Five of the Chicago area’s animal shelters received an enormous surprise when they learned of the death of a man they had likely never met. Sylvester Czopek of Lemont, IL, had left Chicago’s biggest shelters a gift of $1.5 million. The catch? They must be no-kill shelters.
“No kill” generally means that the shelter will not euthanize animals unless they are deemed unadoptable or have an illness from which they won’t recover.
The five shelters who will be receiving the endowment include:
- Will County Humane Society in Shorewood
- West Suburban Humane Society in Downers Grove
- Naperville Area Humane Society
- Animal Welfare League in Chicago Ridge
- PAWS Chicago Adoption Center
Here’s the video:
No kill shelters are growing and P.A.W.S Chicago, the largest no-kill shelter in the country, has seen a dramatic drop in the number of euthanized animals. Source: ABC News Chicago
NoKillNow.com states that 250,000,000 animals have been killed in more traditional “kill” shelters over the last decade. The American Humane Society shows significantly more conservative numbers. They estimate that about 3.7 million animals were euthanized in 2008.
The Humane Society’s most recent statistics are from 1997, but the future is grim for most shelter pets. Only about a quarter of dogs and cats are ever adopted from shelters. Worse yet, only 15% of dogs and 2% of cats are ever reunited with their families.
Hopefully, since 1997, the landscape has changed. Coincidentally, that is also the year that P.A.W.S. Chicago opened. They claim that the killing rate in Chicago has dropped by half. It’s fair to say that a $1.5 million donation will save even more animal lives.
Wendy Gittleson is a seasoned writer, a dog lover and an avid political junkie. She is the Senior Editor for Addicting Info. In her rare down times, you’ll find her somewhere in the mountains or near the beach. Follow her on her Facebook page or on Twitter, @wendygittleson