Between Sept 29 and Oct 30, we are competing for prizes based on your donations! Scroll to the bottom for our pilot programs in need of funding that meet this challenge and keep pets in loving homes!
Safe Humane Chicago recognizes the connections between animal abuse and interpersonal violence and the benefits of the human-animal bond. We believe that providing the community with a variety of innovative and collaborative programs focused on the welfare of animals will reduce all forms of violence and create safer, more humane neighborhoods. Our comprehensive model includes programs for children, youth, adults, and criminal justice professionals. Our focus is on three key areas we believe are essential to reducing violence and crime in our community: (1) education and training, (2) hands-on experience with animals, and (3) advocacy. We have built these components into each of our flagship programs:
The Youth Leaders program is a semester-long elective that trains Chicago public high school students to make educational, interactive presentations on the humane treatment of animals to elementary school children living in some of Chicago’s poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods to teach them about animal safety, positive relationships with animals and civic responsibility, thus increasing their capacity for compassion. In these sessions, they work with adult volunteers and Safe-Humane-approved dog-and-handler teams to learn about safety around dogs and the care dogs require, effective dog training techniques, why animal abuse and dog fighting are bad, and beneficial activities they might engage in with companion animals.
Lifetime Bonds is a program designed to help at-risk youth and at-risk dogs help one another. Our program for boys ages 13-18 incarcerated at the Illinois Youth Center (IYC). In this role, they will train, socialize, and advocate for dogs who are victims in animal cruelty cases, coming full circle from juvenile offenders to productive community members actively defending innocent victims of violence, abuse, and neglect.
The Collaborative Justice program promotes identification, arrest, prosecution, and effective sentencing of perpetrators of animal cruelty and ensures, where possible, their animal victims are placed in safe, forever homes. The Court Advocacy portion focuses on training law enforcement professionals on best practices for enforcing animal cruelty laws and training volunteers to serve as advocates for animal cruelty victims. The Court Case Dogs Program, focuses on the welfare of animal cruelty victims, including training volunteers to socialize the dogs and working with local rescues and shelters to place them in forever homes. Prior to this program, these dogs would have been euthanized.
We have two pilot programs we are currently raising money for:
VALOR: Veterans Assisting the Lives of Rescues pairing veterans with shelter dogs. During VALOR sessions, veterans will get one-on-one time with their dog teammates, helping the animals develop good manners and socialization. At the same time, the human participants will get individualized instruction and support, spend time connecting with resilient animal companions, enjoy camaraderie with their peers, develop a sense of empowerment by helping dogs grow more adoptable, and gain skills for employment working with pets. VALOR veterans who are willing and able to adopt a dog at the program’s conclusion will receive help with the adoption and long-term financial and behavioral support for the animals.
Pet Retention Program in partnership with Chicago's municipal animal shelter, Chicago Animal Care and Control will include free training to underserved pet owners and a helpline to pair pet owners with available programs to help them keep their pets, such as low cost clinics and pet food banks.
Please donate today!
For more information on our programs, volunteering with us, and more videos, visit our website safehumanechicago.org