Clear The Shelters: Find a Chicago-Area Shelter Near You

Clear the Shelters is a one-day initiative where shelters waive adoption fees for animals six months and older

Animal shelters across the country are teaming up with NBC and Telemundo stations to find loving homes for pets in need.

The second annual Clear the Shelters event, a nationwide pet adoption initiative, will be held July 23 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. More than 400 shelters in 20 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico will waive or discount fees as part of the one-day adoption drive. Fees will be waived on animals six months and older (not kittens or puppies) and all individual shelters adoption policies apply.

The goal is to #ClearTheShelters by finding forever homes for as many animals as possible. During last year's event, 1,354 animals were adopted in the Chicagoland area alone.

Dozens of local shelters will take part this year in Clear the Shelters. Here are the participating shelters in the Chicago area:

ALIVE Rescue
2227 W. Belmont Avenue, Chicago

Originally founded in 2008 as a rescue and safe haven for animals, the shelter opened The Little Barn in 2013 that became their first adoption center. ALIVE Rescue takes on the responsibility to save, rehabilitate and place abandoned, abused and stray animals. Despite an animal’s age, the shelter provides medical, behavioral and physical support for their animals.

ALIVE Rescue promotes sustainable living and care-giving in communities to build awareness and respect for all animals and the environment. 

Animal Welfare League
10305 SW Highway, Chicago Ridge

This shelter was started to stop the suffering of animals and is the only humane society on the south side of Chicago. The Wabash shelter operates in an economically depressed area and provides valuable services to residents such as shelter and care to homeless and needy animals, low cost clinic services to pet owners on a limited income and no-charge monthly pet food distribution.

This shelter houses the largest number of adoptable animals from a non-profit organization in the entire mid-west.

Mon. – Fri. 12PM – 9PM

Sat. 11AM – 7PM

Sun. 11AM – 6PM

The Anti-Cruelty Society
510 N. LaSalle St., Chicago

The Anti-Cruelty Society is committed to caring. They intervene when necessary to prevent cruelty to animals and partner with the community to educate on animal issues and inspire compassion and respect. Each animal is in the shelter for as long as they need in order to find a loving home. No healthy or pet capable of rehabilitating is euthanized.

This shelter is a founding member of the Chicago Animal Shelter Alliance (CASA) formed in 2002.

Animal Outreach Humane Society
5408 W Greenbrier Drive, McHenry

This nonprofit volunteer humane organization was started by a group of 28 individuals who united in the belief of the importance and benefits animals bring to our lives. Animal Outreach Humane Society has a no-kill philosophy on animal healthy and treatable animal.

CatNap From the Heart
1101 Beach Ave., LaGrange Park

The shelter CatNap From the Heart has limited-access shelter for cats, birds and small mammals and they do not euthanize for cage space.
There is no time limit for any animal as the shelter is committed to finding the right home and to taking the time to carefully match the needs and the personalities of both people and adopted animals.

Chicago Animal Care and Control/Animal Care League
2741 S. Western Ave, Chicago

Housing over 500 animals in separate kennels, this 54,000 square foot building has a fully equipped medical division to care for the animals. The medical complex has a full laboratory, radiology and surgical capabilities for its animals.

Dupage County Animal Care & Control
120 N. County Farm Rd., Wheaton

This self-supporting animal care & control operates a shelter for stray and owner-relinquished non-native animals. They rescue animals that are lost, diseased, injured or in peril.

The staff works together to ensure the shelter animals are healthy and happy in the unfamiliar shelter environment until they are adopted to a loving home. Dupage county aims to prevent and control rabies through vaccinations prior to being adopted out. 

Ellie's Rescue
54 N. Western Ave., Carpentersville

This is a non-profit, no-kill rescue shelter focuses on the all-breed dogs. Dogs and puppies are saved from all conditions from owner surrenders to kill shelters. In exchange, the dogs are giving proper vetting, healthy diet and a bed. Individuals can get involved by donating, fostering animals or adopting. 

Famous Fido Rescue & Adoption

3124 W. Irving Park Rd. , Chicago

The Famous Fido Rescue & Adoption is dedicated to ending kill shelters and placing animals with happy homes. For over four decades, the shelter has focused on educating the community about protection and rescue from high risk incidents like euthanasia. While in care, animals receive shelter, food, health care, adoption information, neutering, and training. 

Famous Fido Rescue & Adoption
3124 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago 
The Famous Fido Rescue & Adoption is dedicated to ending kill shelters and placing animals with happy homes. For over four decades, the shelter has focused on educating the community about protection and rescue from high risk incidents like euthanasia. While in care, animals receive shelter, food, health care, adoption information, neutering, and training. 

Felines & Canines
6379 N. Paulina, Chicago

Founded in 1977 as one of Chicago’s first cage-less, no-kill cat shelters, Felines & Canines provides exceptional housing and care for more than 200 feline residents, with a focus on “special needs” animals. As the first shelter in Chicago to successfully integrate FIV-positive cats with the general population, Felines & Canines is also recognized as pioneers in the animal welfare movement.
*Cats only will be part of the Clear the Shelters event.


Help Save Pets (Animal Care Center)

189 Brookforest Ave., Shorewood


This shelter was originally founded as the Humane Society of Plainfield in 2000 by director Meg Kremer. Dr. Kremer would bring back animals that were going to be euthanized to the shelter to find a loving new home. It became clear as time went on that a non for profit organization was needed in order to continue the rescue work. HSP operates out of four locations.

Over 10,000 animals have been placed into loving homes since 2000. Each of those animals were given shelter, food, medical aid and vaccinations to find the right home.

Hinsdale Humane Society
22 N. Elm, Hinsdale

Mon. Closed

Tues. 2PM – 8PM

Wed – Fri. 12PM – 6PM

Sat. – Sun. 10AM – 4PM

This shelter is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to the care and adoption of homeless animals. They advocate education and public service to encourage the compassionate treatment of animals and to prevent their suffering and neglect.

They are a Pets for Patriots shelter member.

Humane Society Calumet Area

421 45th Ave., Munster, Ind.

This shelter works individually and in partnership with similar valued organizations, and tries to create a humane community for all animals through education, advocacy, and the promotion of respect and compassion.
A unique quality of this shelter is that they have a “Trap- Neuter-Return" program. A free-roaming cat, also known as a community cat, is any cat roaming free outside. These cats are generally either feral or stray. Trap-Neuter-Return is a system where feral cats are trapped, spayed or neutered, and returned to their original location.

Kendall County Animal Control 
802 W. John St., Yorkville

A County agency dedicated to upholding state laws for the care of animals. The department takes in stray animals that are available for adoption. Each family member is expected to visit the office to ensure a good fit between potential owner and pet. Donations are welcome to assist with medical care, daily care items and improvements to the space. The county offers a monthly animal newsletter and accepts volunteer help from individuals 18 years or older. 

Aurora Animal Care and Control
600 S. River Street, Aurora  

The Aurora Animal Care and Control is partnered with the Humane Society of Aurora.  It provides a clean and safe environment for its animals, staff and public. They pride themselves in treating all animals with love and respect.
The animal care and control promotes and protects public safety through sheltering, pet placement programs, education and animal law enforcement.

Their efficient and high quality animal care and control services protect the animals to eventually place them in a loving home. The City of Aurora works to investigate animal cruelty acts, pick up stray animals and aid injured animals.

They follow up on all pet adoptions from the Animal Control Facility to ensure proper compliance with the adoption contract.

Magnificent Mutts

Petco, 755 N World Road, Hillside

Magnificent Mutts is located inside the Hillside Petco. They are dedicated to caring for and finding loving homes for any breed of dog abandoned, abused, neglected or in need of assistance.

McHenry County Animal Care & Control
100 N. Virginia St., Crystal Lake

This initiative is a McHenry County Department of Health division dedicated to the public health of animals. Minor and major offenses are investigated by Animal Control Officers throughout the year. The department promotes community events including pet adoptions, proper pet care and dog bite prevention. 

Michiana Humane Society
722 IN-212, Michigan City, Ind.

The Michiana Humane Society provides a safe harbor to an average of 1,000 to 1,200 animals yearly. Most of these animals are those surrendered by their owners who can no longer continue to provide care. They also provide for strays, abandoned, and unwanted animals found in our service area. Healthy, non-aggressive animals are assured of their care until they find them homes, no matter how long it takes.

They receive no tax funds to help with their mission, and rely soley on private donations. The staff and volunteers provide shelter, food, medical care, vaccinations, testing, and spay/neutering services.

Naperville Area Humane Society
1620 W. Diehl Road, Naperville

This shelter is a limited admission animal shelter accepting cats and dogs. Their highly trained staff and volunteers offer care to each animal and work to address his or her individual needs. The staff works to match the needs of each pet with a family eager to adopt a dog or cat.

Because they cannot take all of the animals, they have an evolved approach to the homeless animal crisis to include innovative community service initiatives, such as humane education and a behavior helpline, while they can continue to re-home animals.

New Beginnings for Cats 
7701 E. 3500 N. Rd., Bourbonnais

The non-profit shelter serves as a sanctuary for cats and believes in the motto of “a second chance.” The cage-less environment supports cats any and every cat in need, no matter the health condition. New Beginning For Cats offers programs for senior and veterans looking for companions by waiving adoption fees. 

The twelve person staff seeks volunteers that can help in any way including the Facebook, scrapbooking, bakers, auction assistance, seamstresses and more. Founders Pamela and Harry Carpenter welcome any new ideas and interested individuals to the shelter.  

North Shore Adoption Center

1616 Deerfield Road, Highland Park


North Shore is PAWS Chicago's first satellite adoption center. The adoption center aims to find homes for cats and dogs but especially large dogs popular with suburban families. It brings progressive sheltering practices to a new community of adopters. North Shore represents PAWS Chicago's mission to expand lifesaving and build no kill communities. 

Orphans of the Storm
2200 Riverwoods Road, Riverwoods

Orphans of the Storm has had a long history of humane service to the community. It has been serving most of the animal control facilities and municipalities in Illinois’ Lake and northern Cook Counties.

The shelter offers off-site events along with a unique opportunity to meet a variety of dogs in a relaxed atmosphere. One may interact with pets one-on-one without the distractions of a busy shelter.

PAWS Chicago
1997 N. Clyborn, Chicago, or 1616 Deerfield Road, Highland Park

This is a no-kill shelter that respects the life of every cat and dog. The mission of this shelter is to end the overlpopulation of homeless animals through solutions, practices and education. PAWS Chicago works to transform animal welfare by setting higher standards in the way animals are treated and developing a sustainable, solutions-based model.

Safe House Animal Rescue League

301 Chestnut St, Dalzell 


This no-kill rescuse shelter focuses on rescuing at-risk pets and giving them the opportunity to find loving homes. Safe House is a foster home based rescue where the pets live in home environments with volunteer families until they are adopted. 

Safe House is a cat-only shelter that also offers feral cats a second chance as working mousers through the Barn Cat Program. 

South Suburban Humane Society

1103 West End Ave., Chicago Heights

Mon. – Tues. Closed

Wed. – Fri. 1PM – 7PM

Sat. – Sun. 12PM – 5PM

The South Suburban Humane Society makes every effort towards ending animal homelessness, reducing pet overpopulation, and ending cruel, inhumane treatment and abuse towards pets. They have a program called “eat and earn” where they pair with local restaurants and a portion of the proceeds go straight to SSHS.

SSHS shetlers animals needing protection, provides education of the public as to ownership duties and responsibilities and investigative pracitces which will prevent abuse.

Spay & Stay 
555 E. Townline Rd. (Petco), Vernon Hills 

Spay and Stay’s mission focuses on controlling the numbers of feral cats in the Lake County area and ensuring public safety in the community. The non-profit organization provides caretakers with inexpensive vaccination and spay/neuter services for feral cats in the area. Over 5,000 cats have been sterilized in 10 years.

Tails Humane Society
2250 Barber Greene Road, DeKalb

Mon. – Wed. 12PM – 6PM

Thurs. – Fri. 12PM – 7PM

Sat. – Sun. 12PM – 5PM

TAILS cares for over 2,500 displaced pets each year and accept pets from owners who can no longer keep them. They also work with animal control organizations and other animal welfare organizations, accepting pets from overcrowded shelters when their assistance is needed.

The HomeBuddies Program was created in partnership with the Voluntary Action Center's Meals on Wheels program. Pet food and supply deliveries are made by Meals on Wheels volunteers along with their regularly scheduled visits. 

Treehouse Humane Society
1212 W. Carmen Ave., Chicago

Tree House is a humane organization that promotes the value of every animal and strives to educate the public about proper and responsible animal care, with a focus on the care and placement of stray cats with special physical and emotional needs. They are committed to finding every healthy and treatable animal a home and to helping lead the way to a No-Kill nation.

They have a Pet Food Pantry Program that assists people on a low or fixed income with supplemental food for their animals. They also supply food to feral cat caretakers who practice TNR and have outdoor managed feral cat colonies. The goal of the program is to enable their clients to keep their pets despite financial difficulties, or maintain their feral colonies. They also counsel clients if they appear to be acquiring more animals than they can properly care for or afford.

*This is a cats only shelter.

4 Paw Sake Rescue

 2739 Glenwood Dyer Road, Lynwood


In 2014 it opened its doors as Paw Palace to become a new boarding, daycare, training and grooming faciltiy. A stray dog named Cisco was brought to Paw Palace where he ended up becoming the doggie host at the front desk. Shortly after, it became the start of 4 Paw Sake Rescue. The shelter takes in surrendered animals as well to help find new homes for them.

*This is a dogs only shelter

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