Fostering... a love story

If you've ever been curious about fostering, read what NLOL amazing foster Katie has to say. Consider yourself warned that it may get dusty where you are. You might want to have a tissue handy. NLOL would be nothing without our incredible fosters. Thanks to Katie and Craig and everyone else who opens their homes and hearts. 

My husband (Craig) and I have had the privilege of working with NLOL for a little over 2 years.  I first heard about NLOL when I started working with Talia Simon, who is an adoption councilor.  At some point, I shared with Talia that I missed owning a dog, but we were in no position to adopt.  She insisted that I contact NLOL and try fostering.  I had limited knowledge about fostering.  In fact, I had not heard the term “foster” in regards to dogs.  My curiosity got the best of me, and I found an overwhelming amount of rewarding and touching stories that would not have been possible without fostering.  Lives saved, bonds made, people coming together and helping those who have no voice and are abandoned, neglected, abused and forgotten.  Sorry, I’m starting to sound like a Sarah McLachlan commercial….

         Naturally, my mind immediately jumps to the next concern, if we foster, how could we give them up?  Everyone who knew we were fostering would ask, “but how are you going to let them go?”  “Aren’t you going to miss them?”  Trust me, I was thinking the EXACT same thing.  The answer is simple, “yes”.  Yes to everything. Yes, it’s hard to watch them leave and go to their forever home.  Yes, you miss them.  Yes, you want to save and keep every dog that you foster… However, when you hear that first sigh of relief, and watch them grow into the dog they are supposed to be, it’s all worth it.  Additionally, NLOL makes fostering idiot proof.  Our adoption councilors were basically on 24-hour call with any questions I had!  They provided food, doggie day-care, dog walkers, and trainers.  I never felt like I was in this alone.  NLOL was there each step of the way.

         Our first foster was a big blue pit-bull, Rizzo. Rizzo was picked up by the police in South side Chicago. The story was, he hopped right into the police car.  It was evident he had spent most of his life outside, was not treated the best, and seemed as though he was used as a guard dog and little else.  He was fearful of men and timid around people he didn’t know.  The first night we spent feeling each other out.  He sat “on guard” the entire first night.  I played relaxing music, put on Planet Earth, and talked to him in my irresistible baby voice.  He wasn’t interested in any of it.  This was the first time I had not immediately “bonded” with a dog.  However, everything changed the second night.  For the first time, he laid down on his bed and breathed (what one could only call) a deep sigh of relief.  At this moment, I realized this is why you foster.  Rizzo felt safe, possibly for the first time in his life. 

In regards to Rizzo’s fear of men, well, I think the picture speaks for itself…


Rizzo ended up finding his perfect forever home, and Craig and I couldn’t have been more excited.  Yes, we missed him. To this day we still miss Rizzo.  However, we still keep in touch with his new family.  We get regular updates, texts and photos showing how happy Rizzo and how far he has come. 

     Craig and I fostered 2 or 3 other dogs, until we met Duke Wellington.  Duke was an 11-year-old pit-bull mix that definitely did not have the best life before NLOL scooped him up.  We fostered Duke for a couple of weeks, and eventually ended up officially adopting him.  People always ask “why did you adopt Duke and not any other of your fosters?”  The answer, “For us, Duke was one in a million, we simply fell in love.  He had some health problems, but Duke easily fit into our routine.”  Everyone knew Duke was 11 years old, and we wanted to give him the best possible life regardless of how much time we had left.  Duke Wellington ended up living with us for a little over a year before he crossed Rainbow Bridge. 


Not even a month after Duke had passed, I spotted Brody on the CACC facebook page.  I’m not exactly sure what it was about him, but I immediately knew he couldn’t spend another day in CACC.  I believe everyone has those initial intuitions about dogs, (and everything in life) you can’t explain it, you just know it’s right.  I truly believe when you have those feelings about anything in life, you should act.  Luckily, I had the help of NLOL. We pulled Brody and fostered him.  Our hearts still ached for Duke Wellington, we missed him dearly, but Brody eased the pain.  He seemed to sense we were missing something, and attempted to comfort our sorrows.  He really was exactly what we needed, a big love bug, a couch potato, and when we seemed sad, he would come rest his humongous head on our leg and look at us with his big brown eyes.  Again, Craig and I both felt Brody fit perfectly in our lives, and we couldn’t live without him.  Ultimately, we officially adopted Brody in Duke Wellington’s memory. 


If you are considering fostering, just know that for us, it has changed our lives.  If it weren’t for fosters, so many lives would be lost.  Dogs, and all animals, deserve a life of respect and love.   

Photos of some of our fosters! Apparently, we sleep a lot… 


Happy Endings - Eddie (now Tucker)

We got a warm and fuzzy for you today! 

When we met Eddie (now Tucker) at the shelter, we were amazed at how calm he was even amid all the chaos. There was something about his gentle manner and his big eyes that made us say, "you are coming home with us buddy"

After his initial vetting, we discovered Tucker was heartworm positive; a slight roadblock in his journey to find his forever family, Thanks to an amazing foster, he was able to get treatment, rest, and learn all about being a dog.

As Tucker was getting healthy, we had a previous adopter reach out to us about the desire to meet a pit bull to bring into her family. They adopted Polly (a chi mix) from NLOL and thought it was time for a biggie for the family. Would the family like him? Would Polly get along with Tucker?!? We couldn’t wait to find out.

It turns out EVERYONE gets along with Tucker, including Polly! He now has a mom and dad who love him, little brothers who adore him, AND a sister Polly who let him join the family.

Tucker is a wonderful breed ambassador and we couldn't be happier for him. A perfect happy-ending! #adopted #thisiswhywerescue

Happy Endings - Peanut

We have a pint sized #HappyEndingFriday for you so sweet it'll make your teeth hurt.

When we met Safe Humane Chicago pup Peanut, he was so sick and so scared after being abandoned in a locked car. He looked up at us with those big soulful eyes as if to say, "please take me with you," and we knew we weren't leaving without him.

Once in foster, it took Peanut some time to feel better and to gain confidence. We knew there was a personality behind those scared eyes and boy were we right.

Peanut found his happy ending in the burbs with fur and human siblings. He loves his family but he ESPECIALLY loves his "person" and will follow him around the house for hours. He's goofy and silly and feisty - and is finally going to have the happy life he deserves. Happy tails Peanut boy and be good! <3

Happy Endings - Whiskey

Here's a fun and fashionable #happyending to keep you warm on this cold winter evening.

Remember Whiskey? We could tell she was sassy and fun the moment we met her at the shelter. She gave an epic side eye while sticking out her tongue during her freedom ride and we know she would fit in just fine around here!

As Whiskey got healthy in different foster homes, her fun personality started to come out more and more. We knew it wouldn't take long for someone to fall in love with our gorgeous girl, and luckily we were right! Her new parents are smitten:

"It was about an hour into our first night with Whiskey when we knew we were in love! It has been so fun to watch her explore the world with her excited and silly attitude. She loves cuddling on the couch, poking her wet nose into everything, destroying toys, and getting loved on in every way! She already has a growing wardrobe and shows it off joyfully. We couldn’t be happier with our new four-legged family member and to be her forever home!"

(Let's talk about that wardrobe though!!! We couldn't pick there were so many great pictures.)

What a beautiful perfect family. Thank you for giving sweet Whiskey girl the love she deserves!

Adoptable Helen: The Comeback Kid

At New Leash we don’t shy away from the pups that need extra attention and care. When we met Helen, an older shihtzu we knew she would require a little more medical vetting than a younger, healthier pup but we couldn’t leave her behind. Little did we know what an impressive and surprising journey on which she would lead us on. 

 Helen just hours after her freedom ride, and moments after her first bath!

Helen just hours after her freedom ride, and moments after her first bath!

Helen, a little mop of a pup, was the definition of hot mess when we first met her at Chicago Animal Care and Control in June of 2015. Matted, stinky, but full of life we couldn’t resist her enthusiasm for life.

Helen’s enthusiasm was particularly remarkable considering the pain and discomfort she was experiencing. Helen’s physical examination and lab work uncovered a laundry list of items to be addressed including the removal of an infected eye, a baseball sized inguinal hernia, two very large bladder stones, and teeth that made you cringe.

In a few short months, Helen experienced more medical procedures and diagnosis than most in two lifetimes. Through it all though Helen wiggled her bum, zoomed around the room, and rolled on her back for belly rubs with such glee and enthusiasm you couldn’t help but smile.

As joyful as Helen was through the pain and discomfort of a hernia, bladder stones, and an infected eye, we were understandably concerned when she suddenly became lethargic. Helen’s foster’s rushed her to the vet and repeat labs and an ultrasound of her abdomen revealed renal failure.

We were all disheartened and feeling defeated but we wanted this little survivor to have the best life we could offer. New Leash switched gears and Helen became a hospice pup. Her foster’s took her weekly for her fluid therapy, made sure she received her daily kidney medications and her special diet. Most importantly Helen was spoiled rotten:

“We set out to make it the best year of her life. Lots of treats, belly rubs, ice cream, pup-cakes, snuggles. We spoiled her. And she never let her gratitude go unnoticed.”

Helen’s story doesn’t end here though, anaccident brought forth the proverbial silver lining. On a Saturday morning Helen was busy playing with her canine foster sister when her eye was injured (dangers of being a shih tzu). The animal hospital had to perform emergency surgery to remove the eye. But, what started out as a very difficult day slowly became a blessing in disguise. Through the blood work pre-eye-removal-surgery, we saw that her kidneys were functioning at a normal level. Everyone was shocked and delighted.  

 Always ready for a belly rub and some love!

Always ready for a belly rub and some love!

Since surgery, Helen has adjusted extremely well to the blind life. She gets around very well in our apartment and every day she gets a little more used to being outside. And while she was originally was diagnosed with kidney failure, Helen miraculously recovered, overcoming all of the odds against her, time and time again. So now Helen, is looking for a forever home to call her own!

Helen’s ideal home will likely be somewhere that’s possible for her to learn to navigate without sight (and a little patience while she adjusts). This housetrained, dog-friendly gal is looking for a calm, loving home, where she can live out her days receiving the love she’s always deserved. Chaos isn’t the best fit for Helen, so she’d fit well in a household without rambunctious puppies and/or young children. If you’re looking for a laid-back, easy-going gal who will show you the true resilience of a dog’s spirit, Helen may be the perfect girl for you!

And, while her story brings out the feels, hold your tears. Helen wouldn’t want you – or anyone else – to feel sorry for her just because she looks a little different. She’s overcome it all and seems to appreciate life even more because of it, so look at her wounds as healed badges of honor. Her story ends in happiness because, at the end of the day, Helen’s the true comeback kid, whose spirit is nothing short of amazing.

**Check out Helen’s profile to learn more about her personality as described by her foster’s.**


Ronnie the #trashcanpuppy


  Just over a week ago, Nile was walking in the alley when he heard a noise. He alerted his human who checked out a closed trash can where he heard squeaking. When he opened the lid, he found a tightly wrapped cloth bag on top…and it was wiggling. Inside was a brand new, baby puppy – less than a day old. With no idea how long he’d been there or who put him there, they rushed the newborn to their vet’s office. And it was a good thing too – because it was trash day and the trucks came down the alley less than an hour later.

We’re so grateful for Nile’s keen sense and his human’s swift actions kept the newborn (now Ronnie) safe and into the right hands immediately. Without a mother, he has had a village working to help. From his saviors, to the veterinary office who saw him immediately to the vet tech who took him home to nurse him for the first few crucial days…and now to his NLOL foster home where he’ll stay until he is ready for adoption.

Ronnie is a fighter in the best sense of the word. He is eating like champ and slowly gaining weight. We have no idea who he’s gonna be yet-but we know he’s bound to be awesome! Check back here for (MANY!) updates on his progress. #TeamRonnie #NlolChicago #trashcanpuppy

Pictured: Nile checking in on Ronnie to tell him “you’re safe now!”

The True Impact of the Canine Flu: A Chicago Rescue Group Perspective


It’s no secret that the Chicago canine flu has widely influenced many dog owners/lovers/supporters in the area.  From the health risks to the dogs and their families to the daycare/boarding facilities affected, everyone is feeling the sting. But one area we feel is getting the least amount of attention is the impact on the rescue groups like ours and the city shelter. For the dogs who don’t have someone to care for them individually, rescues like NLOL are desperate to help them. But ever since the flu was confirmed at Chicago’s largest animal shelter, each dog that we meet has a high risk of having been exposed to this vicious bug. That creates a double-ly hard issue.

For the City Shelter

To attempt a stop of spreading the flu, the city shelter has the following protocols in place:

-Volunteers are not allowed to walk or socialize the dogs, meaning they stay mostly contained in a 3x4 cage 24 hours a day.

-This containment can create the following issues:


-Shut down


-Personality changes

Additionally, these invaluable volunteers at the city shelter would spend time communicating each pups personality to the rescue community, allowing us to get a jump start on which dogs would be a good fit for our rescue. With the flu rampant, shelter volunteers are at a stand still and rescues must go in to gauge a dog solo-giving us on a very small snapshot of who they really are. Despite the best efforts of everyone involved, the saddest part? They are still leaving the shelter with the flu, needing a foster home that does not have other dogs in it for quarantine, or have so much pent up energy it takes a lot for them to adjust being outside of the cages.

For Rescue

To understand the challenges we face, this is the following timeline for bringing in a new pup to NLOL:

Ideal: our normal intake procedures go something like this: we pull a dog from the city shelter, then they go immediately to the vet and hang out for 3 days while they get vaccinated, spayed/neutered, microchipped, etc While there, we finalize a foster, assign an Adoption Counselor and gather all items needed for our new family member to be successful in their transition from where they come from In the background, we work on scheduling a time when the AC and the foster can meet the pup, usually dependent on lots of communication around work schedules, families, other dog meet and greets, etc.

The new normal: Our vet (like MANY city vets) is no longer allowing dogs to stay or be boarded for a VERY understandable fear of spreading the flu amongst patients. Our volunteers now have to pull a dog, wait in the waiting room for the dog to be checked out, and take them immediately to foster and once the dog is healthy, the dog can go back to the vet and be spayed/neutered.Not only is this a lot of behind the scenes teamwork and stress on an already taxed VOLUNTEER staff, but now that pup has had double the transition, exposure and upheaval…making this long days for everyone and every pup.

The Spiral Effect:

The strain of this flu is causing this on rescue, shelters and the ability to save them all:

-Foster homes and placement:

-Rescues need dogless foster homes for the pups pulled so that they won’t spread the dog flu to another canine in the house. Those fosters are few and far between. Adding in that some have building restrictions and specific needs for a foster pup, this pool narrows with every passing day.

-Fosters with other dogs are taking the risk of exposing their pups to this flu strain and not only putting lives in danger, but also taking a big risk on budget.

-Our daycare facilities are working hard to keep the flu at bay for their own clients, let alone rescues. We cannot risk their clientele or risk placing an unhealthy pup where it can’t be monitored one on one to assess any changes.


-To do a SIMPLE flu treatment, it will cost a rescue between $150.00 and $500.00. IF that flu develops into pneumonia, it could cost a rescue between $500.00 and $1,200.00 PER DOG.*

-Dog Temperament:

-Between the lack of proper personality testing at the shelter from their volunteer and rescue coordinators, we are pulling pups with as much knowledge as we can gather in a short amount of time. While we rely on our expertise to help guide us in our new family members, this is not an ideal scenario for loads of reasons.

-The dog then faces massive transition. It begins with however they arrived at the shelter (stray, owner dump, etc) → no human interaction for XX amount of days →Rescue takes them to their vet →jostles them quick to a foster home → foster tries to get them healthy and adjusted → potential jostle AGAIN to a 2nd foster home so that we can utilize (and hopefully NOT BURN OUT) the 1st foster home while they take on another sick pup → re-acclimate that pup and then market them for adoption. If YOU had that much transition in the matter of a few weeks, how would YOU adjust?

-Human Stress:

-We have the very best team/family of volunteers, foster homes and passionate supporters. But the canine flu is putting stress on every single facet of this operation.

= Less dogs saved.

The heartache:

A few weeks ago, NLOL pulled 5 dogs, affectionately named the 'Big Bang Class' after some of our favorite characters from the show. We pulled them knowing that they all had flu exposure but we could not leave them behind. 4 days later, our sweet little snaggle-tooth love bug named Amy started showing signs of the flu. Amy had two funny front teeth that stuck out like elephant tusks on her tiny little body. Her personality and sass made her a favorite with her foster family. So, they rushed her to the vet’s office but it was too late. The flu caught ahold of her tired, compromised body and she passed away overnight at our vets office.

Amy is not the first lost to the canine flu because just days later, we heard about Larry - one of our own goofy, lovable and loved alumni who contracted the flu after his mom made existential efforts to keep him safe and healthy. He also passed away from complications just a few days later.

It doesn’t affect just the young, old or compromised dogs- we had another alum that is a young healthy male who also avoided the flu to the best efforts of his mama, when he was suddenly hit with the strain. He spent 5 days at the emergency vet trying to beat this sickness.

It was a very rough  few weeks at NLOL. And we are left wondering, when will this end? Will this end? How do we change our practices to ensure the safety of all our dogs new and old? What can we do to stay the course??

How can you help?

Support your responsible rescues. Reach out to them and ask where you can be best used. Whether it  be transporting pup from home to home, sitting at the vet while they get vetted, helping get them to foster, providing a home for a few days or a couple weeks, or financially donating to help offset the cost of saving them. It can be as simple as collecting plastic bags and newspapers to donate to the shelter for use. This is how we change the course of this current trajectory. Together.

YOU can help and YOU can make the difference-now more than ever.

*a healthy rescue dog rescue cost average is $425.00 per pup.


10th Anniversary Celebration - Friday, June 12th

10th invitation -revised

Purchase your tickets in advance for our biggest celebration yet... the BIG 1-0! Limited amount of tickets available for general admission and VIP. Can you believe we are in our double digits!? With over 600 dogs saved, hundreds of events, many many miles driven, fantastic fosters, amazing adopters and out of this world volunteers we have reached this huge milestone.

We hope you will help us celebrate in style at the amazing Chicago Party Animals venue. This place is a lofty, amazing location, fantastic views and the perfect spot for us to celebrate!

Purchase tickets here:

General Admission ($50 in advance/$65 at the door) Includes: Live Music by Blackest Crow ( Heavy Appetizers 2 Beer/Wine tickets (more available with donation) Photo Booth access to remember this fantastic night!

VIP ($100 in advance/$125 at the door) - 60 available! Includes VIP Lounge Access Rooftop Access with an amazing Skyline view! Private VIP Bathroom Chef Demo 3 Cocktail/Beer/Wine Tickets (more available with donation) Free Wine Live Music VIP Host/Concierge

Back this year will be our fabulous Auction full of great restaurant gift certificates, concert tix, and more. Watch this space for donations as the list grows! Want to donate for our silent auction? Email

Town & Anchor Apothecary Few Spirits Lyric Opera of Chicago Little Beans Cafe Peckish Pig DAVIDsTEA Hamburger Mary's Milk Handmade Amy's Candy Bar Ballroom Dance Chicago The Logan Theatre Summer House Santa Monica Finch's Beer Company Cafe Selmarie The Goddess and Grocer Old Town School of Folk Music Double Door Glamour Girl Airbrush Tan LLC ENJOY, AN URBAN GENERAL STORE ComedySportz Chicago Cemitas Puebla ZED451 Rotofugi Designer Toy Store & Gallery Bottle and Botega

Fundraiser at Beercade Headquarters - Arcade full of fun!

Event header

Join us for our “puppy shower” to help us reach our goal to save a pregnant pooch from CACC. $10 donation gets you unlimited arcade games while, also helping us reach our goal to help save a pregnant pooch from CACC. A percantage ofproceeds from the bar will also be donated. Food, games, raffles and good company - Who can beat that?

Headquarters Beercade is located at 2833 N. Sheffield.

Happy Gotcha Day Bowie


You often times hear us say that our dogs and adopters are like family to us. No happy ending exemplifies that more than this one. When we took Spock foster-to-adopt with former adopters (who had recently lost their beloved NL alum Nikko) we knew he was going to a loving home and we were excited to see if it was a good fit. Oh boy was it! Spock (now Bowie) fits right into their family and according to his momma, "brings so much life, love and laughter into our home!" In addition to adopting Bowie, they also also held a fundraiser at Localized, NFP this past weekend to help support New Leash on Life as a fitting celebration of Nikko's life!

We are beyond thrilled Bowie (and his ears, swoon!) found his way into their lives and so grateful for their support! Happy tails Bowie, enjoy your new life and your wonderful new family!

New Leash is Having Puppies! Sponsors Needed!


Introducing Planned Puppyhood 2015! As part of our 10 year anniversary, we are excited to announce a newproject, Planned Puppyhood. Every spring there is an influx  in pregnant dogs found stray and surrendered to Chicago Animal Care & Control (CACC).  Rescuing a mother and her litter takes significant financial resources and is a serious time commitment, and as a small rescue we want to plan responsibly. With the assistance of our extended network of volunteers, fosters and supporters, our goal is to raise $10,000 in advance so that we can cover the medical costs and vetting for a mother dog and her litter.

To meet these goals, we'll be hosting a puppy shower, having an online supply drive and other exciting events to get ready for our litter! Help spread the word by sharing this newsletter with a friend or business you know who might be interested in supporting Planned Puppyhood.

Sponsors are vital to helping us provide basic medical care for the puppies and their mother. A $500 sponsorship (6 available) will cover the cost of routine puppy boosters, parasite testing and treatment, heart worm preventative, and a spay or neuter for one puppy. $1,000 sponsorships (3 available) will help cover the medical costs for the mother as well as routine vetting, and provide additional resources for emergency medical expenses such as cesarean section, pneumonia, and/or parvovirus.  All sponsorships will be matched up to $5,000 doubling your contribution! Planned Puppyhood Sponsorship Levels

Puppy Parent - $500

Want all the joys of being a parent, well, a puppy parent, without getting up three times in the night, or making multiple trips outside?  You can be a proud puppy parent by making a $500 donation to sponsor a puppy, and will receive the following in appreciation:

  • Name a puppy!*
  • Receive a special Puppy Parent's Day package on Mother's Day
    • Includes "art" created by your sponsored puppy
  • Receive a weekly update (until the puppies are weaned) on your puppy so you can watch them grow!
  • Special "I Supported Planned Puppyhood 2015" T-Shirt
  • Recognition on our Facebook Page and in Newsletters announcing the puppies birth and adoptions.

Puppy Grandparent - $1000.00

We all know what a special role grandparents play, spoiling and doting on their grandchildren, and whether you are young at heart or an old soul you can be a Puppy Grandparent! Puppy Grandparent's will receive the following in appreciation?

  • Name a puppy!*
  • Receive a special Puppy Parent's Day package on Mother's Day
    • Includes "art" created by your sponsored puppy
  • Receive a weekly update (until the puppies are weaned) on your puppy so you can watch them grow!
  • Two special "I Supported Planned Puppyhood 2015" T-Shirts
  • New Leash on Life Hoodie
  • Recognition including company logo on our Facebook Page and in Newsletters announcing the puppies birth and adoptions.
  • Logo and/or Company name included in promotional materials for  3 scheduled puppy fundraisers
  • Attend a photo shoot with the puppies and get your own puppy pile portrait!**

*Should there be fewer puppies than available sponsorships, sponsors will be given the opportunity to name another puppy rescued from the CACC. Get your sponsorships in early!

**Portraits will be taken when puppies are 4-6 weeks of age. Sponsors will be given a choice of three dates made available by our photographers.


Congrats Frank the Tank!!


Frank the "Tank" was found by Chicago Police tied up in an abandoned apartment building lot. He was given a second chance when he was spotted by shelter volunteers that fought hard for his rescue! His gentle nature, soulful eyes and 10lb head were hard to pass up! Frank is now officially adopted into a wonderful family that has given him the loving and warm home that he deserves. Thank you to Elizabeth, Mark, Paige, Tori and his 3 kitty siblings for seeing Frank and knowing he would fit right into their family! Frank also gets to hang out at the stables meeting animals with even bigger heads than him!

Frank will always have a special place in the New Leash Family! We absolutely adore him and are so grateful for his new family. Here's to a long happy life Frank! Congratulations! You hit the family Jackpot!


Whole Foods West Loop Community Giving Day


New Leash On Life - Chicago is thrilled to announce an an exciting partnership with Whole Foods Market West Loop! On Friday, March 27th (to celebrate the store's opening week), 1% of Whole Foods West Loop’s (1 N. Halsted in Chicago) net profits would go directly to New Leash on Life in effort to help us rescue more dogs!

That means you can combine two of the things that you (and we) love most-rescue dogs and food! Come stock up on goodies and support New Leash on Life. We will be there from 11 am - 1 pm and 5 pm -7 pm. so stop by and say hi!

100% of the proceeds from the Whole Foods Community Giving Day will help us save more dogs. We hope to see you there!

Chicago Community Pet Coalition

CCPC_Logos_round_smallWe would like to take a minute to announce the formation of an exciting endeavor, the Chicago Community Pet Coalition (CCPC).One Tail at a TimeAlive Rescue, and New Leash On Life - Chicago have joined forces to create this special coalition, our mission: to decrease the number of pets given up by their owners due to financial hardship and to increase the health and well-being of Chicago pets. All three of these Chicago-based rescues have special skills and talents which when combined create a tri-factor of awesomeness… think the Avengers of dog rescue. CCPC will be hosting a series of local, grassroots, Community Pet Days throughout the city of Chicago over the next year in recognition of the fact that that responsible pet ownership can present some financial challenges along with the joy animals provide. At each event, CCPC, will provide services such as free vaccines, spay/neuter vouchers, flea/tick medication, micro-chipping, safe leashes and collars, positive reinforcement training advice, a dog food bank and more.

Read more about the Chicago Community Pet Coalition at


Fostering Changes Lives


Fostering changes lives At New Leash on Life - Chicago, foster parents are essential to the work we do.


Definition: es·sen·tial [uh-sen-shuhl] -absolutely necessary; indispensable: pertaining to or constituting the essence of a thing.

Since NLOL Chicago does not have a physical facility, the dogs that we bring into our rescue typically stay in foster homes. Why is a foster home so important? A foster home offers stability for a pup who's world has been upside down. They help give them a routine and give someone to trust. They provide NLOL with feedback on items like their behaviors, likes and dislikes, favorite place to be scratched...the important things.

Foster parents help to make these lucky pups adoptable and we could not do what we do without them. In return for their intel, we provide everything needed to be successful-food, toys, crates, training...just to name a few.

But don't take our word for it. Hear what these current NLOL foster parents have to say.


If you are interested in becoming a foster parent with New Leash on Life, visit our fostering page for more information.

  *Credit goes to Loyola University Chicago in the Communications department.

Bo's Journey

Several months ago, one of our volunteers watched in horror as a van rolled over a dog and drove off. Being the awesome New Leasher that she is, this volunteer acted quickly and brought this stray to our vets for intensive treatment. We were thrilled when Bo made a seemingly full recovery. Once we got him out of the vet and in to a loving foster home, Bo's personality totally changed. This 9 month old guy is a total goofball, a lover of toys, and a great companion for his human friends. We were so happy to make him officially one of our New Leash on Life dogs.

Throughout Bo's journey from critical condition to adoption event star, we have been committed to providing him with the medical attention that he has required. After his accident, Bo could not put weight on to his front legs. But with vigilant treatment and therapy, Bo seemingly made a full recovery.

As time has passed and his scarred face has healed, we were dismayed to see that while his right leg improved, his left front leg has continually bothered him. With the help of our specialists, we determined that the radial nerve damage is too much for this active and lively pup. Because of this, he continues to injure his injured leg by favoring and overdeveloping the muscles in his other legs. After multiple and lengthy discussions with all parties involved, it was decided that Bo would require amputation of his left leg in order to give him the best quality of life.

Bo's journey will not be made on the traditional four legs. Instead, this guy will be going his own way on three strong and healthy ones. His lack of a limb will be tangible proof that he is a survivor. He is a shining example that anything can happen with the right people, a lot of love, and a whole bunch of determination.

New Leash will be supporting Bo through it all- including the costly medical procedures and therapy . As a 100% volunteer run nonprofit, we ask that you considering donating to our cause. Whether it is good wishes or monetary support, you can help us make Bo's journey to a forever home happen today.


Luck of the Elvis?


We here at NLOL are getting super pumped up for our event at Irish Eyes tonight

While we love having a good time, we think the best part of a New Leash event is reconnecting with our friends, family, and supporters. We especially LOVE to hear a good "happy tails" story! So of course I was thrilled when we heard from my favorite alumni/heart throb: ELVIS!

When NLOL Chicago found and rescued the handsome Elvis (formerly known as Bates), I was instantly smitten! This pup was the perfect mix of sweetness and spunk. He loved dogs just as much as he adored people, and his fan base grew and grew as the weeks passed.

But it wasn't long till he was spotted by the perfect, cocker spaniel family! Vicki and her husband had been huge fans of the dogs since their first family pups, and their current spaniel Annie was looking for a brother to join the pack. Elvis fit right in! He loved the big yard his suburban home provided, learned the ropes from his loving doggie sister, and became the apple of his parent's eyes in only a matter of two weeks. Elvis didn't need to leave the building anymore- he had found his forever home.

elvis and annie

Elvis's NLOL name was given to us by an amazing guy named Brian. Brian has been a generous and awesome supporter of New Leash on Life Chicago for years. This week, Brian is challenging us to raise $2500 to our St. Puppy's Day match campaign. We've been overwhelmed by the support we've gotten over the last couple of days, and we are still hoping to make Brian's vision come true. All of our monetary support goes 100% to saving more dogs and providing them with the necessary (yet costly) medical, emotional, and physical care that they need. Please consider supporting us with a donation today so we can find a warm bed and a loving family for all those homeless "hound dogs!"

St. Puppy's Day Match Campaign

luck (/lək) 968Synonyms: fortune – chance – happiness – hap – fate – felicity

One of the best things about our New Leash community is that we are a huge family – a family of dog lovers, supporters, adopters, admirers; a fam

ily of people wanting to make a difference in the world one dog at a time. This St. Patrick’s Day, we are reaching out to our family to help us continue to make a difference – with a little bit of luck.

You see, it was a little bit of luck that brought Brian into a pet store where he saw one of our NLOL pups for the first time. At least, we believe it was luck, because he soon became part of our family through his passion to save “just one more” homeless dog. The story behind his passion can be found here, on our blog. The road has been long and full of both love and loss for Brian – but today, he wants to create a little luck for more homeless dogs.


Brian has offered to donate $2500 to New Leash on Life―Chicago if we can raise the same amount by St. Patrick’s Day (Sunday, March 17). That means that your donation can go doubly far to help New Leash on Life rescue more lucky dogs! No amount is too small; every single penny will help.

As a double bonus, we’ve having a bar party to celebrate!  After all, what’s St. Paddy’s Day without a pint? Join us at Irish Eyes on Lincoln on Wednesday, March 13 from 7-10 p.m. All tips earned by our volunteer guest bartenders will be donated to NLOL!  To sweeten this pot of gold, we’ll also have live Irish music music by Brendan Diamond(NLOL foster dad and adopter extraordinaire), a raffle, and NLOL merchandise for sale! All this will benefit the little people who need it the most: no, not the leprechauns – the pups!

Springtime is usually the time when the number of homeless dogs swell, leaving the dogs at risk of starvation, malnutrition, and, in many cases, euthanasia. Your donation will help us find many more pups to give them a new chance at love and a new leash on life. Please consider donating today.

Create some luck for a homeless pup – and help us meet Brian’s challenge. Click to donate.

 What about the man behind this lucky mission?

He approached NLOL with this offer and when we asked what he would say to those donating, he answered.

NLOL: Why are you so passionate about rescue? photo

Brian: 13 years ago, my late partner, Frank, and I met a woman who had rescued a yellow lab Gus. We fell in love with Gus and adopted him on the spot.  He's really the one that changed us forever in regards to our respect for rescue.  It was through his rescuer, Appi, that we learned about all of the dogs and cats that never get homes and have such sad lives and endings. My partner, Frank died suddenly in Aug 2011 and Gus was there with me thru that incredible loss.

At that time, Gus himself was suffering from lung cancer.  We weren't fortunate to beat it with multiple rounds of chemo but Gussie was a good sport thru it all and never, ever lost his loving, kind nature.

After getting me through Frank's passing and into the new spring, Gussie left me to join Frank and our other babies.  When I woke up the next morning, I couldn't bear the silence in the house and started looking around. I found Gino (my Dachshund) through a rescue.  I quickly decided he needed a buddy and Mack (my Labrador) came next.  So the story continues.

photo (1)


NLOL: What advice would you give to someone trying to make a difference?

Brian: Please try to adopt and if you can't adopt, then foster.  If you can't foster, contribute your time or resources to the many organizations like NLOL so that they can help you make a difference.  We are all part of a bigger plan and any giving makes the entire enterprise work.  You'll feel great, you'll feel appreciated, and you'll know that your kindness meant that at least one beautiful pet had a happy ending.

We could not have said it better ourselves. Thank you, Brian.


Click here to donate today!