Acadia, one of the many lovable cats

available for adoption at Tree House Humane Society

I’ve blogged before about the physical, emotional and mental benefits of owning a pet. From lowering your blood pressure to providing mental stimulation, pets not only reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, but they can also be trained to detect seizures and assist with various forms of rehabilitation.

What I’ve neglected to discuss is where you can go to find the perfect little fuzzy companion for you or your loved one. With increasing amounts of abuse and neglect being reported, as well as a lack of responsibility for breeding practices, puppy mills are not the best option. Various rescue organizations, founded by those who deeply care for animals and not the profit that can be made from them, have sprouted up across Chicagoland to help stop the euthanization of over 20,000 animals in Chicago each year. Rescuing a pet can not only be less expensive than buying a specific breed from a breeder, but the act itself can provide more peace of mind and fulfillment for the heart.

Top 5 Chicago Rescue Picks

One Tail at a Time

A no-kill, 501(c)3 all-breed rescue organization committed to lowering euthanasia rates in the area, One Tail at a Time provides humane education programs as well as assistance for disadvantaged and low-income families. Adoption fee is $200 or $300 for puppies 6 months and under. If the dog is over 7 years old, the fee is $150. All fees cover a wellness exam, spay/neuter, age-appropriate vaccinations, heartworm test and microchip. Email or visit for more information.

New Leash on Life

A volunteer run, nonprofit organization, New Leash on Life (NLOL) is committed to finding loving homes for shelter dogs that otherwise would be euthanized. They do not discriminate by age or breed. Furthermore, their focus is on non-adoptable dogs that are often overlooked by other organizations. NLOL has the patience to work with these dogs to help them overcome their anxiety, so you might find a plethora of options. Adoption fee is $250, and dogs are fully vaccinated, spayed or neutered and microchipped prior to adoption. Call (312) 458-9839 or visit for more information.

Alive Rescue

Originally run only through foster homes, Alive Rescue now operates out of “the little barn” in Roscoe Village. In addition to focusing on older animals or those with special needs, Alive Rescue also values sustainable living and care giving by creating awareness and respect for all animals and the environment within our communities. They are GREEN and certainly take it seriously. The requested donation for cats is $150, $300 for dogs over 4 months old, $325 for dogs under 4 months . A $75 training deposit is required, but refunded once proof is provided that the training class has been completed. Email or visit for more information.

Chicagoland Lab Rescue, Inc.

If you are a lover of labs and want to stay specific to that breed, then this organization is for you. Their mission is to save these great family dogs through their network of shelters and vets. Adoption fees vary by age -dogs under 9 monthsare $325, over 9 months are $275 and over 8 years old are $175. Email or visit for more information.

Tree House Humane Society

A cageless, no kill humane organization specializing in the rescue and rehabilitation of sick and injured stray cats, these folks are all about the cats! With vast amounts of information and resources on their website, there’s no mistaking how much Tree House cares for the kitties. They have adoption facilities in Uptown, Bucktown and a new center and low-cost clinic on the way. The adoption fee of $85 covers the cost of one cat’s care to include spay/neuter, deworming, flea treatment, FIV and FeLV testing, AVID microchip, veterinary examination and all vaccinations. Email or visit for more information.

Information taken from:, , ,,

Carrie Robertson
Research & Community Education
Chicago Skilled Nursing
Chicago Senior Living

Newsletter -gated

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