The F&C Family
Our motto “Once a Felines & Canines family member, always a Felines & Canines family member” extends to both our rescued animals and our adopters. What this means is once we commit to rescuing an animal, we commit to that animal for the rest of their life. If for any reason an adoption does not work out, we will always welcome that animal back into our program, no matter what. Additionally, once we make the commitment to adopting out an animal, we promise to be a resource to that family forever. Whether it’s a random question / request for advice, or a dire situation, we will always be a phone call or email away. After all, isn’t that what family is for?
The FIV Revolution
Back in the 1980’s, Felines & Canines was one of the first shelters in the Chicagoland area to welcome FIV-positive (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) cats into our program. While many organizations viewed the infected cats at lepers, plagued with “kitty AIDS,” bound for euthanasia, we saw these cats in a much different light. With a consistently clean, low-stress environment, healthy diet, and natural immune-system boosters, we discovered our FIV-positive cats were living long, healthy, “normal” lives, with little-to-no-issue. Additionally, since FIV is primarily spread from cat-to-cat (never cat-to-human, as some thought) through deep bite wound, if we stuck to our philosophy of only rescuing/housing friendly/social animals, there was very little worry that the virus would be transmitted to other cats. After a two-year trial period from 2011-2013, where our FIV-positive cats were incorporated into the general cat population (as opposed to being segregated in a private, FIV+ cat room), we tested 113 cats, and not one tested positive for FIV who didn’t already have the virus. It was the proof that we needed to advocate for the safe integration of these amazing animals into the general population.
We are the very first shelter in Chicago, and the most out-spoken proponent for other shelters to not only rescue, but also incorporate FIV-positive cats into their general population. Thanks to countless amazing, open-minded adopters and education about FIV, we find our FIV-positive cats are adopted at the same rate as our FIV-negative cats!
There Is No “I” In Team
There is no shelter, rescue, clinic or group that can single-handedly solve the euthanasia and over-population issues that affect millions of animals every year. That is why we whole-heartedly believe in working together and sharing resources, ideas and support with other amazing, like-minded organizations. Whether it be exchanging adoptable animals who need a change of scenery or fresh set of eyes, sharing food and supplies, or collaborating to make a larger impact on the lives of those in need, we know that by working together, we can make tremendous progress.
Knowledge Is Power
We believe knowledge is key to having a successful human/companion animal relationship, which is why we provide a variety of educational resources to pet guardians. Whether it’s online, over the phone, or in person, we are able to assist with the information and resources needed to have the healthiest, happiest, love-filled relationship with your animal.