Dogs are our faithful companions, remaining loyal through thick and thin, so it’s only fair that we look after our furry friends when they fall on tough times. When dogs in Cicero and surrounding areas find themselves out of luck and in need of a second chance, there are plenty of rescue groups and animal welfare organizations ready to give them the care, love, and hope they need.
Chicago Canine Rescue Foundation (CCRF) is a perfect example of this. Founded in 2001, CCRF is committed to finding permanent, loving homes for homeless dogs in the greater Chicago area. Since that time, it has saved the lives of more than 6,000 dogs and cats. The dogs CCRF cares for come from open-intake facilities, rural rescue partners who lack the resources for adoptions, and from families who can no longer look after their pets.
CCRF then provides the medical treatment, behavioural support, and adoption services each animal needs to find a responsible, caring owner. It welcomes dogs of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds, and is always on the lookout for more volunteers and donations.
PAWS Chicago is another group dedicated to saving the lives of canines in need in and around Chicago. Established in 1997, PAWS is on a mission to build a no-kill Chicago, to end the overpopulation of homeless animals, and set higher standards of animal welfare.
Operating on a no-kill philosophy, PAWS runs a robust adoption program, spay and neuter services, and community engagement and outreach programs. It also relies on donations, volunteers, and foster carers to help pets in need, so why not find out how you can help?
Each year in July, PAWS Chicago throws a tail-wagging beach party to raise much-needed funds, celebrate our furry friends, and generally treat the local community of animal lovers to a grrr-eat night out! Held at Castaways North Avenue Beach, this paw-ty is a summer celebration for 500 luau guests and their pets. You and your pooch can enjoy the summer sun while you sip frozen cocktails, experience the cool Lake Michigan breeze, and socialize with plenty of other two and four-legged guests! There’s an open bar, a delicious dinner, live and silent auctions, pet spa services, and the chance to simply dance the night away while raising money for an excellent cause.
If you love dogs, there’s no doubt that you’ll love the PAWS Chicago 5K! Not only is this a paw-some fundraiser for PAWS Chicago, but it’s also Chicago’s largest dog-friendly event. Each year, thousands of dog lovers and their canine companions gather at Montrose Harbor to tackle the scenic 5K course. Participants of all ages and fitness levels are welcome, with the main focus on fun and helping animals rather than taking things too seriously. Other event highlights include live entertainment, food and drinks, free giveaways, and maybe even a celebrity or two, so there’s plenty for you and your pooch to see and do all morning long!
If you want to get out and about in the great outdoors with your pooch, (not to mention raise some money for a woof-tastic local rescue group at the same time) add Jog For Dogs to your calendar for the year ahead! Held in May at Elk Grove Village, this dog-friendly event features a 5K run or 2-mile walk along the scenic forest preserve trails of Busse Woods. As well as a race packet and post-race food, all participants also get the op-paw-tunity to soak up the fun, relaxed atmosphere and spend some quality time with their four-legged friend! Best of all, proceeds from the event benefit ALIVE Rescue, a Chicago non-profit committed to protecting the lives and rights of animals.
Bark in the Park is a huge outdoor paw-ty for Chicago dog lovers and their canine companions. Held at the Soldier Field Stadium Green, this event gives you, your dog, and your whole family the ideal excuse to indulge in a peaceful picnic at a wonderful location. There’s also an optional 5K walk along Chicago’s beautiful lakefront, allowing you to take in some spectacular views of the city’s skyline. And while you’re enjoying a grrr-eat day out with your dog, remember that the funds raised from the event go to help The Anti-Cruelty Society care for nearly 20,000 animals each year!
Want to treat your dog to a whole day full of fun, games, and canine celebrations? Take him along to the CSBarks Dog Festival, which is the Carol Stream Park District’s annual dog festival. This massive (and free!) dog event draws in thousands of pooches and their owners, keen to experience plenty of four-legged fun. Event highlights include dog performances, lure coursing, frisbee dog demos, wiener dog races, heaps of cool contests, and a parade of breeds! Throw in pet product vendors, kids’ crafts, and some delicious food trucks, and you’ve got a festival the whole family is sure to love.