CHICAGO — Paws Chicago is offering a free year of dog and cat food, routine medical care and training to adopters through a new program.
Those who adopt any of the pets on the Lincoln Park animal shelter's new "Featured Five" list receive these added perks.
The program showcases five dogs and five cats who are "long-termers," or animals that have been at the shelter more than three months.
Paws saw a record number of adoptions and visitors Saturday during a national "Clear the Shelters" event, said Sarah McDonald, Paws spokeswoman, but not many long-termers found homes.
Between the shelter's Chicago location at 1997 N. Clybourn Ave. and its Highland Park location, it adopted out 114 pets Saturday, McDonald said.
At least one long-termer was adopted, a dog named Apple Pie, but none of nine other special needs, senior or long-termer pets found homes.
Chicago Paws has, at any given time, about 35 dogs and 30 cats that have been in its shelter for more than three months, McDonald said.
The "Featured Five" initiative aims to find homes for 50 long-term dogs and 75 long-term cats each year.
Dog adopters will receive one year of free Merrick Pet Care dog food; free wellness care at Paws Chicago's Medical Center, which includes heartworm tests, vaccinations and bloodwork; and free dog training at Paws Chicago's Training Center.
Cat adopters receive a year of Free Merrick Pet Care cat food and free wellness care that includes heartworm tests, vaccinations, bloodwork and additional medical support in specific cases.
Animals will remain on the "Featured" list until adopted, McDonald said.
Here are the first "Featured Five" dogs and cats available for adoption at Paws:
Persie is a one-year-old hound mix and has been at Paws since July. She is energetic and intelligent, and would make a good workout partner in an active home. She has "the trademark Hound bark and sensitive nose," and gets along well with other large dogs. She would do best in a home without cats or other small mammals.
From Paws: "A very intelligent pup, Persie is a pro at puzzle toys and learning new obedience commands."
Cancun is a two-year-old boxer mix. She has been at Paws since 2013, and not much is known about her past. She is shy but has grown with the help of an experienced dog trainer foster home. Cancun has a lot of energy and needs a patient owner to help her come out of her shell.
From Paws: "Her foster family affectionately calls her 'the Energizer Bunny' because she never seems to tire out!"
Yule is a two-year-old Labrador retriever mix. He was taken in by the city pound as a puppy, and has been at Paws since May 2014. Yule is housebroken, but needs more training.
From Paws: "He would be a fantastic workout partner and will promise that you will meet your fitness goals with him around!"
Cardenas is a two-year-old Labrador retriever and shepherd mix. She has been at Paws since January 2013, after being returned by a family who didn't have time to train her. Cardenas has been through training classes at Paws and is looking for a home where she's the only pet and would get plenty of exercise.
From Paws: "Fun fact: when you scratch her back she 'dances' in appreciation!"
Heidi is a five-year-old American Staffordshire terrier mix. She arrived at Paws from another shelter and has been at Paws since January. Heidi has one eye and weak knees, so a home without stairs would be best for her.
From Paws: "Her favorite food is green beans and she even will work on a puzzle toy to get to them!"
Meowska is a one-year-old domestic short hair. She is energetic and would do best with other cats that enjoy playing with her. Meowska needs a home without young children, and needs an adopter who has the time and patience to help her manage her energy with structured play.
From Paws: "Meowska loves people and also likes other cats — especially high-energy, rough and tumble kitties like her!"
Pater is a five-year-old domestic short hair who has been at Paws since January. He was near death when found as a stray cat, as he hadn't eaten in weeks and suffered life-threatening fatty liver disease. After emergency medical intervention from Paws, Pater recovered in a foster home.
From Paws: "Today, Pater is a happy, healthy boy who has made a full recovery and is ready to search for his new home."
Connie is a two-year-old domestic short hair with tortoiseshell coloring. She's been at the shelter since October, and has been working on losing weight after coming in overfed. Connie would prefer a home where someone is usually home and there are no kids.
From Paws: "She would make the ideal addition to a household where she will be kept active and where making sure she stays on her kitty 'weight watchers' routine is a priority.'"
Margo is an eight-year-old domestic long hair. She adores affection, sitting on laps and never stops purring. Margo has been at the shelter since January 2012. The cat does have a chronic digestive condition that requires medicine and frequent vet visits, but Paws Chicago would cover the associated costs for the remainder of Margo's life. Because she's so affectionate, Margo needs someone who isn't gone from home for long periods of time.
From Paws: "PAWS Chicago volunteers lovingly describe her as 'a cross between a Cheshire cat and a feather duster.'"
Luna is a nine-year-old domestic short hair and has been at paws since March 2014. She has diabetes so would need someone who could give her insulin injections. Luna can be shy, but is calm and loves companionship.
From Paws: "She is very calm with big, soulful eyes and beautiful markings."
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