Best 10 Dog Rescues in Chicago

Close to 1.5 million companion animals from shelters and animal rescues are sadly euthanized on an annual basis. While there are a higher number of cats adopted from shelters, the majority find homes via friends and family of parent cat.

Dogs are among the most vulnerable when it comes to finding forever homes if they happen to find themselves in a shelter. When considering adding a new friend to your family, please consider adoption instead of a puppy mill.

We have put together a list of the best dog rescues in Chicago that you should consider when adopting your next furry friend.

Top 10 Dog Rescue Shelters in Chicago

A woman petting a German Shepherd dog at an animal rescue shelter.

Mama Zoey and Puppies Rescue

Established: 2017
Location Type: Rescue
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit
Fees: $200-$350

All animals offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for parasites, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

Services Offered: This location accepts owner-released dogs and offers dogs for adoption.

Adoption Requirements: You must be at least 18 to adopt a pet. View the available animals and then submit the application online. After reviewing your submission, the adoption specialist will contact you to set up a meet and greet, in-home walk-through, check your references, and finalize the adoption.

ALIVE Rescue

Established: 2008
Location Type: Shelter & Rescue
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit
Fees: $ 15- $450 depending on animal type and age.

All animals offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for parasites, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

Services Offered: This location cares for homeless, abandoned, and at-risk shelter animals. It also offers these animals for adoption.

Adoption Requirements: You will need to fill out an application in full. Once it is reviewed, you will complete a phone interview. After your references are checked, you will be scheduled for a home visit. Once approved, the adoption will be finalized.

The Anti-Cruelty Society

Established: 1899
Location Type: Open Admission Shelter
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit
Fees: $15-$300

All animals offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for parasites, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

Services Offered: This location accepts owner-released dogs and offers dogs for adoption. They also offer vaccinations, flea treatments, de-worming, end of life services, low-income pet care, microchip implantation, and spay/neutering.

Adoption Requirements: Select your preferred pet from the website and then complete the adoption form. Include your state ID along with the application via email. Next, you will need to complete a consultation and connect with the adoption team.

Chicago Canine Rescue

Established: 2001
Location Type: Rescue & Shelter
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit
Fees: $250 - $400

All animals offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for parasites, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

Services Offered: This location accepts owner-released dogs and offers dogs for adoption. They also offer vaccinations, flea treatments, de-worming, and microchip implantation, and spay/neutering on pets they adopt out.

Adoption Requirements: You must be at least 21 in order to adopt a pet. Once you select a pet from the site, fill out an application and email it in. Along with the screening, prior to adoption, each family member and existing pet must meet with the potential adoptee.

Midwest Italian Greyhound Rescue

Established: 1993
Location Type: Rescue
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit
Fees: Varies depending on the dog.

All animals offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for parasites, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

Services Offered: This location accepts owner-released dogs and offers dogs for adoption.

Adoption Requirements: You can check available dogs on the site and then fill out an application online. Follow up if you don’t get a response. You will complete a phone interview and an in-house visit with the adopting family and a dog or two. Once the match is made, the adoption can be completed.

Animal Rescue Foundation

Established: 1999
Location Type: Rescue
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit
Fees: $200 - $500

All animals offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for parasites, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

Services Offered: This location rescues and fosters orphan, homeless, and abandoned cats and dogs. The rescued animals are available for adoption.

Adoption Requirements: You can view available animals online or at an adoption event. Fill out an application online. Provide vet and personal references as well. If approved you will date for a meet and greet with all your family members and existing pets before the adoption is finalized.

Felines & Canines Chicago

Established: 1977
Location Type: Shelter
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit
Fees: Adults $350, Puppies $400. Cats $150-$175

All animals offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for parasites, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

Services Offered: This location offers dogs and cats for adoption.

Adoption Requirements: You must be at least 18 in order to adopt a pet. Once you select a pet from the site, fill out an application and email it in. Along with the screening, Prior to adoption, each family member and existing pet must meet with the potential adoptee. All current pets must be spay/neutered. You will also need to bring an ID and be prepared to take your pet home on the day of the meet and greet.

Friends of Chicago Animal Care & Control

Established: 2003
Location Type: Rescue
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit
Fees: $45- $400

All animals offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for parasites, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

Services Offered: This location works to help place unwanted, abandoned, or at-risk shelter dogs in forever homes.

Adoption Requirements: You must be at least 18 to adopt. Check the available pets, then download the application, fill it out, and send it in via email. You will need to give references, both personal and vet, and set up a time to meet with the pet in person.

One Tail at a Time Chicago

Established: 2007
Location Type: Shelter & Rescue
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit
Fees: $75 - $450

All animals offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for parasites, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

Services Offered: This location accepts owner-released dogs and offers dogs for adoption. They also offer vaccinations, flea treatments, de-worming, and microchip implantation, and low-cost spay/neutering.

Adoption Requirements: To adopt a pet you will need to be at least 21. A valid ID, lease, and vaccination history of other pets is also mandatory. Everyone in your home will also need to attend a meet and greet with the dog prior to application approval.

PAWS Chicago

Established: 1998
Location Type: Shelter & Rescue
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit
Fees: Varies.

All animals offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for parasites, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

Services Offered: This location offers dogs for adoption in addition to Spay/Neuter Services.

Adoption Requirements: You must be at least 18 in order to adopt a pet. Start by filling out an adoption survey that will allow a volunteer to match you with a pet that will fit your lifestyle. After a match is found you will do a meet and greet with the animal followed by adoption counseling. Once approved, the adoption will be complete.

What Do You Need To Adopt a Dog From a Shelter?

A beautiful small Terrier dog wandering alone, abandoned and lost looking to be adopted.

The requirements for adopting a dog will vary slightly depending on which shelter you visit.

There are a few general requirements that are standard for all animal shelters, however. It is a good idea to know the requirements before you go to pick out your new best friend so that you can avoid delays and help the process to run as efficiently as possible.

Every potential owner will need to submit an application for adoption. Generally, applications for pets are first come, first served, so be ready to fill it out if you find a pet you love.

There will be questions regarding your ability to care for the pet, information regarding your income, landlord pet acceptance verification, and also a request for references. Some pet shelters will also want to visit your home before approving your shelter dog adoption.

Those adopting a shelter dog will also need to be at least 18 at the time of adoption and will need to present a valid ID. This will provide proof of residence and also verify the adopter's age. If there are other people living in your home, many shelters will request that you bring them in to meet your potential pet prior to adoption. This will help to ensure the pet is a good fit for your living environment. 

For homes that have existing pets, you may also be requested to bring in your pets for a first meeting as well. The last thing the shelter wants to do is adopt a dog that will not be able to get along with its new pet siblings or other members of the home.

Although pet shelters are more affordable than dog breeders, there are still some fees to consider when adopting a shelter dog. Every location will have a different adoption feed that covers a range of costs. You can call the location of your choice to inquire about their fees prior to submitting an application or choosing a pet.

Adoptions fees will help cover food, transportation, medical care, and house during the pet’s stay at the shelter. Depending on the rules of the city, the adoption fee may also cover vaccinations, spay & neutering, and microchipping your new shelter dog.

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