Overcrowded Chicago Shelter Sends Overflow Animals to PetSmart PetsHotel

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This has been a tough, cold winter for North America, and Chicago, Illinois’s animal shelter recently was in a tough position with how to best care for strays as they desperately ran out of space.

Related: Renee Zellweger Helps Lucy Pet Rescue Dogs From Overcrowded Houston Shelters

The Chicago Animal Care and Control shelter was sadly looking at euthanasia as an option in order to open up more pen space, but a nonprofit group stepped in to temporarily give a reprieve to the dogs. Charlie Propsom is the founder of Friends of Chicago Animal Care and Control and their group donated $1,500 for 11 dogs to be boarded at the PetSmart PetsHotel in order to free up some shelter kennel space.

Propsom said that there is no way that the group can do that forever, though they’d board them all if they could. Still, he believes the little bit of time they gave the shelter allowed the animal control officers the opportunity to continue rescuing dogs and without being forced to euthanize.

The shelter was holding 300 pets at the end of last week, a critical number that typically triggers the decision to euthanize animals, as they must take in any dog that is brought in. If more are brought in than leave, there is not much option the shelter has.

The shelter put out a statement thanking Chicagoans for helping take care of the dog population and the downward trend of new animals, and also said they hoped that all the shelter animals would get the second chance they deserved.

The animals who were boarded included a 6-year-old bully breed named Miley who has been there since July and is the shelter’s longest resident. For now, the 11 animals have up to two weeks to stay boarded while groups work to find foster homes or permanent homes to relieve the overcrowding.

Related: ASPCA: Data Shows Fewer Surrenders, More Adoption, and Decrease in Euthanasia

In the next two weeks, the group will look at shelter capacity and decide the fate of the dogs depending on whether there is space to return them, or they’ve been adopted. Because the situation is so dire, the city is hoping to bring potential adoptive pet parents in with some financial assistance. On now through February 18, adoptive pet parents can get a $100 rebate from Pets and Vets USA if they adopt directly from the shelter and enroll their dog in an obedience course. They’ll offer that rebate for up to 50 dogs!

Additionally, rescue groups who take a dog that has been at the shelter for at least 30 days can receive up to $200 per dog for doing so.