A Note From Our Founder

It all started with one urgent dog ten years ago. My boxer had just passed away and I decided to volunteer at my local humane society to help some dogs in need before I rushed out to adopt another one. I met another volunteer there, a young lady that was very passionate about saving dogs. I found out she would drive half way down the state each weekend, load her car up with puppies and bring them to our humane society to be adopted. Until that time, I never realized there were “kill” shelters in Illinois where wonderful animals were killed each week due to lack of space, I had never even thought about it.

I got on Petfinder and started surfing the Illinois shelters. I found a beautiful hound listed as “URGENT” on the Perry County site and called them up, asking what they meant by urgent.They told me her time was up, that she would be euthanized unless someone adopted or saved her.

I jumped in my car and drove for five hours to save this girl (and I brought three more with me, that’s all I could fit in my car). They were all such wonderful dogs, and they got adopted very quickly in the Northern Suburbs, where there are so many families looking for pets.

I spent two years driving down every Saturday to load up my car to save the most wonderful dogs I had ever met. Sometimes I would not even have a place for them to go, I would drive around to all the local shelters and ask them if they would be interested in saving a lovely dog. I met the most wonderful, caring people at these shelters and our relationships grew. The dogs I was transporting to them were highly adoptable and they just couldn’t believe they were urgent. They would get adopted within days in our area.

Today, we are working with 19 Illinois kill shelters weekly including local Chicagoland animal controls, transporting their precious pets to the safety of over 50 Chicagoland rescues.

We are now saving over 7,000 each year. We have two to three vans transporting animals all over the state. There is still much work to be done. There are tiny pounds throughout Illinois that are not even on pet finder, where the animals don’t get a chance to be viewed or adopted. There’s the overpopulation problem where the rural areas don’t get their animals spayed/neutered due to lack of education. There are the large animal control facilities in Chicago that have adoptable animals needing rescue.

Come visit our transport every Tuesday in Joliet and see what we’re all about. You’ll get to meet the wonderful transport volunteers and the terrific dogs and cats that are the lucky ones, that ones that get a second chance at life.

With your help, we can save even more.

-We can rescue all the local urgent animals that are adoptable.
-We can prevent more unwanted puppies & kittens from being born.
-We can save the ones that are already here.
-We can spay/neuter animals for needy families.
-We can provide hope for all the Animal Controls that dread euthanization day.
-We have reduced the euthanasia rate in many pounds from 90% to 15%. That is a great difference.

Please join us in our efforts to make Illinois the first NO KILL state. Together we can!

Sally Matay
Illinois Animal Rescue, Inc.