‘At maximum capacity’: Anti-Cruelty Society waiving some adoption fees due to overcrowding


CHICAGO — Due to “catastrophic” overcrowding, the Anti-Cruelty Society is waiving adoption fees next week for dogs over 40 lbs.

Over the last year or so since the pandemic, the non-profit, which was established in 1899, told WGN News a “firehouse” situation has been happening — with six to seven adoptions per day compared to 15 to 20 in-take requests.

“There wasn’t a big need for animal services at that time, as the world started opening up again — that’s when we started seeing a lot of more requests for in-take,” COO Darlene Duggan said. “It’s a mystery. Our traffic in the building has decreased. The interest right now is down.”

The shelter, located at 510 N. LaSalle St., is “at maximum capacity.” Outside of when owners request end-of-life euthanasia, the non-profit is a no-kill shelter.

They are now having to space out in-take requests because there are no cages available. Foster services are especially in need as well.

“Fostering has gone down too. We want to put as many animals as we can into foster,” Duggan said. “It’s better for that animal to be in a home, we are struggling to find enough homes.”

In an effort to try to help the overcrowding issue, from Dec. 5 through Dec. 11, the shelter is waiving adoption fees for dogs over 40 lbs. as part of the “Home for the Howlidays” adoption event.

The shelter also is featuring the Foster on the Spot program — which allows potential adopters to take an animal home for a week before adopting to determine if it is a good fit.

Those who adopt a dog over 40 lbs. will also receive free online training from

Puppies, smaller dogs, cats and kittens are also available for adoption.

For those who cannot adopt, the shelter is seeking volunteers to help spend quality time with the animals in the shelter.

Interested adopters may view available animals at Interested fosters can learn more at

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