As promised, I am so excited to share one of the newest ventures of mine! You’re probably aware that I volunteer at Chicago Animal Care & Control (I talk about that like, all the time). I try to get there on a weekly basis to walk dogs and help how I can (join me!!) You also know that I’ve previously fostered for Second City Canine Rescue. I’ve worked closely with them and have sent other volunteers and fosters their way because I like their model, mission, and the way they care for the animals.
When they asked me to help on their local intake team, I readily signed on. I’m now authorized to make decisions on their behalf about which dogs to take from our city shelters and place them in foster homes.
Back in 2018 when I first sat down with Jennifer of SCCR, we chatted about their local intake numbers. It was then that she told me they had a goal in 2019 of doubling the number of local dogs they save. In 2018, SCCR pulled 63 dogs out of our city shelters. This past year, they saved 125. I’d say they did a pretty good job of hitting their target. This year, they want to save about 160 from city shelters
I officially signed on to their local intake team, along with Emily Richards, in December to help them with their goal. Since then, I’ve been evaluating dogs and finding good fits for Second City Canine fosters. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t challenging and stressful work, but it’s beyond rewarding.
The main reason I wanted to do this was to help our city pitties. By far, they’re the most at-risk animals in our shelters. By focusing on them, and selecting dogs that can be ambassadors for the “breed,” I’m hoping to help end the stigma of pit bull type dogs.
One of the big appeals about Second City Canine Rescue is that the majority of their adopters are located in the suburbs. While there is stigma everywhere, I know that placing good pitties in suburban family homes will help shift the perception of these dogs.
Another reason I took on this new role is that, prior to Emily and me, there were only two volunteers doing all their intake. SCCR pulls dogs from all over, not just Chicago, so it was hard for them to make time to drive to our city shelters and evaluate dogs. It’s not that they didn’t want to, it was just difficult. Since I’m already at CACC, it was a great way for me to help more local dogs.
Taking on this role is very exciting, but I’d be lying if I said it was easy. There is a lot of pressure, mostly from myself, in choosing “the right” dogs. What I mean by this is that I feel responsible for what these dogs do when they leave the shelter. Because of this, I only want to place dogs I feel comfortable with in foster homes. However, I only get to see their behavior in a shelter and I’m far from a dog behaviorist. If and when a dog I place in a home bites another animal or a person, I will feel terrible. It’s something I’m working on balancing (hey, hi, hello anxiety) and I’m trying my best to continue learning tools in helping me evaluate dogs.
I’ve spent hours looking at videos of the dogs, their play style, and their handling videos. None of this would be possible if it weren’t for some truly devoted volunteers. The CACC Dog Transfer Team spends ridiculous amounts of time compiling these notes and videos to help us make the best decisions possible. I am truly grateful for their help.
All in all, I’m extremely honored and excited to be a part of the local intake team of Second City Canine Rescue. Over the course of three weeks, I’ve personally evaluated and pulled four dogs from CACC. Two have already been adopted (!!) and two are now available for adoption.
Journey and Blitzy are the first official pit bull type dogs I’ve evaluated and pulled for rescue. I’m lucky enough that two amazing fosters opened their homes to these dogs and have showered them with affection. They’ve both been wonderful in their foster homes and I couldn’t be more proud of them. Thank you, Sara, for your insight into Blitzy and believing in her. Thanks Stephanie for your patience and commitment to fostering a local pittie.
If you want to foster a local pittie and help save some Chicago dogs, let me know! Take this foster survey and we will connect you with a rescue (maybe even SCCR!) that will fit your needs.
I’d like to close this post saying that this is far from a solo endeavor. It truly takes a team working together to get one dog out of a shelter. From medical to behavioral, transport, and supplies, it’s important to recognize how much teamwork happens. I’m fortunate to work and volunteer alongside some amazing women (and a few cool dudes!). Thank you to those of you who have helped me help dogs.
Journey – I fell in love with this girl when my friend Margaret tagged me in her post. She was squishy, calm, and walked well on leash. In her foster home, she lives with two cats and a dog, and Journey gets along with both of them flawlessly. She doesn’t complain in her crate, loves to snuggle, and is super easy to walk. Journey is available for adoption and there’s a good chance she will get adopted quickly so don’t delay if you’re interested!
Blitzy – Oh hey look, another mushy, chill, lowkey girl. Can you tell I have a type? This baby girl is nothing but love. Blitzy lives in a foster home with two dogs and a kitty and gets along great with all of them. She doesn’t bark or complain and goes with the flow. She stayed a night with a temp foster who loved her as well. Blitzy even had a sleepover with some human children and got along great with them as well. Another gem, adopt this girl now!
You might not be able to see it, but this tee is line drawings of dogs. It’s the perfect subtle way of being a crazy dog lady. You can shop the tee here. Unfortunately, the blazer is from last Spring, but there’s a similar one available in pink. Of course, the shoes are my favorite from Bhava.