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The Anti-Cruelty Society 2022 Annual Report

It is with great pleasure that we share with you our remarkable accomplishments of the past year. Joining your compassionate generosity with the passion and skill of every member of our team, we have saved and enhanced the lives of many, many animals and their families.

Anti-Cruelty Society Connects Adoptable Pets with Loving Homes during PetSmart Charities® National Adoption Week, February 28-March 6

Each year, more than five million pets enter animal shelters in need of loving homes. The Anti-Cruelty Society is proud to partner with PetSmart Charities® to bring adoptable pets to the Everyday Adoption Center in the South Loop PetSmart and four Chicago area partner PetSmart locations in support of National Adoption Week, taking place February 28 – March 6, 2022. Cats, dogs and small animals are available for adoption on a drop-in basis at the Society’s Everyday Adoption Center in the South Loop PetSmart. The Society’s PetSmart partner locations in Andersonville, Evanston, Kingsbury and Wrigleyville feature adoptable…

Adopt a Large Dog with The Anti-Cruelty’s Big Dogs = Big Love Adoption Promotion

The Anti-Cruelty Society needs help finding great homes for big dogs. To assist these large canines find great owners, the Society is offering a Big Dogs = Big Love promotion for dogs 40 pounds or larger with a special adoption fee of $40 through February 28.  The Society has experienced a 30% decrease in animal adoptions in the last year, especially for dogs over 40 pounds. Currently there are more than 27 canines that weigh more than 40 pounds waiting for their forever homes, and many have been available for more than 30 days.  Interested adopters can make a VIP appointment or drop in to adopt at the Society’s River…

Anti-Cruelty Society Alum Emmylou Represents Chicago in Puppy Bowl

Exclusive behind the scenes photos and videos When two-month-old Emmylou arrived at Chicago’s oldest animal welfare organization as a spunky four-and-a-half-pound puppy, The Anti-Cruelty Society knew she had the potential to do big things. Within a few weeks, this tiny brown and white pup was selected from thousands of adorable, adoptable puppies from animal shelters across the U.S. to compete in this year’s Puppy Bowl.  On Sunday, February 13 at 1 p.m. CST, Anti-Cruelty Society alum Emmylou gets the opportunity to show off her charming personality and technical skills during Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl. As a member of…

Young Philanthropist Creates NFTs to Benefit Animals in Need

For the first time in its 123-year-old history, The Anti-Cruelty Society and its animals are poised to benefit from the sale of NFTs, non-fungible tokens. Young philanthropist Leo DiCosola has created 15 NFTs of his adopted dog and wants some of the proceeds to help animals in need around the Chicago area.

Anti-Cruelty Society Hosts Virtual Day of Service for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

The Anti-Cruelty Society invites individuals of all ages, including families, community groups and businesses, to help pets and people in the community with a virtual day of service on Monday, January 17 to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. This online event gives animal lovers the opportunity to come together to give back and help positively impact the lives of homeless pets.

New Anti-Cruelty Society Online Store Offers Cool Designs to Support Animals in Need

The Anti-Cruelty Society has launched a new online store offering a multitude of options for apparel, drinkware and accessories, all to support the Society’s animals. More than 30 items including T-shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs, water bottles, canvas bags and baby onesies round out the offerings. The online store can be accessed by visiting

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…

Clear the Shelters Helps Find Forever Homes

SPECIAL ADOPTION EVENT AT ANTI-CRUELTY SOCIETY ON AUGUST 28-29 The Anti-Cruelty Society will find homes for animals by participating in NBCUniversal’s Clear the Shelters™ 2021 pet adoption event on Saturday, August 28 and Sunday, August 29 at its River North Adoption Center in Chicago. Adopters may “pick a price” they would like to donate instead of the usual adoption fees for animals 5 months and up. Appointments are required and can be booked at 

Popular Pet Portraits Fundraiser Returns

Staff & Volunteers Create One-of-a-Kind Pet Drawings to Support Anti-Cruelty Society's Animals   Many pet owners consider their four-legged friends important members of the family and take lots of photos to remember happy moments. The Anti-Cruelty Society will again offer its popular Pet Portraits fundraiser as a creative and endearing way to capture the personality and likeness of beloved pets while helping animals in need, now through Sunday, July 18. When people share their pet’s photo and make a donation of $25 or more, a volunteer will create a one-of-a-kind portrait of the furry companion. This artistic…

Art of Rock & Roll Combines Pets and Classic Rock to Help Animals

Rock on!  The Anti-Cruelty Society is partnering with 97.1 FM, The Drive, for a new fundraiser that combines pets and classic rock. The Art of Rock n’ Roll features classic rock album covers that have been recreated as pet parodies. The framed artwork is being auctioned online to raise money for The Anti-Cruelty Society’s animals. Bidding starts June 21 and ends at June 28 at 5 p.m.  The albums’ covers have been creatively modified to focus on pets: Rescued in the U.S.A., Boston Bonesteen; Bruce Springsteen, Born in the U.S.A.  Elton Paw-n Greatest Kits; Elton John, Greatest Hits, 1970-2002 HISS, Furry; KISS, Dynasty…

Pet Deposit Subsidy Program

As the effects of COVID-19 pandemic continue, another crisis is unfolding. Thousands of people across Chicago are in danger of losing their homes as the moratorium on evictions comes to an end. The Anti-Cruelty Society understands the difficulties facing pet owners who are looking to secure pet-friendly housing. To help pet owners overcome some of the obstacles, the Society created the Pet Deposit Subsidy Program. This unique program offers a one-time financial subsidy to Chicago pet owners who need assistance with paying move-in fees or securing pet-friendly housing. The goal is to keep pet owners and their animal…

New Community Cookbook for Dogs provides creative diversion and tasty treats!

Anti-Cruelty Society Releases New Cookbook for Dogs Staff and volunteers share favorite recipes for tasty dog treats CHICAGO—The Anti-Cruelty Society has launched its first ever Community Cookbook for Dogs. This colorful guide features 21 canine treat recipes contributed by Anti-Cruelty Society staff members and volunteers. Now on sale, it is available in print or e-book at   The book contains easy-to-follow instructions, color photos of the finished treats and snapshots of the canines whose owners shared the recipes. Each recipe has been recreated in a home kitchen to ensure accuracy and all…


Pet owners urged to follow CDC social distancing guidelines with pets and have emergency plan in place The Chicagoland Lifesaving Coalition, a group of key public and private animal welfare organizations, has released a joint statement regarding pets and the risk of transmitting COVID-19 to humans after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced the first confirmed cases of two pet cats that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). While there is no evidence that dogs and cats can transmit the virus to humans, pet owners are urged to follow the Centers for Disease Control recommendations for…

Coronavirus Community Update, March 19

The Anti-Cruelty Society has changed its operations to align with the City of Chicago’s Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) in response to COVID-19. Effective immediately, The Anti-Cruelty Society will provide access to our facility, including adoptions, fosters, and intake, by appointment only.


The Chicagoland Lifesaving Coalition, a consortium of Chicago area animal welfare organizations, has distributed a joint statement from its members regarding pet-centric concerns and needs during emergencies.  The Coalition recommends that guardians of companion pets make plans for their care in the event of any emergency:  Identify a trusted family member or friend to care for your pets if someone in your household becomes ill or is hospitalized. Research potential facilities in case boarding your pet becomes necessary.  Have crates, food and extra supplies for your pet available in case it is necessary to move…

Temporary Homes Needed for Emergency Foster Relief Program

The Anti-Cruelty Society Launches Emergency Relief Foster Program Volunteers needed to provide temporary foster care in response to COVID-19 threat CHICAGO— The Anti-Cruelty Society is seeking 100+ pet-friendly homes to foster adoptable animals to make room for pets of people impacted by COVID-19 (coronavirus). The new Emergency Relief Foster Program provides people with an opportunity to provide temporary homes for cats, dogs, and rabbits who are already available for adoption, and by doing so, clear out shelter space for animals who need emergency boarding due to owner hospitalization. “We need caring people who…

Make a Dog's Day: Adopt an Underdog!

Subaru created Make a Dog's Day to help celebrate underdogs! This nationally recognized day is held on October 22. But we want to celebrate underdogs every day! The Anti-Cruelty Society is excited to extend the Make a Dog's Day Adoption program to help these underdogs find the perfect forever homes. Adoption fees will be waived on the follow dogs and the adoption of these dogs includes one year of standard veterinary care in our clinic: Jasmine Magic 8 Ball Sarge  

The Anti-Cruelty Society Receives $50,000 Grant from Caerus Foundation, Inc.

The Anti-Cruelty Society is delighted to announce the approval of a $50,000 grant from Caerus Foundation, Inc. The Anti-Cruelty Society will use this grant to fund two programs that directly assist community pets and their owners: Friends Who Care and Dog Wellness Fairs.

The Anti-Cruelty Society Helps Pets Impacted by Hurricane Dorian

CHICAGO— 89 pets from South Carolina that have been impacted by Hurricane Dorian arrived in Chicago on Thursday, September 5. In partnership with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), these animals were driven to Chicago where they were greeted by The Anti-Cruelty Society’s staff and volunteers at the shelter. Pets that arrived Thursday were in the shelters prior to the hurricane impacting the eastern coastal areas. Bringing these pets to Chicago and other parts of the country removes pets from imminent danger.  

The Anti-Cruelty Society Welcomes New Veterinarian to Staff

The Anti-Cruelty Society is excited to welcome Michele Medhurst, D.V.M. to the Society’s veterinarian team. Dr. Medhurst previously worked at The Anti-Cruelty Society as the Medical Director before pursuing other opportunities in private practice. Dr. Medhurst hired and trained several of the current veterinarians on staff at The Anti-Cruelty Society as Medical Director. 

Hot Weather Tips for Pet Parents

The Anti-Cruelty Society reminds you that it is important to keep your pet’s safety top of mind. Here are some tips to help keep your pet safe in the heat throughout the summer. Do not leave your pet in a parked car. A parked car quickly becomes dangerously hot, even with the windows left partly opened. When outside temperatures are in the 90’s, after just 10 minutes, your car can be 114 degrees. At these temperatures, your pet can suffer irreversible organ damage or die. Be aware of the humidity. When the humidity is high, dogs have a harder time cooling themselves, leading to overheating with their internal…

The Anti-Cruelty Society Helps Pets Impacted by Severe Storms in Oklahoma

165 pets from Oklahoma that have been impacted by severe weather arrived in Chicago on Friday, May 31. In partnership with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), these animals were flown to Chicago and were greeted by The Anti-Cruelty Society’s staff and volunteers at Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling, IL.

Canine Cruise

Enjoy a gorgeous summer cruise with your favorite furry friend on Saturday, June 8, 2019. Join The Anti-Cruelty Society aboard Mercury Skyline Cruiseline’s Canine Cruise! This wonderful event is back by popular demand and it is the perfect way to kick off the summer season with your dog. The cruise begins at 10:15 a.m., but please arrive prior to 9:50 a.m. to begin boarding. 

Bark in the Park

Dogs are leading their humans to Chicago’s Original Dog Party, Bark in the Park, on Saturday, May 18, 2019 on the Stadium Green at Soldier Field. Rain or shine, thousands of animal-lovers and their dogs will spend a fun morning raising funds and awareness for The Anti-Cruelty Society, Chicago’s oldest animal welfare organization which turns 120 in 2019!

Dog Wellness Fair

The Anti-Cruelty Society is bringing a variety of much-needed pet care services to the East Garfield Park neighborhood free of charge on Saturday, March 23. The event will be held at the 11th District Police Station (3151 W. Harrison St.) from 11-2 p.m. 

The Anti-Cruelty Society Celebrates 120 Years of Compassion in Action

The Anti-Cruelty Society is celebrating 120 years of compassion in action for animals in Chicago! On March 7, 1899, Rose Fay Thomas (wife of Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chairman Theodore Thomas) and a small group of friends founded The Anti-Cruelty Society to suppress cruelty to animals, educate the public on humane treatment, and create a refuge for strays. Since then, the Society has been helping care for pets in need and putting compassion into action through comprehensive programming.

Keep Pets Safe from Frostbite

Keep Pets Safe from Frostbite The Anti-Cruelty Society Advises Pet Owners ahead of Sub-Zero Temperatures CHICAGO— The Chicagoland area is expecting record-low temperatures this week, stooping to high of minus 12 degrees and low of minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday, January…

The Anti-Cruelty Society Announces new President

The Anti-Cruelty Society Announces new President Tracy Elliott brings 30 years of nonprofit experience to the Society CHICAGO—The Board of Directors of The Anti-Cruelty Society announced the appointment of Tracy Elliott as President effective February 25. Elliott comes to Chicago’s oldest and…

The Anti-Cruelty Society Names New Members to the Board of Directors

The Anti-Cruelty Society Names New Members to the Board of Directors Jane Luiso, Judi Spaletto, and Shane Foley join the Society’s Board of Directors CHICAGO—The Anti-Cruelty Society, Chicago’s oldest and most comprehensive animal welfare organization announces the appointment of three new members…