Complete Guide to Dog Adoption Chicago: 6 Useful Pointers

4 mins read
Dog adoption chicago
Rodnae productions


The perks of adopting dogs are endless. It is a known fact that dogs are a man’s best friend.

Dogs that end up in rescue shelters or adoption agencies are there due to a lot of reasons. Their owners may have fallen ill. Their owners may have become financially ill-equipped to have pets. Some dogs have been victims of abuse.

dog 1
By Virginia State Parks/ Flickr, Copyright 2021.

Some use them as breeding machines. They sell puppies as a business for income alone. When you adopt them, you are giving them a new healthy life.

Dogs are great for building emotional bonds. They can brighten up your gloomy days. So, it is a win-win situation for both of you.

How is Chicago doing in terms of dog adoption?

In 2017, there were a whopping 559 cases of dog adoption in Chicago. But, the number has reduced to 86 during the first quarter of 2021. Nevertheless, dog adoption has become a prevalent trend. In fact, many people have got their first dogs during the pandemic.

Adopting dogs can be a life-changer. There are multiple options to explore for dog adoption in Chicago.

Read on to know about the dog adoption process in Chicago. We seek to answer every question you might have about this.

Pet adoption rules in Chicago

The rules for pet adoption in Chicago are pretty basic, but let’s have a quick look at them:

  • You need to be a citizen of the state.
  • You need to meet the age prescribed by the animal shelter.
  • You must only adopt from authorized sources. This means that you need to check whether the adoption center complies with the state law for animal adoption.
  • You need to have the minimum resources to ensure that you can provide the adopted pet with a healthy living condition.

Popular breeds in Chicago

People adopt or buy different breeds. But, dog adoption in Chicago has been showing a preference for the French bulldog. American Kennel Club reports Golden retrievers, Labradors, German shepherds, and bulldogs are among other favorites. But the thing about adoption is that you may not always get your favorite pick from the centers.


By Franco Vannini/ Flickr, Copyright 2021.

Chicago also prefers American pit bull terrier, Beagle, and Goldendoodle. You can select dogs based on your breed preference. The websites of rescue shelters have different preference settings. Optimize your search by selecting their species, sex, age, and living preferences.

By Phil Darnell/ Flickr, Copyright 2021.

Details to know about dog adoption in Chicago


Before adopting a dog, you need to find a compatibility match. Like humans, dogs also have different personalities. Not every breed is compatible with you.

Some may need care differently than others. You need to synchronize your work schedule to take care of your dog.

Organizations like Paws Chicago offer a “compatibility” quiz to find a better match. When opting for dog adoption, Chicago residents can approach such organizations to get a perfect match.

Animal shelters mostly follow a similar procedure. You need to select your preference and fill out an adoption form. Once they find your preference, they will contact you.

You can also visit your nearby shelters. If you want to visit animal shelters, you should know about the appointment process.

Where to go?

There are many pet adoption centers in Chicago. Suburban Chicago also has plenty of animal shelters. You can choose a center depending on which breeds are available, the distance from your home, or the complexity of the application process. Their websites feature all relevant contact details.

Check-list for adoption

  • For adopting pets, you need to be at least 18 years old. CACC needs you to be 18 years for adopting animals. But, Paws Chicago requires you to be 21 years. Check the age requirements before deciding to adopt.
  • You need your identification proof during adoption. It can be your driving license or any other valid document.
  • You need to ensure the dog will get proper living conditions. Dogs need proper training, medical care, and, most importantly, human company.
  • You need to ensure you are financially capable of adopting a pet. Keep your salary slip and house papers handy.
  • If you already have a cat or dog, you should bring them on the adoption day. This will show how well the old and new pets are bonding. If you already have pets, it’s better to show their health reports. This will bear testimony of you as a responsible owner.
  • Pet counselors at dog adoption Chicago centers may provide guidelines for your adopted pet. Please ask for a printed copy of those guidelines.

Financial details of dog adoption at Chicago

Adoption fees vary depending on the animal shelter. For example, CACC charges an adoption fee of $ 65. Chicago pet rescue has an adoption fee of $250 for dogs. It can vary depending on the breed, gender, and age in the same adoption agency. informs dog adoption Chicago will lighten your wallet by $150 to $300. This fee covers vaccinations, dog licenses, neuter, medical test, and rabies shot. You can pay the adoption fees with cash or cards.

Found you a match?

Finding the perfect pet pal is just as important as finding yourself a friend for life. It can also be love at first sight!

Have a thorough discussion with the pet counselor. It will help you to know your pet. You can opt to neuter your dog or not. Please make prior arrangements at home so that you can bring the dog home on the adoption day itself.


By Pal-Kristian Harme/ Flickr, Copyright 2021.

Didn’t find your buddy yet?

Don’t abandon your hopes so soon. Keep looking, and don’t rely on a single adoption center alone. After reading the adoption rules of animal shelters, you can fill out the adoption form and wait for their reply.

You can also search from the available breed. Dog adoption Chicago will help you find your paw-friend waiting out there to share your home.

Dog adoption Chicago is not the only way you can help these friends. Visiting pet shelters and spending quality time with dogs and cats is one way to do so. You can contribute financially by transferring funds or buying supplies for the needy shelters.

Being a part of animal rights movements and clubs to fight against animal cruelty contributes to a good cause. You can also volunteer at animal shelters to lend them a hand at caring for these lovely creatures.



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