360 at CACC | PAWS Chicago

Announcing PAWS Chicago 360@CACC, a public/private partnership serving Chicago’s homeless and at-risk dog and cat population.

PAWS Chicago and Chicago Animal Care & Control (CACC) have joined forces to develop a comprehensive public-private program to offer a safety net and lifesaving resources to Chicago’s homeless and at-risk cats and dogs.

Together, CACC and PAWS Chicago are working to not only address the short-term surge in homeless pets that is impacting Chicago and sweeping the nation, but also to forge a new model in how communities can support, care for, and offer life to homeless and at-risk cats and dogs.

These new programs will offer 360-degree support for animals at every stage in their shelter journeys.

Initial programs include:

I. Comprehensive and Large-Scale Diversion
Keeping pets from entering CACC

There are two ways to reduce over-crowding at CACC:

  1. Provide support for struggling owners who would like to keep their pets. Initial data shows that 15-20% of people who are looking to give up their pets would keep them if there were services available, such as affordable or free spay/neuter surgeries, medical care, vaccinations, behavior support, a crisis care program or pet supplies/food.

  2. Diverting stray and unwanted pets (especially those who are contagious) to other animal shelters or rescues.

Current State

  • PAWS Chicago diversion email address and phone number being distributed to pet owners looking for assistance

  • PAWS Chicago staff representatives are on-site at CACC, diverting animals and supporting CACC staff and community members

  • PAWS Medical Center is 1.5 miles away, making it an easy drive for PAWS staff to help with emergency cases

  • PAWS and CACC are in a discovery stage, collecting data in order to develop data-driven strategies for programming

  • Community members are being provided spay & neuter, vaccine, behavior support, and additional emergency medical resources

II. Developing Robust Adoption & Volunteer Programs
Supporting CACC operations through staffing, program development and training

Without budgeted positions for adoptions or volunteer management, CACC is reliant on the support of the community for these programs.


Current State

  • Friends of CACC has generously funded a Volunteer communications liaison 

  • PAWS Chicago is hiring a PAWS staff member to organize and orient the volunteers who support adoptions

  • Conducting discovery on current CACC adoption and volunteer programming

III. Parvovirus Puppy Program
Rescuing and treating all parvovirus+ puppies who come into CACC

Dogs who are symptomatic for parvovirus cannot be quarantined at CACC and due to the risk the deadly disease poses to the rest of the population, need to be transferred or euthanized. PAWS Chicago has committed to transferring and treating all parvovirus+ puppies and taking parvovirus+ adults as PAWS Medical Center capacity permits.


IV. PAWS Surgery + Vetting of CACC Pets for Adoption & Transfer
Limited medical staffing at CACC means pets are waiting and not ready for adoption.

Current State

  • PAWS is providing weekly transportation, spay/neuter and vetting (microchip, heartworm test and vaccines) for CACC large-breed dogs who are most at-risk.

  • Following vetting, these animals are much more likely to be adopted or transferred to other rescue groups.

  • PAWS is developing a similar program for rescues without their own veterinary resources who transfer high-risk animals from CACC. Due to market-wide veterinary shortage, many rescue groups have difficulty finding veterinarians able to supply critical services for adoption. 


About CACC
As the city’s impoundment facility, Chicago Animal Care & Control’s mission is uniquely responsible for protecting public safety and ensuring the humane care of animals through sheltering, pet placement, education and animal law enforcement.

About PAWS Chicago
As the largest comprehensive No Kill humane organization in the Midwest, and one of the largest in the nation, PAWS Chicago’s founding mission is to build a No Kill Chicago; to end the overpopulation of homeless animals through prevention programs like spay/neuter; and to transform animal welfare by setting higher standards in the way animals are treated and developing a sustainable, solutions-based model.