I love looking back and reflecting on things. Hey, hi, hello, I’m an over-analyzer. So, as 2019 comes to a close, I wanted to think back on how it went. This year was a huge year for growth both personally and professionally. When I take a look over all my favorite memories, it was hard to narrow it down so I picked a lot more than I originally intended. Here are the moments I’ll take with me from 2019.
This truly changed my life. In April 2019, Tara Majeed, Margaret Fraser, and I created a nonprofit to support our local animals. Chicago Animal Care & Control is one of the most underfunded city shelters. Since it’s a municipal shelter, they cannot accept monetary donations. Rescue Chicago provides medical grants, foster support, transportation, in-kennel enrichment, supplies, and community programs all benefiting local animals.
My bother adopting
My younger brother and his girlfriend decided he wanted to try fostering, so you can imagine how excited I was to support them. They applied to foster through Second City Canine Rescue and fostered a little Chihuahua named Chip. After three weeks, it was obvious that Chip was the perfect fit for them and our family pets. Congrats Will, Jessica, and Chip!
A new role
This past November, Second City Canine Rescue asked if I would help expand their local intake program. Second City Canine Rescue helps hundreds of animals each year but wanted to help more local dogs. Seeing as I’m already at our city shelter weekly, it was a no-brainer. I’m now an intake coordinator with a focus on helping our local pitties. In the last three weeks, I’ve helped place two pittie type dogs. I can’t wait to continue to help more. Stay tuned about this project!
Chicago Rescue Day
Chicago Rescue Day is when a bunch of local rescues get together and bust dogs out of our city shelters. This year, Rescue Chicago was asked to help lead the event. To encourage rescues to participate, we fundraise and give money to organizations that take dogs out of our city shelters. This year we raised almost $20,000 to hand out to rescue organizations and busted out more than 200 animals from our city shelters. Perhaps the best part though was seeing 35 rescues across Chicago come together to save all those lives.
Rescue Chicago wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for this dude. He was hours away from euthanasia due to his health issues and wasn’t able to get the full medical care he needed at our city shelter. With a lot of teamwork, we were able to find a foster and a rescue willing to bust him out. Feeling empowered and seeing an opportunity in the community, Tara, Margaret and I created Rescue Chicago. We may have helped this boy, but in truth, he has helped so many more animals.
This kitty almost became a permanent resident of the Nendick household. I never before had introduced our foster cats to our resident cats, but he was the lone kitten left in the litter. After weeks of slow intros, he integrated in to our little crew. He was such a fun and loving kitty, if only my cats felt the same way about him. I knew there was a better fit out there for him with another cat friend who would welcome his insistence on cuddling. I’m happy to report that he found the absolute best home and I get updates from him weekly. It truly made it all worth it.
Cat transfer team member
There’s a shelter on the south side of Chicago that gets very little attention and help. When I was asked if I could help support their cat transfer program, I happily signed agreed. I try to go in monthly and assess the cats. We write up bios, take pics, and help rescues pull cats out of there. Working at this shelter is heartbreaking because it’s so severely understaffed and underfunded. Thanks to a few amazing rescues – Lulu’s Locker Rescue, Heartland Animal Shelter, PAWS, CatNap From the Heart, and The Catcade – more cats than ever are getting a chance at life. It’s the shelter that my last two foster litters came from and I look forward to continuing to help in 2020.
Becoming a volunteer at CACC
I gave every excuse in the book to avoid becoming a volunteer at Chicago Animal Care & Control. I was so terrified that it would be too hard, that the animals would make me too sad. After a little nudge from a few other volunteers, I decided to go through the orientation process. I knew it would be beneficial to learn about the policies and be able to move about the shelter freely. Flash forward seven months and now CACC is my happy place. I spend my Friday afternoons falling in love with a new dog (or 6) each week. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, attend an upcoming orientation!
My first foster dog, this senior boy taught me more than I could have imagined. He came up on a transport to Chicago after his owner passed away. He was such a sweet soul who was adopted into the most wonderful family. At 14 years old, he lived his final months so loved. I will forever be thankful to Sycamore and will continue to help seniors and other dogs in need in his honor.