Charity of the Month

PAWS Chicago has Reduced the Amount of Euthanized Animals in Chicago by 80%, and That's Why They're Our Charity of the Month


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We chose PAWS Chicago as our May Charity of the Month because we believe in their mission to build No Kill communities – starting with a No Kill Chicago – that respect and value the life of every cat and dog.

And we’re not just saying that. Fleet Feet Sports Chicago owners Dave and Lisa Zimmer adopted both of their dogs through the program.


Sometimes I take my work home with me. @fleetfeetchgo @fleetfeetsports @dogsoffleetfeet @superfeet

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We love dogs over here, heck we even have an Instagram dedicated to all the dogs who come into our store.

What does No Kill mean?

A "no-kill" shelter is an animal shelter that does not kill healthy or treatable animals even when the shelter is full, reserving euthanasia for terminally ill animals or those considered dangerous to public safety.

No Kill shelters embrace transparency and publish their statistics visibly and comprehensively. As a rule of thumb, No Kill shelters save more than 90% of the animals that come through their doors. This is called the Save Rate. Today, many leaders are raising the bar and stating that the No Kill Save Rate should really be 95%.

At PAWS Chicago, our No Kill experience aligns with the 95% Save Rate. In fact, in 2016, we had a 98.41% Save Rate.

To better tell the PAWS Chicago story, it’s easiest to look at it through a timeline of everything they’ve accomplished since their creation in 1997.


Alexis Fasseas signed up to volunteer at a local animal shelter to fulfill her community service requirement. She had no idea that the vast majority of pets entering were leaving in body bags. around 65% of the more than 15,000 pets entering each year were being killed.


After learning the city pound and large private shelters in Chicago killed 42,561 homeless pets were killed in Chicago that year, PAWS Chicago was founded.


The Lurie Clinic opened its doors, providing free and low-cost spay/neuter surgeries for pets of families in under-resourced communities who could not otherwise afford it.

Today, it is the largest clinic of its kind in the Midwest, performing more than 17,000 surgeries each year.


PAWS Chicago broke ground on the 13,000-square-foot Lincoln Park Adoption Center, designed to bring state-of-the-art No Kill sheltering to Chicago.


PAWS Chicago opened the cageless, state-of-the-art Pippen Fasseas Adoption Center at 1997 N. Clybourn.


The GusMobile Spay/Neuter Van was unveiled, the latest mobile program to help broaden the reach of spay/neuter to communities without access to veterinary services.


PAWS Chicago opened the Glenn L. Felner North Shore Adoption Center, the first satellite adoption center. We opened our doors to help find more homes for pets who need them—especially large dogs popular with suburban families—and to bring our progressive sheltering practices to a new community of adopters.  


Through it all, the growth and evolution of PAWS Chicago has been driven by public awareness has skyrocketed. This has culminated into a collective action that has had transformative results, with the killing in Chicago declining by more than 80% since PAWS Chicago’s founding.


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What’s all this have to do with running?

PAWS Chicago cares about the Chicago running community. It’s part of the reason we chose them as a charity partner in the first place.

First, PAWS Chicago hosts a race. It’s called the PAWS Chicago 5K.

The 18th Annual PAWS Chicago 5K Walk/ Run welcomes more than 4,000 human and 1,200 dog participants who come together and take steps to save the lives of homeless pets.

In addition to the main event, participants will enjoy live entertainment, food and drinks, free giveaways and more. This annual celebration is critical in raising the funds necessary to ensure PAWS Chicago can continue to save and care for thousands of homeless pets each year.

Second, they have a charity racing and fundraising team.

Team PAWS is a charity racing and fundraising team benefiting PAWS CHICAGO, the Midwest's largest No Kill humane animal shelter. You get a bunch of benefits when running for Team PAWS such as:

Guaranteed Charity Entries

Receive guaranteed charity entries into the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, TCS New York City Marathon, Virgin Money London Marathon , Rock N Roll America Marathon Series and BMW Berlin Marathon  

Free Gear

All Team PAWS members receive a free Team PAWS Navy singlet and three Fan Club t-shirts.

Social Events

Meet fellow team members on fun runs, happy hours, dog-friendly events, and group fundraising opportunities.

Guided Mentorship

Receive personal guidance from our seasoned pros, including past participants and top fundraisers.  


Enjoy training and nutrition resources from our coaches and discounted training from our partners.

Fundraising Tools

Fundraising is easy with a personal fundraising web page, weekly tips and coaching and guides to get you started.


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