How a new vet clinic could change rescue in Chicago

Rescue in Style’s mission is simple: to encourage people to choose adoption when looking to add a new pet to their family. However, when it comes to ending pet homelessness, adoption is only one piece of that puzzle. Ending backyard breeding, offering low-cost spay/neuter, and keeping pets in their homes are all also necessary if we want to get to the root of the issue.

By now, you’re probably aware that I believe One Tail at a Time is one of the leaders in the Chicago rescue community. They’re constantly expanding their vision, creating new programs, and challenging what it means to be a rescue. I’m sure the growth isn’t easy, but OTAT’s steady momentum led to 979 adoptions in 2019, their biggest year yet. So, it’s no surprise that when I went to visit them recently, they were working on yet another campaign.

One Tail at a Time is opening their new Ellis Veterinary Clinic this Spring. The obvious benefit of having their own veterinarian on staff is the reduction in their medical bills. Last month, OTAT spent $34,424.26 on veterinary costs alone. With the average veterinarian salary of $83,854 in Illinois, bringing a vet in house and putting them on payroll is a much more cost-effective option. It won’t take long before an investment in a new building, equipment, and trained medical staff will (quite literally) pay off for OTAT and their animals.

Beyond their own costs, the Ellis Veterinary Clinic will be a beacon of hope for those who cannot afford expensive care otherwise. OTAT will offer services to the public to help keep pets out of the shelters and in the homes where they are loved. Often, people are forced to surrender their pets to shelters because they cannot afford to pay for expensive vet services. CRISP has been changing that by diverting those animals from the shelter and providing vet care to those families. Now, those families will go to the Ellis Veterinary Center for treatment. This means the CRISP program will be saving money as well. At this time, services at the Ellis Veterinary Clinic will only be offered to the public for animals that come through the CRISP program.

In the future, OTAT hopes to open up their vet clinic to other rescues in the area. I can honestly say this would be a huge win for all organizations. Currently, it’s extremely difficult for rescues to find veterinarians in Chicago that will work with them. Rescues don’t always have money to front for the care needed. With the Ellis Vet Clinic, the costs to rescues would be greatly reduced. This will allow rescues to take on more animals and reduce their costs. 

Additionally, some vets won’t even allow animals coming from our city shelters into their facilities. They’re worried the animals in our city shelters are highly infectious. While I have yet to have any issues with bringing dangerous germs home and spreading them to my animals, OTAT is a step ahead. There will be a specific area for isolation so that there won’t be any worries about exposing healthy animals to any shelter illnesses. Helping other rescues examine and care for their animals with be a welcomed relief.

I look forward to seeing OTAT complete its Ellis Veterinary Center and the impact it will have on so many animals. This vet clinic will provide relief to so many animals and rescues in need. 


Linus – Picture a dog that doesn’t know how to dog and is a forever puppy in a grown 60 lb body and you’ve got Linus. I had so much fun with this dog who truly has no mean bone in his body and just wants to be everywhere at once. He would make an awesome companion in an active home and someone who wants to help him understand what it means to be a dog. 

Dragon has been adopted but if you’re looking for another big boi, check out Fincher!


This sweatshirt will be available on my site soon (I only have a few left!) and the OTAT beanie is currently sold out but you can shop their merchandise here

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1 thought on “How a new vet clinic could change rescue in Chicago”

  1. Omg Linus looks like so much fun!! Love the idea of an on-site vet and helping those who can’t afford pet care the opportunity to use those services. Another win!

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