7 best animal shelters in Chicago

March 12, 2021 - 3 min read
Happy dog in grass

While it can feel overwhelming to find the rescue pet of your dreams, the right organization will help you match with a new BFF in no time. Here are seven shelters where you can start your search.

ALIVE Rescue

Address: 1214 W. Monroe St.

Phone: 773-913-8100

Social: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp

What started as a fosters-only operation in 2008 has grown into a strong grassroots rescue, adoption and animal well-being organization. ALIVE’s adoption center is located in the West Loop. The Big Barn, its shelter-as-sanctuary concept in a country setting, is slated to open in 2021.

The Anti-Cruelty Society

Address: 157 W. Grand Ave.

Phone: 312-644-8338

Social: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp

For more than 120 years, the Anti-Cruelty Society has provided compassionate care for all animals in need. The open-door shelter serves more than 40,000 pets and their parents each year by intervening to prevent cruelty to animals, offering foster and adoption services, operating a low- or no-cost veterinary clinic, providing comprehensive programs and resources and hosting medical and other services in underserved communities.

Chicago Animal Care and Control

Address: 2741 S. Western Ave.

Phone: 312-747-1406

Social: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp

The city’s department dedicated to animal welfare offers adoptions as well as a low-cost vaccination clinic. Friends of Chicago Animal Care and Control and a coalition of nine rescue organizations that comprise the Chicagoland Rescue Intervention and Support Program (CRISP) work alongside CACC to help animals “shelter from the shelter” and save the lives of more than 23,000 animals that come into the city’s care each year.

Chicago Canine Rescue

Address: 5272 N. Elston Ave.

Phone: 773-697-8848

Social: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp

Since 2001, Chicago Canine Rescue (CCR) has found forever homes for more than 7,000 of the city’s most vulnerable dogs. It offers both foster and adoption services. And for those looking to volunteer, CCR welcomes dog walkers as well as those who want to work inside the shelter.

New Leash on Life

Address: 2144 N. Wood St.

Phone: 312-458-9839

Email: chicago@nlolchicago.org

Social: Facebook, Instagram, Yelp

This foster-based, nonprofit rescue started in Los Angeles in 1997 and expanded its efforts by launching a Chicago outpost in 2005. It’s staffed entirely by volunteers who are committed to helping you give your perfect match their new forever home. The organization only places dogs with people who live within 60 miles of the city, and each adoption includes a two-week foster period.

One Tail at a Time

Address: 2144 N. Wood St.

Phone: 866-515-6828

Email (adoption): adopt@onetail.org

Email (fostering): foster@onetail.org

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp

Saving the most vulnerable animals inspired One Tail at a Time’s grassroots mission and defined its progressive approach to programming and services. The organization places community outreach at the center of its adoption and foster efforts — by leading CRISP, operating an affordable veterinary clinic, and creating a strong foster program for dogless families. It also hosts biannual Community Days as well vaccine clinics in underserved communities to help pet parents in need keep their pets at home.

PAWS Chicago

Address: 1997 N. Clybourn Ave.

Phone: 773-935-7297

Social: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp

The multifaceted PAWS organization runs an adoption, training and foster center in Lincoln Park, an adoption center in Highland Park, a low-cost veterinary clinic in Little Village and an outreach center that offers programs and resources for pet owners in Englewood.