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Paws Chicago

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animal Services, Animals

Mission: Paws chicago's mission is to build no kill communities, starting with a no kill chicago; to end pet overpopulation; and to transform animal welfare by setting higher standards. Since its founding, the number of pets killed each year in chicago has been reduced by 77 percent. Paws chicago's lifesaving success is rooted in the no kill model, which can be replicated and scaled in any community. The foundation of all lifesaving is community engagement. By raising awareness about pet homelessness and engaging people in lifesaving efforts, we can make lasting change for animals. Paws chicago's mission-critical programs - our no kill pillars of prevention, adoption, animal health & behavior, and volunteers -- sit atop this foundation. These are the robust programs that are essential to building no kill communities.

Programs: Animal health & behavior:committing to the life of each treatable pet and providing all medical treatment and behavioral enrichment needed to optimize health and wellbeing is one of the most critical elements of no kill. Because of our expert veterinary and behavior teams, we are one of the few shelters in the country that can treat and rehabilitate a large volume of sick, injured and behaviorally challenged animals. In 2014, we had a 97. 37 percent save rate, even while taking in a vulnerable population of animals. Shelter medicine: the medical center-the first stop for homeless animals when they arrive at paws-treats the most serious cases onsite. We also utilize a robust foster network for pets receiving more simple treatment. In 2014, thousands of animals were treated at our medical center-2,191 pets had upper respiratory infections alone-and 3,467 pets went into foster care. More than 41,000 vaccinations, microchips and blood tests were provided in 2014. Training & behavior enrichment: in 2014, we celebrated the opening of our training & foster care center. This 3,000 square-foot space is now home to our innovative dog training and enrichment programming and a hub to expand our geographic reach to new foster families. Through this center, our team of behavior professionals and trained volunteers provide our homeless dogs with one-on-one and group training, agility and enrichment. And it's making an impact. In 2014, 122 behaviorally challenged dogs found new loving homes. Expanding the medical center: with the progress we are seeing in chicago, healthy animals are being saved in record numbers at the city pound, which means we are seeing a sicker population of animals in need of rescue, requiring enhanced medical resources to treat. To save more lives, paws chicago is launching a major expansion of our medical center and shelter medicine program to triple our capacity to take in, isolate and treat sick and injured animals.

prevention & spay/neuter:spay/neuter services: with the paws chicago lurie clinic located in little village and the gusmobile spay/neuter van, which brings life-saving solutions directly to neighborhoods most in need, we performed 18,290 spay/neuter surgeries in 2014. Seventy-two percent of client surgeries were provided free of charge. Preventing unwanted pets from being born is key to building a no kill chicago. The majority of stray, feral and unwanted pets originate in low income, under resourced communities. Important pet resources like free spay/neuter surgeries, information on pet care and training and affordable medical care are all necessary ingredients to reducing pet homelessness and building a humane community. Trap-neuter-return program: paws chicago's feral cat trap-neuter-return (tnr) program is critical aspect of our targeted spay/neuter approach. It is aimed at proactively sterilizing and managing the free roaming cat population, the source of thousands of unwanted kittens born each year. Tnr reduces the number of animals entering the sheltering system each year while also saving kittens and finding them adoptive homes. In 2014, paws performed 4,763 spay/neuter surgeries on feral cats. Outreach efforts: expanding our reach and meeting people who would never knew about paws chicago's support and resources is the key objective of our outreach efforts. In late 2014, we launched two paws for life outreach programs to connect families in need with resources and information to help them better care for their pets. Our first neighborhood of focus was englewood, where more than 49 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. The team achieved spay/neuter conversion rate of 89 percent of all unaltered pets they met. We also began counseling and offering resources to individuals coming to the city pound (animal care & control, or acc) to give up their pets, preventing animals from entering the sheltering system.

adoption:rescuing homeless pets and uniting them with their new families is at the forefront of what we do. Through paws chicago's adoption centers, offsite events and innovative programming, 5,952 animals found loving homes in 2014. While saving pets from the local community is paws chicago's primary mission, because of the progress we have made in chicago, we are able to rescue at risk animals from other states. Our dog spay/neuter efforts have been so successful that in chicago all the puppies at the city pound are being rescued, and there are more families wanting puppies than the chicago rescue community can provide. To meet adoption demand, we have developed relationships with groups in tennessee, oklahoma and mississippi to save puppies who would otherwise be killed. Pippen fasseas adoption center: the pippen fasseas adoption center in lincoln park, which opened in 2007, redefined animal sheltering as the first cageless, state-of-the-art, no kill shelter in the midwest. Innovative on-site adoption events like our spring and holiday 36-hour adopt-a-thons raise awareness and bring in the community, resulting in more lives saved. Glenn l. Felner adoption center: paws chicago's first satellite adoption facility-the glenn l. Felner adoption center- opened in december 2014 in highland park. The opening of the north shore center represents an important step in paws chicago's mission to expand lifesaving and build no kill communities. Located inside the highland park petco, the center was responsible for 76 adoptions in its first month of operation. In 2015, we are working to find new families 500 additional homeless pets. Offsite adoption events: through our angels with tails off-site adoption events in chicago and various suburban locations, we bring adoptable animals to high-traffic shopping centers and retail stores where people will stop, play with the animals and think about adopting. Paws chicago also hosted additional offsite adoption events almost every weekend during 2014.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We adopted our dog, Buddy, from PAWS about 8 years ago. They were absolutely wonderful and my husband and I were impressed with the interview we had before PAWS allowed us to take Buddy home. We have donated to PAWS through the years, but not often enough. Today, I looked at their financials on Charity Navigator, and am thrilled to see that less than 4% of donations are used for salaries, and that the woman who runs the organization and the two vets listed, are paid reasonable salaries! Our monthly donation dollars are going to be sent to PAWS, starting today!

Review from CharityNavigator

1 Chris234567

Board Member

Rating: 5

PAWS Chicago inspires me every day. It is Chicago's largest no-kill shelter. The homeless population of cats and dogs has been decreased over 55% because of PAWS' no-cost and low-cost spay/neuter program. The shelter is state-of the-art and cageless. PAWS has programs for every imaginable scenario--abuse, homelessness, domestic violence, natural disaster, it pulls more dogs and cats from Animal Care and Control than any other shelter, ---it has programs for everything, It also allows other rescue groups to use the spay/neuter clinic at super discounted rates. They are committed to spay/neuter--they are committed to all cats/dogs! It is an AMAZING not for profit.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I visited their facilities two times, they are a no kill shelter. There space is very neat and people friendly. The volunteers are very friendly and they carry a big selection of animals that are up for adoption. Their safety prompts are very well established. All in all, from what I see, it's a great organization!

Review from CharityNavigator


Client Served

Rating: 5

We visited PAWS Chicago in order to get information on starting our own "No Kill" shelter in Northwest Indiana. We want to bring their model to our area and thought it would be a good idea to spend some time with them. We met with Rochelle Michalec who took several hours of her time to help us and give us much information on their organization and a tour. What Rochelle and the rest of the PAWS organization is doing is truly making a difference in the lives of so many animals and the people of Chicago. We were so impressed by their positive attitude, hard w3ork, dedication, and willingness to help us. Because of them, hopefully we too can save lives and reduce the number of homeless pets in our area

Review from CharityNavigator