Our Impact



Impact of The Anti-Cruelty Society

The Anti-Cruelty Society serves more than 40,000 pets and their humans each year through sheltering, spay/neuter services, training, behavior hotline, classes, and programs. As an open door shelter, we care for any animal for any reason and we are dedicated to providing compassionate care to those pets who need our help. We follow the Asilomar Accords as guidelines to gather and process data while assuring consistent reporting across agencies.

Click here to read The Anti-Cruelty Society's 2021 Impact Report

Click here to read The Anti-Cruelty Society's 2020 Annual Report

Click here to read The Anti-Cruelty Society's 2020 Impact Report

Building a Socially Conscious Community

As Chicago’s premier comprehensive animal welfare organization, The Anti-Cruelty Society is committed to helping animals and educating people. As an open door shelter, we accept every animal that is brought to us regardless of health, age,
breed, species, or behavior. Our mission at The Anti-Cruelty Society is to ensure that every animal entrusted to us is given the quality of life they deserve—a life worth living.

Recently, there has been discussion about the no-kill label and these conversations draw a line in the sand that greatly divides the animal welfare community. This is a topic of great concern because as an organization committed to compassion in action, we do not believe in the no-kill label. We believe in providing pets with the care and respect they deserve.

A New Way of Thinking

The Anti-Cruelty Society recognizes that it is time for a new way of thinking about animal welfare—one that is compassionate, thoughtful, and transparent. A national movement that embraces Socially Conscious Animal Communities offers us the opportunity to see incredible outcomes based on eight tenents that can lead to a future that ensures that no animal is allowed to suffer while keeping our communities safe. These points of light include the following:

  1. Place every healthy and safe animal.
  2. Ensure every unwanted or homeless pet has a safe place to go for shelter and care.
  3. Assess the medical and behavioral needs of homeless animals and ensure these needs are thoughtfully addressed.
  4. Align shelter policy with the needs of the community.
  5. Alleviate suffering and make appropriate euthanasia decisions.
  6. Enhance the human-animal bond through safe placements and post adoption support.
  7. Consider the health, wellness and safety of animals for each community when transferring animals.
  8. Foster a culture of transparency, ethical decision making, mutual respect, continual learning and collaboration.

The Anti-Cruelty Society has always been deeply committed to the compassionate treatment of every animal in our community. We spend a significant portion of our annual budget on life-saving and intake prevention programs, rehab, and community education. We do not euthanize due to lack of space at the shelter. We save every treatable animal. We never, ever, “kill” an animal. We humanely euthanize (a word that means “a merciful end”) where there is no hope for recovery or when an animal is deemed unsafe for placement in the community. Keeping a suffering animal alive is not humane.

This is a topic of discussion often at The Anti-Cruelty Society because we are about hope, not heartache. We have mastered the art of saving lives and we are always here to save and protect every animal. It is our commitment that every animal deserves a life worth living. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and donors, we are able to go the extra mile for every animal, even when the outlook is bleak. When quality of life cannot be achieved, it is heartbreaking for us, but we make the same difficult but humane choice we have had to make for our own beloved pets when their time comes.

The Socially Conscious Sheltering movement has been gaining momentum across the country. Now is the time for a different sheltering model and Socially Conscious Sheltering is a compassionate, transparent and thoughtful model that is committed to caring for animals based on the care and respect they deserve. It fits with the commitment to care for all animals in need which will result in superior outcomes.

Under the leadership of The Anti-Cruelty Society, the discussions have reached the local, regional and state-wide level. A commitment to a more humane model that supports better outcomes for animals while ensuring that every community cares for all of the animals is critical to help Illinois, and the entire country be committed to providing animals with the care and respect they deserve.