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Help Dogs Reach Heights at Animal Welfare League


So, there I was at the Wabash Avenue location of the Animal Welfare League of Chicago.…I was simply helping out a friend, and visiting.

Then I saw this scruffy looking white dog shivering in a corner. I don’t know why – I asked, executive director, Diane Spyrka to let me see her.

I sat down.

The white scruffy dog was instantly in my lap.

That’s when I began to text my wife, Robin a photo of the white scruffy dog….as did my friend Jill Cahr of the Trio Animal Foundation. Jill told me, “I decided the dog’s name is Hazel.”

Robin had always wanted what she described as “a Toto dog who could fit in my lap.”

Well, that was Hazel. Jill and I rode home with Hazel.

Hazel acted as if she knew our other dog, Ethel, her entire life. She ignored our cat, Roxy….which is exactly the right thing to do in feline etiquette. After all, cats like to believe they are in control (actually, of course they ARE in control). My wife took about, maybe as many as long as 2 seconds, to fall in love.

Hazel is loved – and like most all dogs, offer ten times the love back. Hazel’s already met Governor Pat Quinn, some of the most famous dog trainers in America, and many more in the pet world. She was given up – as the story was told – “the owner died and no one else in the family wanted her.” Sad family.

It turned out I adopted from one of the shelters most in need and most pivotal to Chicago. Being open-admission, their dilemma is the same as under funded Chicago Animal Care and Control, except that the Animal Welfare League receives Zero public funding. Everything they do means they require help to get it done….dogs shouldn’t sleep on the floor of shelters. They can….but it can be cold, even damp (despite best effort) and tough on older and arthritic dogs. The shelter is attempting to raise money to raise the dogs – so they don’t sleep on the ground….Click HERE to learn more about the campaign is underway to buy Kuranda dog beds. Please consider helping to raise the dogs who – to no fault of their own – find themselves at this shelter.



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Steve Dale is a certified animal behavior specialist who has been a trusted voice in the world of pet health for over 20 years. You have likely heard him on the radio, read him in print and online, and seen him speaking at events all over the world. His contributions to advancing pet wellness have earned him many an award and recognition around the globe.

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