come meet these animals at the Anti-Cruelty Society River North Adoption Center or the Everyday Adoption Center at the South Loop PetSmart store.
  • The Anti-Cruelty Society also offers on-site training for new volunteers. People are encouraged to enroll in foster care training and learn about foster care support services for dogs and cats. There is a special need for foster families to care for newborn kittens during this active kitten season. come to the shelter, train and leave with an animal, including newborn kittens.
  • Chicago Animal Care and Control is waiving all dog adoption fees through April 17.
  • One Tail at a Time is reducing adoption fees by 50% on Saturday, April 23.
  • The South Suburban Humane Society is reducing adoption fees by 50% for all animals 6 months and older as part of Tour for Life with the North Shore Animal League through Saturday, April 16.
  • Interested adopters can view available animals at the Anti-Cruelty Society at and learn more about the adoption process at Interested host families can learn more about Adoptions are on a first-come, first-served basis and animals cannot be put on hold.

    The Anti-Cruelty Society’s River North Adoption Center is located at 510 N. LaSalle, Chicago; Daily Adoption Center at South Loop PetSmart, 1101 S. Canal, Chicago, PetSmart Andersonville, 5210 N. Broadway, Chicago; PetSmart Kingsbury, 1415 N. Kingsbury, Chicago; PetSmart Wrigleyville, 3740 N. Halsted, Chicago; and Evanston PetSmart, 2221 Oakton St., Evanston. For hours of operation, visit

    For more information on available CACC animals, visit the CCCC website or visit CACC Adoptable Animals Facebook Page.

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