The village of Oak Park, found adjacent to Chicago’s West Side, is home to a thriving community of dog owners and animal lovers. There are also a number of inspirational animal welfare and rescue organizations operating throughout Oak Park and the wider Chicago area, each of which is committed to saving the lives of at-risk canines and ending pet homelessness.
Take Animal Care League, for example. This limited-admission shelter in Oak Park has been helping homeless animals since 1973. It gives homeless dogs, cats, and other small animals the medical attention, food, shelter, and love they need to get back on their paws. These animals are then matched with loving owners through Animal Care League’s highly successful adoption program.
As Animal Care League is a not-for-profit organization, it is only able to protect and help animals thanks to the generous donations it receives from the wider community. Volunteers and new foster families are also always welcome.
Chicago Canine Rescue Foundation is another group dedicated to the wellbeing of Chicago’s canine population. Founded in 2001, the foundation’s goal is to help find permanent, loving homes for homeless dogs right throughout Chicago. It has saved the lives of more than 6,000 dogs and cats since that time, giving them a second and much-deserved chance to find happiness.
Chicago Canine Rescue Foundation takes in dogs from open-intake facilities, from rural rescue partners who can’t provide adoption services, and from families who can no longer care for them. These animals are then given the specialized medical treatment and emotional and behavioral support they need, before being adopted out to loving, responsible owners.
In December each year, Animal Care League holds a highly-anticipated Holiday Bazaar at its training facility in Oak Park. This annual fundraiser should be your first port of call for all your holiday shopping needs, with the chance to buy presents for your pet, gifts for family and friends, grrr-eat décor, jewelry, delicious baked goods, and a whole lot more! Ther’s even the op-paw-tunity to get your picture taken with Santa — the whole family is welcome, including your furry friend! All proceeds support Animal Care League’s efforts to help local homeless animals, so make sure you don’t miss this wonderful annual event.
If you like dogs, you’ll undoubtedly love the PAWS Chicago 5K, which happens to be the windy city’s largest dog-friendly event! Dog lovers and their canine companions are invited to step out into the June sunshine each year to tackle this 5K walk/run, with all proceeds benefiting PAWS Chicago’s efforts to save the lives of homeless pets. As well as the fun and family-friendly main event, all two- and four-legged participants can expect a whole lot more entertainment on the day. Highlights include live music, food and drinks, free giveaways, and grrr-eat prizes for the top fundraisers, so it’s a paw-some day out for you and your fur-kid to enjoy together!
Looking for a new pet or just looking for ideas on how you can improve your delightful dog’s quality of life? You might find exactly what you’re looking for at the Chicago Pet Show, held in April at the Oak Lawn Pavilion. The show aims to bring people and pets together through rescue and education, so you can expect to learn plenty about some paw-some local rescue groups and also about how to give your pooch the best-quality care. You can enjoy the many demonstrations and canine entertainment, discounts on a host of grrr-eat pet products, and information about a stack of other local pet services. Best of all, this event is totally dog-friendly!
A dog-friendly event run to benefit a very good cause, Mutt Strut lets you and your pooch strut your stuff to support homeless animals. Held in September at Maple Park, this paw-some fundraiser benefits Animal Care League and its efforts to save the lives of homeless pets. You and your pooch can enjoy a relaxing stroll with plenty of other dog lovers and their canine companions, and there’s heaps more for you and your fur-kid to see and do on the day. Highlights include canine massages, fun pet contests, food, live music, and a pet-acular post-walk party that will have all strutters raising the woof through the morning and into the afternoon!
What could possibly be better than a woof-tastic beach party with your dog? How about if simply by attending you would be raising funds to help animals in need? That’s the basic premise of the PAWS Chicago Beach Party, which is held each July at Castaways North Avenue Beach. This summer celebration sees 500 luau guests and their furry friends paw-ty the night away to raise money for PAWS Chicago. You and your pet can join hundreds of other animal lovers and their dogs while you sip frozen cocktails, eat a delicious dinner, bid on live and silent auctions, dance the night away, and generally enjoy the best that a Chicago summer has to offer. Sounds grrr-eat, huh?