As a self-proclaimed animal lover, I've had my fair share of experiences with the various shelters throughout Chicago. From volunteering to adopting, I've seen it all.

So, I decided to put together a list of the twelve best animal shelters in the city. Whether you're looking for a furry friend or simply want to support a good cause, these shelters offer top-notch services and care for animals in need.

So, without further ado, let's dive into the best animal shelters in Chicago!

One Tail at a Time - Adoption Center

One Tail at a Time - Adoption Center
🗺️ 2144 N Wood St, Chicago, IL 60614
🌐 Website
Sunday: 11 AM–6 PM
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 2–7 PM
Thursday: 2–7 PM
Friday: 2–7 PM
Saturday: 11 AM–6 PM
Great support system
High-risk shelter pets
Wide range of species
Experienced volunteers
Educational resources

First of all, let me tell you that this shelter is pawsome! The support system they offer to their animals is top-notch. As soon as I walked in, I noticed a team of experienced volunteers who were working diligently to make sure every single pet received the care and attention they needed.

What stood out most about One Tail at a Time was their commitment to taking in high-risk shelter pets. They're not afraid to take on challenging cases or animals with medical conditions that require special care. It's clear that they have a big heart for all animals, regardless of their difficulties.

One thing I appreciated about One Tail at a Time was the wide range of species available for adoption. They had everything from dogs and cats to rabbits and even guinea pigs! It's great that they provide an opportunity for people who might be looking for something other than the typical cat or dog to find their perfect furry friend.

Lastly, I was impressed by the educational resources available at this shelter. They offer training classes and workshops to help new pet owners learn how to properly care for their animal companions. This is just another example of how much One Tail at a Time cares about the well-being of their animals even after they leave the shelter.

Overall, if you're looking for a great animal shelter in Chicago, One Tail at a Time - Adoption Center should definitely be on your list!

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PAWS Chicago

PAWS Chicago
🗺️ 1997 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
☎️ 773-935-7297
🌐 Website
Sunday: 11 AM–5 PM
Monday: 12–7 PM
Tuesday: 12–7 PM
Wednesday: 12–7 PM
Thursday: 12–7 PM
Friday: 12–7 PM
Saturday: 11 AM–5 PM
Rescued my best friend
Free first vet visit
Offers training services
Friendly and knowledgeable volunteers

Firstly, I have to say that this shelter is a true life saver. In fact, it's where I rescued my best friend, a lovable and playful pup named Charlie. The staff here is incredibly friendly and knowledgeable about the animals they care for. They really go above and beyond to ensure that every animal finds their forever home.

One of the standout highlights of PAWS Chicago is their offer of a free first vet visit for your newly adopted pet. This is such a valuable service as it allows you to get your pet checked out by a professional at no extra cost. Plus, they also offer training services which helps make sure that your new furry friend adjusts well to their new home.

I was impressed with the cleanliness and organization of the shelter. The volunteers are always happy to give tours and answer any questions you may have. They take the time to match you with the perfect pet for your lifestyle and personality.

Overall, if you're looking for an animal shelter in Chicago that truly cares for its animals and offers excellent services, look no further than PAWS Chicago. Trust me, you won't be disappointed!

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Tree House Humane Society

Tree House Humane Society
🗺️ 7225 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60645
☎️ 773-262-4000
🌐 Website
Sunday: 10 AM–6 PM
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 10 AM–6 PM
Thursday: 10 AM–6 PM
Friday: 10 AM–6 PM
Saturday: 10 AM–6 PM
Kind and helpful staff
Cares for every cat
Great adoption process

Walking into the shelter, I was immediately greeted by the kind and helpful staff. They were eager to answer any questions I had and even gave me a tour of the facility. As we walked around, I couldn't help but notice how much care and attention was given to each cat. It was clear that every feline resident was well taken care of.

The staff at Tree House Humane Society are also incredibly informative. They took the time to educate me on their adoption process, which is thorough but fair. They want to ensure that each cat goes to a loving home where they will be cared for properly.

Speaking of their adoption process, it is truly great! Potential adopters are given plenty of information about the cats they're interested in, including their personalities and any special needs they may have.

Overall, my experience at Tree House Humane Society was wonderful. From the caring staff to the well-cared-for cats, this shelter truly stands out among others in Chicago. If you're looking for a new furry friend or just want to support a great organization, I highly recommend checking them out!

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Harmony House For Cats

Harmony House For Cats
Clean and friendly
Senior cat adoption
Fair prices
Passionate staff
Interactive visits

First and foremost, I was impressed with how clean and tidy the shelter was. The litter boxes were always spotless, which is a rare thing to see in animal shelters. The cats seemed very happy and comfortable in their surroundings, and it's no wonder why - the staff are so friendly! They were more than happy to answer all of my questions and give me a tour of the facility.

One thing that I really appreciated about Harmony House For Cats is that they have a special focus on senior cat adoption. It can be tough for older cats to find homes, but Harmony House makes it easy by highlighting them as special cats who deserve love too. Another great thing about this shelter is their fair prices – you won't break the bank adopting a furry friend here!

What sets Harmony House apart from other shelters I've visited is their interactive visits. You're not just allowed to pet the cats through the cage bars; you can actually go into rooms with them! It's like speed dating for cat adoption – you get to see which kitty clicks with you best.

Overall, I would definitely recommend checking out Harmony House For Cats if you're looking for a new furry companion. The passionate staff, interactive visits, and senior cat adoption program make it stand out among other shelters in Chicago.

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Cicero Waggin' Tails Animal Shelter/Animal Control

Cicero Waggin' Tails Animal Shelter/Animal Control
🗺️ 1800 S Laramie Ave, Cicero, IL 60804
☎️ 708-652-0825
🌐 Website
Sunday: Closed
Monday: 1–6 PM
Tuesday: 1–6 PM
Wednesday: 1–6 PM
Thursday: 1–6 PM
Friday: 1–6 PM
Saturday: 10 AM–2 PM
Helpful staff
Successful pet adoptions
Cares for animals

First of all, I was impressed with the staff's dedication and love for animals. They were extremely helpful in answering my questions and guiding me through the shelter. It was clear that they truly care about the animals in their care.

What sets Cicero Waggin' Tails apart from other shelters is its success rate with pet adoptions. The shelter has a high percentage of successful adoptions, which is great news for both the animals and potential adopters. I was happy to see so many happy pets and families leaving together.

The shelter also prioritizes the well-being of its animals by providing them with proper care and attention. The animals there looked healthy, happy, and well-fed.

Overall, I would definitely recommend Cicero Waggin' Tails Animal Shelter/Animal Control to anyone looking to adopt a new furry friend in Chicago. The helpful staff, successful adoptions, and care for their animals truly make it one of the best animal shelters in the city.

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The Catcade - Cat Cafe & Rescue

The Catcade - Cat Cafe & Rescue
🗺️ 1235 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
🌐 Website
Sunday: 11 AM–6 PM
Monday: 12–6 PM
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: 12–8 PM
Friday: 12–8 PM
Saturday: 12–8 PM
Clean and cute
No stressed cats
Rules for cat interaction
Great for adoption

Firstly, I was impressed by how clean and cute the place looked. Unlike some shelters that can be uninviting and dreary, The Catcade had a nice and cozy atmosphere that made me feel right at home.

One thing that stood out to me was the lack of stressed cats. Sometimes animal shelters can be overwhelming for cats which can lead to them being anxious or even aggressive. But at The Catcade, all the cats seemed happy and relaxed in their environment.

I appreciated the rules for cat interaction too. Visitors are given guidelines on how to interact with the cats so as not to stress them out or make them uncomfortable. It's clear that The Catcade takes the wellbeing of their feline residents seriously.

Lastly, what makes The Catcade stand out is its dedication to adoption. They have a well-organized adoption program where visitors can interact with the cats and potentially find their new furry friend. It's great to see a shelter taking an active role in finding homes for these animals.

Overall, if you're looking for a fun and unique way to spend your day while supporting a good cause, I highly recommend visiting The Catcade - Cat Cafe & Rescue!

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Animal Welfare League

Animal Welfare League
🗺️ 6224 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60637
☎️ 773-667-0088
🌐 Website
Sunday: Closed
Monday: 10 AM–5 PM
Tuesday: 10 AM–5 PM
Wednesday: 10 AM–5 PM
Thursday: 10 AM–5 PM
Friday: 10 AM–5 PM
Saturday: 10 AM–2 PM
Only south side animal shelter
Caring and helpful staff
Understanding in difficult times

Firstly, I was impressed to find out that this is the only animal shelter on the south side of Chicago. This means they are serving a large and diverse community of pet owners who need their help.

From the moment I walked in, I could tell that the staff here really cares about animals. They were incredibly caring and helpful as they showed me around and introduced me to some of the furry residents. They genuinely seemed to love spending time with these animals and finding them new homes.

One thing that stood out to me was how understanding they were in difficult times. They know that sometimes people need to surrender their pets for reasons beyond their control, and they make it clear that there is no judgement there. Instead, they offer a friendly ear and support during what can be a very emotional time.

Overall, I would highly recommend Animal Welfare League as one of the best animal shelters in Chicago. The combination of their caring staff, commitment to helping all animals in need, and understanding attitude makes them stand out from other shelters in the area. Plus, knowing that you're supporting a local organization doing good work for pets on the south side is an added bonus!

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One Tail at a Time - Brian & Sheri Qualizza Isolation Center

One Tail at a Time - Brian & Sheri Qualizza Isolation Center
Clean isolation center
Spacious yard for play groups
Opportunities for volunteering
Provides temporary housing for dogs
Works with fosters to find homes

First of all, I was impressed by the cleanliness of the isolation center. It's always a pleasure to visit a shelter that takes hygiene seriously. The dogs seemed to be very comfortable in their temporary homes and were well taken care of.

One thing that stood out to me was the spacious yard for play groups. The dogs appeared to be having a blast running around and socializing with each other. It was heartwarming to see them so happy!

If you're interested in volunteering, this is a great place to do so! There are plenty of opportunities available and the staff is very welcoming. They also offer temporary housing for dogs, which is incredibly helpful for those who need it.

What I appreciated most about One Tail at a Time - Brian & Sheri Qualizza Isolation Center is their dedication to finding these pups loving homes. They work closely with fosters to ensure every dog has the best chance at finding their forever family.

Overall, I highly recommend visiting this shelter if you're looking for a furry friend or want to get involved in animal rescue efforts. You won't be disappointed!

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Chicago Canine Rescue

Chicago Canine Rescue
🗺️ 5272 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60630
☎️ 773-697-8848
🌐 Website
Sunday: 11 AM–7 PM
Monday: 11 AM–7 PM
Tuesday: 11 AM–7 PM
Wednesday: 11 AM–7 PM
Thursday: 11 AM–7 PM
Friday: 11 AM–7 PM
Saturday: 11 AM–7 PM
Adores dogs
Free spaying
Great volunteer

First and foremost, it's clear that the staff at Chicago Canine Rescue adores dogs. The facility is clean and well-maintained with ample space for the pups to play and run around. As a dog lover myself, I appreciate their commitment to providing a safe and loving environment for these furry friends.

I was also impressed with their transparency. The staff was more than willing to answer all of my questions about their adoption process, how they care for the dogs, and where their funding comes from. It's refreshing to see a shelter that is so open about their operations.

Another great aspect of Chicago Canine Rescue is how supportive they are of adopters. They offer free spaying services for all adopted dogs, which not only helps control the pet population but also shows how much they care about the health and wellbeing of each dog that comes through their doors.

Finally, I have to give a shoutout to the volunteers who work tirelessly at Chicago Canine Rescue. They are knowledgeable and passionate about what they do, making sure each dog gets plenty of attention and love.

Overall, I highly recommend Chicago Canine Rescue as one of the best animal shelters in Chicago. Their commitment to transparency, supportiveness, and love for dogs is unparalleled in the city.

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One Tail at a Time - Rudy Stewart Training & Behavior Center

One Tail at a Time - Rudy Stewart Training & Behavior Center
Experienced staff
Positive reinforcement training
Foster-based program
COVID-safe protocols
Support for adopters

First, let me say that the staff at this shelter is top-notch. They are not only friendly but also experienced in dealing with all types of animals. Their positive reinforcement training techniques are impressive and will put your mind at ease when it comes to your furry friend's behavior.

What sets this shelter apart from others is their foster-based program. This means that the animals are placed in loving homes until they find their forever home. This not only makes for happier pets but also helps with their socialization skills.

In these unprecedented times, we all want to feel safe, and One Tail at a Time has got you covered. I was impressed with the COVID-safe protocols they had in place. The shelter was clean, and everyone was wearing masks.

Lastly, I loved how this shelter supported adopters even after they have taken their new pet home. They provide resources and advice to ensure that both the pet and the adopter have a smooth transition into their new life together.

Overall, One Tail at a Time - Rudy Stewart Training & Behavior Center is an exceptional animal shelter that provides excellent care for its animals while ensuring safety during these challenging times. If you're looking to adopt a new furry family member or support a great cause, then look no further than One Tail at a Time!

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The Anti-Cruelty Society

The Anti-Cruelty Society
🗺️ 510 N La Salle Dr, Chicago, IL 60654
☎️ 312-644-8338
🌐 Website
Sunday: 12–5 PM
Monday: 12–6 PM
Tuesday: 12–6 PM
Wednesday: 12–5 PM
Thursday: 12–6 PM
Friday: 12–6 PM
Saturday: 12–5 PM
Wonderful organization taking care of a huge number of animals.
Provides vet support for any medical issues, behavioral assistance from their experts, as well as some toys and food.
Rewarding experience to foster dogs with ACS.
Amazing team including volunteers that help foster families work on training dogs.

First of all, I must say that this shelter is a wonderful organization that takes care of a huge number of animals. From cats to dogs, rabbits to birds, they have it all! The staff at the ACS are incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated to helping these animals find their forever homes.

One thing that really impressed me about the ACS is how they provide vet support for any medical issues and behavioral assistance from their experts. They also provide some toys and food for the animals which is fantastic!

As a foster parent myself, I can say that fostering dogs with ACS was an incredibly rewarding experience. Not only did I get to help a dog in need, but I also got to see firsthand how amazing the team at ACS truly is. They have an amazing team including volunteers who help foster families work on training dogs.

In conclusion, if you're looking for a great place to adopt or foster an animal in Chicago, look no further than The Anti-Cruelty Society. This shelter has everything you need to give an animal a happy and healthy life.

Red Door Animal Shelter

Red Door Animal Shelter
🗺️ 2410 W Lunt Ave, Chicago, IL 60645
☎️ 773-764-2242
🌐 Website
Sunday: 12–4 PM
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 12–4 PM
Wednesday: 12–4 PM
Thursday: 12–4 PM
Friday: 12–4 PM
Saturday: 12–4 PM
Knowledgeable and friendly
Easy adoption process
Good rabbit selection
Responsible and caring

First of all, I was pleasantly surprised by the knowledgeable and friendly staff who were more than happy to give me a tour. They were clearly passionate about their work and it showed in the way they interacted with both animals and visitors.

Adoption process was a breeze as well. They made it easy to find the perfect furry companion for me. I didn't have to fill out an entire library of paperwork or jump through hoops like a circus animal.

One thing that stood out was their selection of rabbits. They had quite a few adorable bunnies hopping around in their own little play areas, which was great to see since not many shelters offer such options for these fluffy creatures.

And finally, I want to emphasize how responsible and caring Red Door Animal Shelter is towards animals. Their commitment to providing proper care for every animal that comes through their doors is truly admirable.

Overall, I had an amazing time at Red Door Animal Shelter and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new furry friend or just wanting to support a great cause. It's no wonder why they are considered one of the best animal shelters in Chicago!

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Alex Irvin

Alex enthusiastically explores her hometown of Chicago with an adventurous spirit and a pen in hand. As a freelance writer, Alex specializes in reviewing places in and around the city. From restaurants to theaters, Alex brings attention to interesting finds throughout the area. Along with her reviews, Alex writes articles on Chicago's neighborhoods, engaging events, and her own travel stories. When Alex can't be found behind a computer, you'll find her sampling the newest restaurant, attending a play or strolling around the city.