PAWS Chicago headed to Florida to bring homeless pets to Windy City

Volunteers with PAWS Chicago is readying transport vehicles on Friday as they prepare to drive 21 hours to Naples, Florida to help shelters there make room for more rescued pets.

Flooding after Hurricane Ian has left many pets in Naples and Fort Myers without homes, according to a statement from PAWS Chicago.

Volunteers will drive to the Humane Society Naples on Friday and are expected to return Monday afternoon with 42 homeless cats and dogs in order for local shelters to make room for more animals, PAWS said.


"As a No Kill organization, we are committed to the life and long-term needs of every pet we rescue," said Paula Fasseas, founder and chairman of PAWS Chicago. "We built our Medical Center with the intention of using it in times of crisis just like this, in order to give helpless pets the sophisticated level of care they deserve."

(PAWS Chicago)

The pets will be given medical care, vaccinations, microchips and will be spayed or neutered as needed. Once cleared, they will be ready for adoption at PAWS Chicago.

The pets taken by PAWS Chicago will help alleviate overcrowding at Florida shelters, the organization said. The volunteers will focus on animals that were already housed in local shelters before the storm hit.

(PAWS Chicago)

How You Can Help:

  • Donate supplies: Today, drop off emergency supplies from 1-6 p.m. at the PAWS Chicago Medical Center, located at 3516 W 26th Street, Chicago, IL 60623. Needed supplies include bottled water, pet food, towels, cleaning supplies, leashes, and collars. These items will be transported by van tonight as volunteers drive to Florida to pick up pets.
  • Make a donation: Make a donation to support the costs associated with sending the PAWS volunteer vans to Florida for the rescue, and then rehabilitating the pets at the PAWS Chicago Medical Center, the country’s most advanced hospital for homeless pets. Each pet will be given complete medical care, vaccinations, microchips, spay/neuter surgeries and other treatments as needed.
  • Sign up to foster a pet: Pets recovering from trauma and health issues are more likely to thrive in a home environment after receiving medical care from PAWS. Putting pets in foster makes room in our hospital for the next patient.
  • Consider adopting a homeless pet: Every adopted pet makes room at PAWS for the next transport serving an area of need.

PAWS — Pet Are Worth Saving — is the Chicago area’s largest no kill shelter.