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Programs & Services
We accept all unwanted, stray or lost animals. We strive to secure quality homes for all the
homeless animals placed in our care. We are open for adoption seven days a week . Each year more than
10,000 animals find permanent homes through our adoption program. To learn more about adoptions, please
Our eight full time staff veterinarians attend to the medical needs of all the animals that come through our doors. We also offer clinic services for animals whose owners are on a limited income such as welfare, disability, social security, unemployment or senior citizens.
Volunteers provide care, feeding and socialization for abandoned and orphaned puppies and kittens through
our foster program. Once the animals reach adoptable ages, they are returned to the shelter and placed
in the adoption program.
Our education department teaches compassion and understanding for all creatures. Our humane educator
attempts to create an awareness of domestic and wild animal needs through presentations in schools,
presentation and tours at the shelter for civic, scout and other groups and a variety of summer
workshops for all area children. The Education Department also compiles information on a variety of
animal welfare and animal rights issues. These are made available to anyone needing information for
school projects and speeches.
Our licensed humane investigators protect the health and safety of the animals and the community by
investigating reports of abuse and cruelty and by rescuing animals in emergency situations. Our
facility is equipped to handle any type of situation and houses any animal from a mountain lion cub
found by a suburban resident to farm animals.
Our shelter impounds stray and lost animals for 48 municipalities in the Chicagoland area. We provide
these animals with food, shelter, companionship, and medical care. We try to locate the animals'
owners through our Lost and Found Program.
The League impounds animals from over 54 surrounding communities. Approximately half of the animals
who come through our doors are strays. Pet owners who have lost a pet can visit the shelter and
personally view our stray kennels between the hours of 11:00 am and 9:00 pm. Pet owners also should
submit a written lost animal reports so AWL can check it against each stray animal who comes to the
shelter. Through our lost and found program, the League reunites nearly 2,000 lost pets and their
owners each year. The Animal Welfare League is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year
to receive stray animals. After 11:00 pm, animals are received with police escort only.
When looking for your lost pet, we strongly recommend that you come in as often as possible to be
shown our stray cat / dog wards. With animals coming in 24 hours a day, it is difficult for our front
desk to know whether or not your particular animal has come in.
If you are happily united with your pet, you must bring in proof that your animal is up to date
on its rabies vaccination and that it also has an identifying micro-chip. This is per the State of
Illinois, not the AWL. There is also an initial impoundment fee as well as a fee for any shots that
may have been given for the protection of the animal. In addition, there is a "boarding" fee each
day your pet is here.
Our shelter microchips each animal adopted from our shelter to provide a permanent identification to
protect the animal from being lost or stolen. Our clinic now offers micro chipping services to any pet
owner at a significantly reduced fee.
Our off-site adoption program managed by volunteers helps adopt and promote shelter services through local PetsMarts, Petcos and Pet Supplies Plus stores.
Once a month, our satellite shelter provides a monthly supply of pet food to pet owners on a limited
income who otherwise would be unable to keep their companion animals. The shelter works diligently to
secure food donations so that we can continue this vital service in the community.
Our volunteers visit nursing homes, hospitals and other long term care facilities in the Chicagoland
area with their animals and animals from the shelter. The animals provide physical and emotional therapy
for the residents of the various facilities. The residents provide socialization for the shelter animals.
In 1972, the league opened its Spay/Neuter Clinic to help solve the pet over-population crisis. Our on-staff
veterinarians perform these surgeries for a significantly reduced fee. The clinic is open to the general
public. Learn more about Spay/Neuter.
The services of the League would not be possible without the ongoing commitment and involvement of our more
than 80 volunteers. Volunteers assist daily at the shelter providing companionship, care and exercise to our
animals, coordinating fundraising events, providing clerical assistance and assisting adopters in finding
the right pet.