Chicago Animal Care and Control (CACC) is committed to caring for Chicago’s at-risk animals through the evolving COVID-19 crisis. As this situation changes, we will continue to update our website Chicago.gov/CACC and this FAQ with the latest news on the shelter and how you can help.
WILL YOU CONTINUE TO CARE FOR SHELTER PETS?
We continue our commitment to saving animals’ lives, reuniting lost pets with their families, and finding loving homes for abandoned and orphaned animals. Be assured that we will have Chicago Animal Care and Control (CACC) staff available to feed, clean, and provide exercise and enrichment for the animals in our care. The shelter population is constantly changing, and we are still placing animals in adoptive and foster homes, and reuniting animals with their families by appointment.
In addition, Animal Control Officers will respond to emergency calls such as vicious animals, animal cruelty, and calls about injured and stray animals. While we’ll continue to provide these services, non-essential shelter personnel have been asked to work remotely. If you are interested in helping a shelter pet during this difficult period, please consider adopting or fostering (see details below).
WHY WERE SERVICE CHANGES MADE?
On March 18, CACC changed the way most of its services are accessed. Residents now will need to make appointments by emailing VisitCACC@gmail.com or calling 312-747-1414 (line answered daily from 12 – 6 p.m.).
We are making this change and requesting your help to keep staff and visitors safe while avoiding overcrowding at the shelter and helping our pets find new, loving homes. The change mostly impacts owners giving up their pets to the shelter, since about 40% of pets entering CACC are owner surrenders.
CAN I STILL ADOPT A SHELTER PET AT THIS TIME?
Yes! CACC needs to get as many pets as possible into good homes. If you are considering adopting, please visit Petharbor.com/Chicago or CACC Adoptable Pets and CACC Cat Transfer Team on Facebook to view photos and bios of the animals. If you find a dog or cat of interest, please email VisitCACC@gmail.com or call 312-747-1414 with your name, phone number, and the name and the ID (A#) of the animal. A volunteer or staff member will follow up with you with the next steps. We will note that there is an interested party, but adoptions and transfers will be honored on a first-come first-served basis.
Adoptions are approved after the applicant meets the pet.
HOW DO I FOSTER A SHELTER PET?
The shelter is looking for emergency foster homes, who can take home a pet if CACC reaches critical capacity. CACC will need fosters for all types of pets, but housing for medium and large dogs are needed most. CACC provides vet care and food. People can sign up to be an on-call emergency foster by emailing VisitCACC@gmail.com or calling 312-747-1414. We will get back to you when we need your help. You can also contact one of CACC’s partner organizations to learn about foster opportunities with them. Find a list of these organizations at: Chicago.gov/CACC.
ARE PARTNER RESCUES STILL ABLE TO TRANSFER OUT ANIMALS?
Yes! Transfer hours and procedures are still the same at this time. Rescue partners should visit CACC Dog Transfer Team and CACC Cat Transfer Team on Facebook and email CACCrescue@cityofchicago.org as usual to place hold requests and for more information.
WHAT IF I CAN’T KEEP MY PET?
We are asking owners who are not facing an immediate crisis to keep their pets for at least four weeks. We must maintain space for the pets that need us now. For any pet owners who must surrender their pets, they must make an appointment by emailing VisitCACC@gmail.com or calling 312-747-1414. Owners should also try to re-home their animals with friends or family. Our partners at the Anti-Cruelty Society offer a Home-to-Home Shelter Bypass service to help people take responsibility for rehoming the pets themselves. If you are interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I FIND A STRAY ANIMAL?
If you find a stray animal, you can take it to a vet clinic to check for a microchip and try to find the owner. Then, go to helpinglostpets.com to create a lost pet profile. Please consider fostering the animal to give the owner time to find the pet or until the shelter resumes normal operations. Lost pets typically stay close to home so fostering them where they are found helps get pets home. The pets also avoid the stress of the shelter. In addition, you can help to find the pet’s owner via social media by posting flyers on pages like LostDogsIL LostCatsIL or other community sites. More information: humanesociety.org/resources/how-help-stray-pet.
If you can’t keep the pet, please email VisitCACC@gmail.com or call 312-747-1414 with your name, phone number, and a brief description of the animal, and a staff member will follow up with you. Please note that we are unable to accept community/feral cats and kittens at this time unless they are orphaned and unweaned or injured. In this case, call 3-1-1 or visit 311.Chicago.gov to request pick-up.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I LOST A PET?
If you lost your pet, visit Petharbor.com/Chicago to view all the stray animals in the facility. Other helpful sites include Lost312.com and helpinglostpets.com as well as Lost DogsIL and LostCatsIL on Facebook and many community pages. If you think that one of the animals at CACC is your lost pet, email VisitCACC@gmail.com or call 312-747-1414 with your name, phone number and the animal ID (A#) from the Petharbor site, and a staff member will follow up with you with the next steps.
HOW DOES COVID-19 EFFECT ANIMALS?
We understand that you may have questions about whether it’s safe to be around pets. Please visit the WHO and CDC for up-to-date information https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#animals
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO TO HELP?
We always need shelter supplies! Please visit our Amazon Wishlist here.
Prepare Your Pets for Emergencies Every pet parent should put together a kit for their animal, including:
- Bottled water
- Cat carrier
- One-to-two weeks of your pet’s food
- Collapsible food and water bowls
- Cat litter and pan
- Leash, collar and harness
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Basic pet first-aid kit
- Vaccination records and medical history
- Veterinarian’s contact information
- List of medications
- Emergency contacts
- Photos of your pet in case of separation
- Feliway/Adaptil spray for carriers or toys
WHY WAS THE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM SUSPENDED?
To ensure the health and safety of our volunteers and staff, CACC had to make the hard decision to suspend the Volunteer Program, including the Doggie Day Out Program, until further notice. We hope to bring volunteers back as soon as it is prudent to do so.
SHARE! SHARE! SHARE!
The more people we reach, the more animals we can help! Please share posts on Facebook from Chicago Animal Care and Control, CACC Adoptables, CACC Dog Transfer Team and CACC Cat Transfer Team.