The West Suburban Humane Society (WSHS) is a volunteer-based, animal welfare organization that was founded in 1972 as a lost-and-found referral service.
At that time, a small group of volunteers, working from their homes, gathered information and maintained records for the purpose of reuniting lost companion animals and their owners.
Soon animal control officers in various townships and counties requested the group's help in locating the owners of unclaimed strays that were being held at their facilities. Over the next 10 years, as both demand and support for their services grew, WSHS was born, and began sheltering homeless animals by opening a small storefront shelter on Chicago's west side along with three additional small satellite shelters in other townships. Today, we have consolidated into one easily accessible and highly visible shelter and adoption facility, housing up to 25 dogs and 60 cats at a time. We operate at full capacity at all times, with animal care and adoptions being provided by three full-time and nine part-time employees and numerous volunteers. We are open to the public six days a week.
The cats and dogs come to us from many sources. Impoundment facilities and the public bring us dogs and cats of all ages that have been abandoned, abused, injured, neglected, and orphaned. A dedicated volunteer base and the retained service of several veterinarians have allowed us to save the lives of and give 600 homeless animals each year new homes. Every animal that is brought to our shelter receives whatever type of veterinary care that is needed, including surgery and hospitalization for trauma cases, long-term care and medication for viral and bacterial infections, and treatment of parasite infestations such as heartworm. Orphaned kittens and puppies, as well as the sick, receive loving care in our foster homes until they are ready for adoption.
We continue to reunite lost animals and their families by maintaining a database with information on over 33,000 pets and their owners, and by providing free pet identification tags. Additionally, we provide microchip pet identification implants for every animal that is adopted from us.
We are in the process of expanding several programs and developing a few new ones! First on the list is our Humane Education Program, which is being rejuvenated and will include updated adult and youth educational materials, on-site and off-site presentations, and tours of the West Suburban Humane Society facilities.
Be sure to check our website regularly for updated information!