Why Adopt | PAWS Chicago

Why Adopt?

A few reasons to rescue your next pet

You want a new pet but are unsure the best way to move forward?  

Well, you've come to the right place.  There are so many reasons why adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue group is the best--we'd go so far as to say only--way to get a new pet.  

Here are the top reason why:


With millions of homeless pets killed in the United States each year, it's hard to think of a good reason not to adopt. Going to any animal shelter or rescue is a good deed, but when you adopt a pet from a No Kill organization like PAWS Chicago, your good magnifies. No Kill shelters manage their population to ensure they save all healthy and treatable pets.

So when you adopt from a No Kill shelter, you save TWO lives—the life of the pet you are taking home and that of another who is now able to come into the adoption program.

Big and small, pure-bred and unique, active and lazy, young and old, outgoing and shy. Regardless your preference, you can find the right cat or dog for you in a shelter. Our volunteers are experienced and trained to help you find the perfect pet for your lifestyle and home environment.

It is nearly impossible for pet stores and breeders to make money and care for pets humanely. In commercial puppy mills, moms live in chicken wire cages without walks, medical treatment, love or comfort. It's cheap and they maximize each pet's profit. When it comes to profiting from animals, ethics disappear.

Providing quality medical care, walks, socialization and behavioral training costs money. At PAWS Chicago, our costs exceed the adoption fee by an average of $500 per pet. We make it work because it’s important. We make it work with the help of generous donors and our dedicated volunteers who put in the hours of nearly 50 full-time employees each year.

Buying an animal from a pet store, the Internet or a backyard breeder can be significantly more expensive than adopting from a shelter or rescue group. Commercially bred animals are predominantly raised in inhumane conditions. They are often sold while still susceptible to life-threatening illnesses. When you buy a pet who gets sick, the costly vet bill are passed on to you. 

Pets available through PAWS Chicago have been spayed or neutered, micro-chipped and vaccinated and are healthy. We also partner with veterinarians who offer discounts for pets adopted from PAWS Chicago.

Welcoming a new pet into the family is a big decision and one that should be made by the entire family. Part of the fun is selecting the new dog or cat together. Consider surprising your loved ones with a trip to PAWS Chicago where you can meet all the dogs and cats and find the perfect match together. We even ask that you bring any family dogs along so that our experienced support team can introduce your new pet to your canine family member on neutral territory. Pets are a lifetime commitment. Working together as a family is key!

Once you decide to adopt, you will meet with an adoption counselor who will help you integrate your new pet into your family. If there are challenges during the transition, our team of experts is available to help smooth out any bumps. This helps ensure long-term success.

At PAWS Chicago, we offer a lifetime commitment to every animal who comes through our adoption program. In the event that something happens to you or your family, we ask that you bring your pet back to us so we can find him the right long-term home.

By choosing adoption over buying a pet, you can take pride in knowing that you are a part of the solution that will help create a No Kill Chicago. Puppy mills—the source of most sold pets—raise animals in neglectful, inhumane and unsanitary conditions without proper food, water, shelter or veterinary care.

By adopting from PAWS Chicago, you are forever a part of our family!

Pets Available

Learn about the pets available from PAWS Chicago