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How To Help Homeless Pets In Chicago This Holiday Season

By Kelly Bauer | December 1, 2016 5:54am | Updated on December 9, 2016 10:26am
 Want a photo of your pet all dressed up for the holidays? Head to Chicago Animal Care and Control's shelter this weekend.
Want a photo of your pet all dressed up for the holidays? Head to Chicago Animal Care and Control's shelter this weekend.
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DOWNTOWN — PAWS Chicago is trying to help as many animals as it can as the holidays approach.

The no-kill animal shelter is hoping to find new families for some of its pets at its Holiday Adopt-A-Thon. You can give a permanent home to a dog, cat, kitten or puppy in need, or you can help PAWS by becoming a foster family and taking in pets until they find an owner.

Even if you can't adopt a pet, you can donate or volunteer with PAWS. The organization also is selling festive goodies, and proceeds go the shelter.

Here are the ways you can help PAWS Chicago:

Volunteer or donate

You can help care for dogs and cats at PAWS' Pippen Fasseas Adoption Center, 1997 N. Clybourn Ave., and the Glenn Felner North Shore Adoption Center in Highland Park. You'll help socialize and train pets, clean and play with animals, according to the PAWS website.

If you want to focus more on helping people connect with pets, you can become an adoption counselor, welcome desk volunteer or family services program volunteer at the shelters, as well.

PAWS also looks for volunteers who can help care for animals at its Medical Center, 3516 W. 26th St. What you can do varies based on your experience, but some volunteers help examine cats and dogs, feed them and give them medicine. You can also help pets recover after they've been spayed or neutered.

RELATED: Dogs, Cats Look For Homes Before The Holidays With PAWS Adopt-A-Thon

Volunteers at the Medical Center can also help distribute pet food to families at the Pet Food Bank, help place pets into foster homes and work with PAWS for Life, connecting with families and animals in under-served communities.

Information about donating to PAWS, either once or periodically, is available online.


If you're not able to adopt an animal but want to help them until they find a home, you can foster a dog or cat from PAWS. Having animals in foster homes means PAWS can rescue more animals, according to its website.

You can submit an application to become a foster family on PAWS' website. Those cats and dogs might require some medical care, might need help socializing or they might be having trouble adjusting to life in the shelter.


You can give a permanent home to a pet, but PAWS does have some requirements before you can adopt.

You can look at pets in the shelter on PAWS' website and arrange to meet those animals. If you then want to adopt, you'll meet with a PAWS adoption counselor and move on from there.

You'll need to be at least 21 years old to adopt, and you need a government-issued photo ID, according to PAWS' website. 

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