Animal Overpopulation Crisis Swells at The Anti-Cruelty Society

Adoption fees waived at all locations to help provide space 


Due to a confluence of situations, The Anti-Cruelty Society is at capacity which is impacting available shelter space, especially for large dogs. This emerging crisis is perhaps the result of consumers being cautious about the economy and rising inflation which has created a notable lack of interest in adopting pets. As Chicago’s oldest and most comprehensive animal welfare organization, The Anti-Cruelty Society is taking action by encouraging more adoptions and placing additional animals in foster care. 

“We believe that the current economic uncertainty has impacted potential adopters’ willingness to bring home a new family member which has caused space constraints. The Anti-Cruelty Society is severely limited in housing additional animals, particularly dogs over 40 pounds that need larger living spaces,” said Darlene Duggan, Chief Operations Officer for The Anti-Cruelty Society. “We are strategizing with our team members and volunteers to come up with alternatives to house additional animals that urgently need a safe warm place to stay.”  
For the past three months, the Society’s adoption rate for all dogs has fallen by 33%. Plus, there appears to be a nationwide trend that indicates dog adoption rates are down by approximately 28% according to Pethealth which provides data analysis for 1500 shelters across the country. The Society is currently housing and caring for more than 420 animals, plus 140 animals in foster care. 

To help animals find their forever homes and ensure space for other animals in need, the Society is waiving fees for all animals until November 14 at its River North Adoption Center, Everyday Adoption Center in the South Loop PetSmart, as well as its PetSmart partner locations in Evanston and the Chicago neighborhoods of Andersonville, Kingsbury and Wrigleyville.
Cats, dogs, and small mammals of all ages may be adopted without paying any fees from Monday, November 8 through Sunday, November 14 at any of the Society’s locations.

Appointments are not required for interested adopters, however there may be a waiting period on arrival due to capacity issues, especially at the River North location. 
Interested adopters may view available animals at and learn more about the adoption process at Adoptions are first come, first served and animals may not be placed on hold. The Anti-Cruelty Society’s River North Adoption Center is located at 510 N. LaSalle, Chicago; Everyday Adoption Center in South Loop PetSmart, 1101 S. Canal, Chicago, PetSmart Andersonville, 5210 N. Broadway, Chicago; PetSmart Kingsbury, 1415 N. Kingsbury, Chicago; PetSmart Wrigleyville, 3740 N. Halsted, Chicago; and Evanston PetSmart, 2221 Oakton St., Evanston. For location and hours, visit

About The Anti-Cruelty Society
Founded in 1899, The Anti-Cruelty Society is Chicago’s oldest and largest, private, open-admission, unlimited stay humane society. With a mission of building a community of caring by helping pets and educating people, its comprehensive programs and services help over 50,000 animals and humans every year and include: adoption, charity veterinary clinic, low or no-cost spay/neuter clinic, cruelty investigations and rescue, humane education & community outreach, a free behavior helpline, the Bruckner Rehabilitation & Treatment Center, the Virginia Butts Berger Cat Clinic and the Dog Rehabilitation Center. The Anti-Cruelty Society provides community support to keep people and their pets together through safety net services such as the pop-up pet food pantry program, wellness fairs, emergency pet boarding, senior citizen pet owner support and community education programs. For more information, visit