Pet adoption fees waived for 'Empty the Shelters' event in Chicago

There's a push this week to find more pets in shelters a home for the holidays.

Dogs leap for attention, howl their hellos, and give those puppy dog eyes to visitors at Chicago Animal Care and Control.  

It’s a lot of love and energy stuck in a shelter.

"Living in a kennel is not appropriate for dogs. That's not the right place for animals. And we want them to be a member of somebody's family and make those people happy,' said Mamadou Diakhate, Executive Director CACC.

Diakhate says their goal is to get as many animals as possible out of the kennel to the couch.

So, adoption fees are waived until Dec. 11 through the Bissell Pet Foundation "Empty the Shelters Holiday Hope" event.


It's to find home for dogs like Plum, a small gray dog with a love for walks and toys, who’s been at the kennel since August.

"She’s a staff favorite and volunteer favorite, so we’re all a little confused of why she’s still here. This is a shelter at the end of the day and not a home, and we want to see them in homes at the end of the day, not in shelters," said Armando Tejeda, CACC.

Especially since this South Side shelter, like so many across the country, is overwhelmed and packed to capacity.

Having the fees waived saves you $65, but Diakhate says it saves lives, too.

"It's not just the animals that are in here, but the animals outside, because once you empty these you can afford to take more in to save them from the elements," he said.

The team here doesn’t want you to think of getting a pet as a Christmas present. This is a gift that goes beyond the holiday. 

"I want people to see it as I got a family, and I'm expecting a new child and give them the love they deserve. And they give it back," said Diakhate.

But first these animals must find a home for the holidays.