FCACC Now Runs the Pets for Life Program

As of January 1, 2017, FCACC now runs Pets for Life in Chicago as an official mentorship group of The Humane Society of the United States! Pets for Life (PFL) is an innovative national program that serves people and their companion animals living in underserved communities by increasing access to pet services and information through strategic door-to-door outreach, relationship building, and establishing a consistent community presence. The HSUS has provided some initial funding to FCACC and will be providing professional guidance throughout the transition and on an ongoing basis.

Currently in Chicago, Pets for Life focuses specifically on the 60623 and 60624 zip codes, which represent the North Lawndale and Little Village neighborhoods. By providing residents with access to spay/neuter, veterinary care, supplies and information for their pets, PFL is addressing the critical lack of accessible, affordable pet care in underserved communities, keeping pets healthy and happy in the homes they already have, and helping reduce intake numbers at Chicago Animal Care and Control.

If you would like to find out more about Pets for Life and how you can help, please contact Heidi Lau at heidi@fcacc.org

Big jump in lives saved at Chicago Animal Care & Control!

Big jump in lives saved at Chicago Animal Care & Control!

The statistics from Chicago Animal Care & Control today will shock you – pleasantly.

As of November 30, 2015:

  • 84% of cats and kittens are leaving alive
  • 80% of the non-pittie/non-Chihuahua-type dogs are leaving alive
  • 83% of Chihuahuas are leaving alive
  • 45% of pit bull-type dogs are leaving alive

(Pitbull-type dogs and Chihuahuas make up an unusually large portion of dogs coming into the shelter and are the most difficult to find adopters or rescues to take. That is why those numbers are important to look at separately from other dogs.)

FCACC has enlisted shelter medicine expert, Dr. Sandra Newbury, to serve as a consultant to the management of Chicago Animal Care and Care & Control (CACC). The goal is to reduce euthanasia. Dr. Newbury has been working closely with shelter management and staff for just short of two years to implement processes to do just that. Friends is more than pleased by the huge improvements made!

On Saturday, December 5th, the private nonprofit rescue groups who are helping make the reductions possible were invited to a meeting with Dr. Newbury at the shelter to talk about several topics. Covered in the discussion were:

  1. current statistics
  2. the status of the Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) that hit Chicago in April
  3. the importance of transferring animals to private rescues as soon as they come into the shelter

The onset of CIV in April threw a monkey wrench into CACC’s efforts to save more dogs. (Stats were on track with cats at that time.) Because it is a novel virus it is difficult to deal with. New knowledge about it is uncovered daily, changing the methodologies necessary to fight it.

In the meantime, there are two things that can be done:

  1. dog owners should vaccinate their pups as soon as the new vaccine is available (the old one won’t protect against this new virus)
  2. rescue groups should prepare to transfer dogs out of the city shelter as soon as possible after they arrive


Friends would like to thank everyone working hard to save more of Chicago’s neediest animals!

Photo: Shelter medicine expert, Dr. Sandra Newbury, and her team of veterinarians remodeled CACC cat kennels to reduce stress on the shelter’s feline population. When the shelter population is low, the new portals installed allow each cat to have two kennels, keeping litter pans separate from the food and sleeping area.

FREE Microchip Event Re-Scheduled! Sweet deal launches new microchip campaign!

FREE microchip for pets and 50% off “Chicago Chip”ice cream for people
We’re partnering with Chicago Animal Care and Control to get a new education campaign underway about the importance of microchipping and tagging pets. It starts with a special launch event on Monday, June 18th, at the Original Rainbow Cone ice cream store at 9233 S. Western Avenue from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Microchips, including registration, are FREE to the first 100 pets (cats must be in carriers, dogs secured with collars and leashes). Their people are rewarded with 50% off a “Chicago Chip” ice cream cone! 
The Original Rainbow Cone store is a Chicago classic–and a new community partner eager to help spread the word about microchipping. We’ll have the Animobile on site with a veterinarian and vet techs to administer the chips, a crew of volunteers registering the chips on the spot, and other folks helping direct visitors and their animals.
Making sure your pet has microchip identification and collar I.D. tags is the best way to help your pet find its way back home to you if ever lost. Don’t think it can happen? Tell that to the 22,000 animals sitting in the city shelter every year waiting for someone to come and claim them. If every pet had a microchip they could tell us exactly who their people are and how to reconnect with them.
This new campaign incorporates printed posters like the one you see here, radio spots, and a public service announcement for TV. Materials are being produced in English and Spanish to reach as many people in our community as possible. The campaign urges pet owners to “Give your pet a voice. Get your pet microchipped and tagged today.”
Come out and join the fun, even if your pet is already chipped! The neighborhood is welcoming, the store is a treasure–and the ice cream is like none you’ve ever had before!
For more details and a map to the event location please click HERE.

Chicago’s New Early Live Release Ordinance is a Lifesaver

The new law is the product of a lot of deliberation on the part of many independent animal shelters

and rescues working together with the increasingly progressive management of Chicago Animal Care and Control.

Early Release Kittens

Kittens barely days old like these two need a home environment immediately if they are to survive.

The new law helps save the babies. Thanks to the new early live release ordinance, orphaned  puppies and kittens can now be released immediately into the hands of rescue organizations that care for them in foster homes. No more waiting in the highly stressful conditions of the shelter for 5 days before being released. No more succumbing to disease because they haven’t been alive long enough to develop the resistance adult animals have.  Baby animals are the most vulnerable animals in the shelter AND the most adoptable—if they live. And now they have a better chance of making it out alive than ever before.

Stray cats get a head start on a second chance. The early live release ordinance now allows rescues to take any stray cat (one without identification) into their care on Day 1 of impoundment. Of the thousands of stray cats that come into the shelter each year only a handful are ever reclaimed. Until now, ninety-nine percent plus have been confined to stressful shelter conditions for 5 days before they could be released to rescue groups. Not anymore. The early live release ordinance allows rescues to save just about any stray kitty immediately. (Those strays not taken in by rescues remain at the shelter for the usual holding period.)

Stray dogs have to be a little more patient. For dogs without identification, early live release can take place within 3 days now instead of the usual 5. A shelter environment, no matter how well designed, isn’t as good for any animal as the love, care, and companionship they experience in a home. Now stray dogs can be released to those willing to provide them with foster care on Day 3 of their impoundment instead of spending another 2 days waiting for a former owner who never comes. (Statistics show that if a stray dog is reclaimed, it is most likely to happen in the first 3 days of impoundment. After that, the odds of ever being reclaimed drop dramatically.)

What about dogs and cats with i.d. tags or microchips? Dogs and cats with proper identification aren’t considered strays. Microchips and i.d. tags are the best gift you can give your pet, be it cat or dog. They are the surest way to help your pet find its way back to you should it ever get lost.

What else has changed? Except for the life-saving provisions outlined here, the standard holding periods before an animal becomes the property of the city remain as they have been for many years. Read the new early live release ordinance to confirm this information.

–FCACC is entirely responsible for the content of this message.

rescue chihuahua Blinky

Chicago Tribune highlights blinded pup, extraordinary volunteer

We’re hard at work saving animals all the time–and every now and then what we’re doing gets noticed by the press. Check out the stories posted here to hear the latest about Friends. Blinky is a success story about a little half-blind Chihuahua we helped late one night at Animal Care and Control. Susan has a great story to tell about her move from Canada to Chicago and her life of lawyering, singing, and volunteering. More great stories are in the making.

Check out Blinky’s story HERE

Check out Susan’s story HERE

Looking good after a decade of Big Nights!

Friends and guests put our dog walking clothes aside once again for our annual Big Night celebrity chefs event on Thursday evening, October 16. Nearly 300 of us gathered under the gorgeous Tiffany Dome at the Chicago Cultural Center to indulge ourselves in the creative cookery of Jackie Shen and more than a dozen of her chef friends. Who was there? Take a look…


Channel 7 sports anchor Jim Rose and his wife Lakesha have acted as Masters of Ceremony for 3 years now, bringing excitement to the live auction.Channel 7 sports anchor Jim Rose and his wife Lakesha have acted as Masters of Ceremony for 3 years now, bringing excitement to the live auction.

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Miles for Max Hits the Road Again

James and Sharon Pierce are getting their tandem bike tuned up and ready to ride across Iowa again. This is the third year miles for max fundraiserthey will be joining the thousands of cyclists participating in RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa)—and the third year they will be encouraging people to sponsor them with a donation to Friends in memory of their late cocker spaniel, Max.

Last year, their 471-mile cross-country adventure brought in nearly $5,000 to help Chicago’s neediest animals. We can’t thank them enough for the passion and drive they bring to our organization. Hundreds of adoptable animals from Chicago Animal Care and Control are getting out of the city shelter and into the foster homes they need, thanks to “Miles for Max.” James and Sharon, you have our heartfelt thanks.

miles for max fundraiserTo make a contribution to Miles for Max please visit our fundraising page HERE.



Bow Wow Luau at Trader Todds Event

bow wow luauWe are so excited for the Bow Wow Luau event happening at Trader Todds Thursday May 29th!! They have so generously offered for all proceeds to benefit Friends of Chicago Animal Care and Control!

The event organizer is Virginia C. who is the proud foster mom of a wonderful little rescue dog name Bratwurst. She has been instrumental in helping him and other rescue dogs in the Chicago area.

Tickets are $25 dollars in advance or $30 at the door.  With the purchase of a ticket you recieve food at the Luau Buffet and  3 drink tickets!  There will be both door and raffle prizes and of course karaoke!  Raffle prizes include

*A Starlin Castor autographed baseball from the Cubs
*Two salon packages
*A portable grill
*Jui Jitsu lessons
*A wine and cheese reception at Room 13

Pick up tickets HERE

Click on the image to the right for more details and visit our Facebook event !!

Please come down and have some fun for a great cause!

FCACC Amazing Animal Advocate Shout-Out – Sheri Berliner

Animal advocate and award-winning photographer Sheri Berliner is on the speed dial of many a Chicagoland pet-lover and sheri berliner chicago animal activistrescue organization – and for good reason. With over 30 years of experience photographing pets and people, she has cultivated an enviable broad-based network with an uncanny ability to connect homeless creatures with those looking for the next furry love-of-their lives. She has also personally saved the lives of thousands of dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rats, hamsters, mice, birds and rabbits.

It all started one day in 1989, with a co-worker’s casual mention of two kittens her husband planned to drown that evening. Luckily, Mcintosh and Bugsy

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