If you’re in need of a selection of the best dog rescues in Illinois, we’ve featured 10 of them below for your convenience.
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1. Chicago Canine Rescue (Chicago)
The team at the Chicago Canine Rescue is committed to saving dogs from overcrowded shelters. Often, dogs that have special needs, are too old, or are unwell face euthanasia at shelters, but this rescue organization scoops them up and gives them another chance at life. Based in Chicago, the Chicago Canine Rescue was founded in 2001 and has saved over 6000 dogs in the years since.
If you are interested in adopting, view the available dogs here and then submit an application online if any animals catch your eye. Your application will be screened and you may be chosen to meet the dog. If you’re not ready to adopt, you can foster a pet, and there are also volunteer opportunities available at Chicago Canine Rescue. You can even help out by donating here.
2. Wags 2 Wishes Animal Rescue (Plainfield)
Wags 2 Wishes Animal Rescue has a soft spot for all animals, regardless of their species, size, age, breed, health status, or just about anything else! This non-profit rescue group was founded in Plainfield in 2013, and focuses on saving abandoned, sick, or abused animals from overcrowded shelters. Some animals are placed in foster care, others live at the rescue facility until they can be adopted into a permanent home.
All adoptable dogs over six months old come with a fee of $375. This includes spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, heartworm test, worm treatment, flea treatment, and microchipping. Puppies under six months of age are available for $425, which includes vaccines, spay/neuter surgery when age appropriate, microchipping, age-appropriate vaccines, and deworming. View the available dogs here, or donate to Wags 2 Wishes Animal Rescue using the yellow button on this page.
3. Starfish Animal Rescue (Batavia)
Based in Batavia, IL, Starfish Animal Rescue is a non-profit organization committed to rescuing pets from overcrowded, high-kill shelters where many face euthanasia. As well as finding loving homes for these pets, Starfish Animal Rescue works to educate the public regarding responsible pet ownership to reduce the number of animals that end up in city shelters.
Starfish Animal Rescue provides medications and vaccines to city shelters to help the pets there stay healthy, and also has access to low-cost and free spay/neuter services. Before being listed for adoption, all dogs receive vaccines, flea treatment, are de-wormed, undergo a veterinary exam, are microchipped, and have any medical needs addressed. You can view the available dogs here, or donate to Starfish Animal Rescue here.
4. A Tail of 4 Paws Animal Rescue (Romeoville)
A Tail of 4 Paws Animal Rescue was first established in Romeoville in 2015. This organization doesn’t have a rescue facility – all animals they save are placed in foster homes and cared for by dedicated volunteers until their forever home can be found. This foster system works well as it gives the foster carers a chance to evaluate each animal’s temperament and assess areas where they may need additional support or training, ensuring they can be matched with an adopter that is the best possible fit.
Once rescued, dogs receive a bath and a visit to a vet where they undergo a full exam, receive any necessary vaccines, are checked for heartworm, and microchip. Dogs are also given preventative heartworm medication and flea/tick prevention. If you’re interested in adopting an available dog, view your options here. You can also donate to A Tail of 4 Paws Animal Rescue here.
5. ALIVE Rescue (Chicago)
ALIVE Rescue is a Chicago-based non-profit organization that first opened their doors in 2008. Until 2012, all rescued animals were placed in foster homes, but the group has since opened a large adoption center that allows them to save and house even more animals. ALIVE Rescue provides behavioral and medical support to all rescued animals, regardless of health, breed, or age.
If you’re interested in adopting, you can view the available animals here. ALIVE Rescue is always looking for fosters – this is a great opportunity to get a taste for owning a dog and seeing if it suits your lifestyle. You can also help out by donating to ALIVE Rescue today.
6. Midwest Italian Greyhound Rescue (Statewide)
Greyhounds are beautiful dogs and make great family pets. They’re quiet, friendly, don’t shed a lot of hair and love curling up beside their humans. What’s more, there are lots of these dogs available for adoption as they finish their racing careers. Midwest Italian Greyhound Rescue is a volunteer-run organization operating throughout Illinois that focuses on re-homing these beautiful dogs with loving adopters.
If you’re interested in adopting, you can view the Italian Greyhounds currently available for adoption in Illinois here. If you think any of these dogs are the right pet for you, you can complete an application online. You can also donate to the Midwest Italian Greyhound Rescue here.
7. Mama Zoey and Puppies Rescue (Statewide)
Mama Zoey and Puppies Rescue is a non-profit organization operating throughout Illinois. This group was first founded in 2017 and is committed to rescuing as many dogs as possible. They rescue all dogs, regardless of their breed, health status, age, or other factor. Mama Zoey and Puppies Rescue is a foster-based group – all rescued pets are placed in foster homes with volunteers until they can be adopted.
Adoption fees vary depending on the age of the dog. Dogs aged 1-7 years are available for $350, dogs aged seven years and older are available for $200, and puppies (up to one year old) vary in price. Adoption fees cover vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery, microchipping, and general care while the dog is with their foster family. You can donate to Mama Zoey and Puppies Rescue here.
8. The Anti-Cruelty Society (Chicago)
The Anti-Cruelty Society is a one-stop-shop when it comes to animal welfare. This Chicago-based organization works tirelessly to ensure great lives for all animals in their care. They rescue animals in need and prepare them for adoption, they have a clinic offering affordable veterinary care for those who need it, and they have great community programs like a home-to-home service that finds new homes for pets without subjecting them to life in a shelter.
If you’re considering adopting a pet from The Anti-Cruelty Society, you can view their available dogs here. If you find a good match, complete an adoption questionnaire online and wait for the group to contact you. As well as adopting, you can also apply to foster an animal, or donate to The Anti-Cruelty Society here.
9. Little Giants Dog Rescue (Lombard)
Little Giants Dog Rescue is a relatively new organization that was founded in 2019. This group is based in Lombard, IL, and is committed to rescuing as many dogs as possible from situations of neglect and finding new, loving homes for them.
Adoption fees vary – puppies (up to 15 months old) are generally available for $400-$450, and dogs vary from $200 to $350, with discounts for older dogs. Available dogs can be viewed here – complete an application online if you think you’ve found your new best friend. You can also help by donating to Little Giants Dog Rescue here.
10. ARF – Animal Rescue Foundation (Chicago)
Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) is a Chicago-based non-profit organization committed to the no-kill rescue philosophy. They save animals from high-kill shelters and other unfortunate situations and care for these animals until they can be adopted. They also promote spay/neuter surgery and responsible pet ownership throughout the community.
If you’re interested in adopting, you can view the available dogs here. Complete an application online if any furry friends seem like a good match for you, and check regularly as new dogs are added all the time. You can also donate to the Animal Rescue Foundation here.
“Emily is an avid writer and dog lover who usually prefers the company of pets over people. Based in Los Angeles, when not stuck in traffic she spends her days reading in the sunshine, relaxing at the beach, or planning her next adventure.”