At the Evanston Animal Shelter, we believe in compassion for all companion animals and the power of the human-animal bond. We endeavor to not only heal and care for the animals in our shelter and to find them forever homes, but to also serve the community with support programs that keep pets with their people.

Our mission: We give companion animals the best chance at the life they deserve through rehabilitation, foster care, adoption, and community support that keeps pets with the people who love them.

The Year of Unprecedented Challenges

In 2020, we intensified our service to the community to extend our reach to those impacted by the pandemic:

Pet Food Pantry

Value to the Community – $52,000

This past year we distributed nearly 35,000 pounds of free pet food. In addition to curb side pick-up at the shelter, we partnered with the Evanston Emergency Food Pantry, the Produce Mobile, and Meals on Wheels to help reach all those in need. We firmly believe that no one should have to give up their pet because they can’t afford to feed them.

Custodial Program

Value to the Community – $62,000

Through our Custodial Program we provide short-term care, free of charge for pets whose owners are facing an extended illness or loss of their home to fire, domestic violence, or financial hardship. In 2020 we provided 1,549 days of care to 23 animals, ensuring they could return to their people when they were back on their feet.

Medical Intervention Program

Value to the Community – $8,000

In 2020 we expanded the scope of our Senior Safety Net program to include people of any age, recognizing that owners may be struggling with the financial strain of dealing with a routine illness in their companion pet. This program pays up to $500 per animal to cover non-catastrophic medical care for owners who can’t afford it.

Yet we never wavered in providing compassionate care for our animals:

Veterinary Fees


Every animal that comes to the shelter receives an exam, with most requiring core vaccinations, a heartworm or snap test, a microchip, and spay or neuter surgery. Seniors receive a senior blood panel to detect conditions common in aging animals. With shelter animals one sees a myriad of health issues. This past year we covered everything from three amputations of mangled legs to several cancer cases.

In-Shelter Care and Socialization


The shelter provides a safety net for the homeless animals that come through our door. We provide all the necessities for basic care, enhanced care and extensive enrichment and socialization. No matter the age, condition or temperament, all of our animals are given what they need on the path to the life they deserve.

Forever Foster Homes


Some animals that come to us are either elderly or suffer from a serious chronic illness. They deserve a compassionate end-of-life experience other than living in a cage or kennel. They are, however, difficult to place in an adoptive home because of concerns about long-term medical costs and a shorter life expectancy. Our Forever Foster program finds special people willing to provide hospice care. We pay all of the medical costs and they supply the love.

Foster Homes

Value to the Community – Priceless

Animals deteriorate quickly in the shelter environment, so we work hard to find alternative care as quickly as possible. Foster homes provide loving care for the animals while we look for their forever homes. Last year 300 families provided a collective 42,272 days of foster care. While animals are in their foster homes we provide food, medication and supplies.