Loretta and Kele's Stories

Loretta and Kele

In 1997, more than 42,000 cats and dogs were euthanized in Chicago. A devastating number that very few residents of the city were aware of. PAWS Chicago was founded to bring attention to the plight of homeless pets and to engage the community in finding solutions to pet overpopulation.

In the last 23 years, PAWS has helped reduce the number of homeless pets euthanized in Chicago by 91 percent. With our comprehensive No Kill model, PAWS Chicago has engaged thousands of volunteers, advocates, fosters, and adopters, to transform our city’s perspective on homeless pets.

Our mission:
-Build No Kill communities- starting with a No Kill Chicago- that respect and value the life of every cat and dog.
-End the overpopulation of homeless animals through solutions, practices and education.
-Transform animal welfare by setting higher standards in the way animals are treated and developing a sustainable, solutions-based model. The protection and humane treatment of animals is at the basis of everything PAWS Chicago does.

Every year, PAWS continues to make progress in saving lives with the tremendous support and advocacy of the Chicago animal-loving community. It is the power of community engagement that fuels our lifesaving efforts and our four core programs: prevention, adoptions, volunteering and animal health and behavior.

Through these critical programs PAWS provides medical care for sick and injured pets, finds loving homes pets that were once homeless and reduces the euthanasia of homeless pets in Chicago. As Chicagoland’s largest No Kill Shelter, PAWS is uniquely positioned to help lead Chicago’s efforts in becoming a truly humane city. In 2019, PAWS celebrated 5,5271 adoptions, performed 15,174 spay/neuter surgeries and saved 97.9 percent of the animals in our care. These efforts were supported by thousands of volunteers who performed 149,607 hours of service last year.

Below are just two stories of the thousands of animals PAWS Chicago was able to rescue last year. To learn more about PAWS Chicago and our No Kill mission visit www.pawschicago.org

Loretta’s Story
Small, scared, suffering. That was Loretta when we first brought her to PAWS from Chicago Animal Care and Control. A senior Spaniel-mix, Loretta’s list of ailments was taller than she was. Fleas, dental disease, a ruptured tendon, and multiple mammary masses made each day painful.

On her own, Loretta was lucky to have survived as long as she did. At PAWS, our mission was to ensure she thrived. We removed the fleas, rotten teeth and masses and gave her the loving care she always deserved. With the weight of her troubles lifted, Loretta revealed herself to be a bubbly and vivacious character full of vim and vigor.
Loretta was adopted by a loving family, and each day is a list of joyful moments much longer than the one of her troubles. Thanks to the generosity of supporters like you, Loretta got the happy ending she deserved, and PAWS will find thousands of pets a loving family of their own this year.

Kele’s Story
Kele, came to PAWS as a three-month old kitten with a slew of health problems. She was unable to feel her tail, and it was becoming damaged. Our team of veterinarians at our Medical Center amputated the tail to prevent any further issues. In addition, Kele's condition led to incontinence, which meant she would need to eat a special diet and be administered ongoing medications, as well as, wear diapers. At first, her special diapers were crafted from fuzzy socks because normal diapers didn’t come in her size.

Nearly two years had passed and Kele was still without a family to call her own. That is, until her “soulmate” came to adopt her. After a brief foster period, both Kele and her adopter knew that they were meant to be.

Kele’s adoption story was a lengthy 610 days in the making, but it is endings like hers that are the reason we work hard to rescue all homeless cats and dogs. Especially the tiny, spunky, diaper-wearing kittens who have nowhere else to go.

Charity Name
PAWS Chicago
Photo Caption
Loretta and Kele
Photo Credit
PAWS Chicago Photographer