Traditional shelters have brick and mortar facilities with adoption floors. They typically have foster homes which act as a feeder system for the shelter, socializing cats and providing medical care to get them ready for the adoption floor. Some traditional shelters place cats in cages while they are awaiting adoption. Others are “cageless” and have rooms where cats are free-roaming and can mingle with other cats.

Shelters can also be ”virtual,” meaning they do not have a building with an adoption floor, but rather are a network of foster homes. Both traditional and virtual shelters can adopt cats directly from foster homes as well as from third-party locations, such as in-store habitats at pet supply stores.

Cat shelter graphic
A tan cat lying on a cat tower in a home

The process of admitting animals into shelters is either “open-intake” or “managed intake.” Open-intake shelters that accept every animal that comes in can become very full, and may have to euthanize animals when they run out of room. Managed-intake shelters, on the other hand, are typically always full and have a waiting list to get in. The term “no-kill” has been used to describe managed-intake shelters. We prefer not to use this terminology, as it can be misleading. For example, Chicago Animal Care & Control partners with over 200 humane organizations to transfer animals out of their facility. Their live outcome rate for cats is about 93%, which is considered “no-kill” status.

If you have an animal to relinquish, it’s not a reasonable expectation that a managed-intake shelter will be able to accommodate you immediately. You will likely have  to wait for a spot to open up. While you are waiting, we highly recommend reaching out to a clinic to get the cat sterilized and vaccinated. Providing vetting up front is not only in the best interest of the cat’s health, but will also make it quicker/easier for a shelter to accept him/her. If you are able, offer the shelter a donation.

Shelter List

Below is a list of animal shelters in Illinois, Southern Wisconsin and Northwest Indiana. We update this list as often as we can. If you have any additions or changes, we appreciate your feedback at info@catsinaction.org.

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NameLocationPhoneWebsite / Email
PAWS ChicagoChicago, IL773-475-9462intake@pawschicago.org
Tree House Humane SocietyChicago, IL773-227-5535treehouseanimals.org
The Anti-Cruelty SocietyChicago, IL312-644-8338anticruelty.org
Chicago Animal Care & ControlChicago, IL312-747-1406visitcacc@cityofchicago.org
Red DoorChicago, IL773-764-2242reddoorshelter.org
Precious Pets Almost HomeFoster Network773-887-2286ppahrescue.org
One Tail at a TimeChicago, IL866-515-6828onetail.org
Harmony HouseChicago, IL773-293-6103hhforcats.org
C.A.R.E (Community Animal Rescue Effort)Skokie, IL847-705-2653carenorthshore.org
Animal Care LeagueOak Park, IL708-848-8155animalcareleague.org
South Suburban Humane SocietyChicago Heights, IL708-755-7387southsuburbanhumanesociety.org
Orphans of the StormDeerfield, IL847-945-0235orphansofthestorm.org
Heartland Animal ShelterNorthbrook, IL847-296-6400heartlandanimalshelter.org
St. Sophia’s Forgotten FelinesWheaton, IL847-773-7639stsff.dreamhosters.com
Quincy Humane SocietyAdams County217-223-8786quincyhumanesociety.org
Bond County Humane SocietyBond County (St. Louis area)618-664-4068http://members.petfinder.com/~IL262/spayneuter.html
Boone County Animal Care & ControlBoone County815-547-7774boonecountyil.org
CatsnapChampaign County217-469-5353catsnap.org
Champaign County Animal ControlChampaign County217-384-3798co.champaign.il.us/animal.htm
Champaign County Humane SocietyChampaign County217-344-7297cuhumane.org
TAILS Humane SocietyDeKalb County815-758-0762tailshumanesociety.org
A.D.O.P.T. Pet ShelterDuPage County630-355-2299adoptpetshelter.org
Humane Society of Southern IllinoisJackson County618-457-2362humanesocietysil.org
Kankakee County Animal Care & ControlKankakee County815-937-2949k3doghouse.net
Sunrise Center Animal ClinicKankakee County815-482-4486sunrisecenteranimalrescue.org
Kendall County Animal ControlKendall County630-553-9256co.kendall.il.us/animal-control
Alliance for Humane Action AHA!Lake County, IL847-960-8689ahaworks.org
Lake County Animal Care & ControlLake County, IL847-377-8029health.lakecountyil.gov/populatio n/pages/animal-care-and- control.aspx
No Animal Left Behind NFPLaSalle County815-795-3859 ext. 2noanimalleftbehind.org
Livingston County Animal ControlLivingston County815-844-7174Livingston County Spay Neuter
Humane Society of Logan CountyLogan County217-737-1450hslclincoln.org
Animal Safety and Humane Control SocietyMadison County618-377-2420Facebook: Spay and Neuter Clinic
Hartz Second ChanceMadison County618-975-4434hartz2chance.org
Metro East Humane SocietyMadison County618-656-4405mehs.org
Animal Outreach Humane SocietyMcHenry County815-385-0005animaloutreachsociety.info
Humane Society of Central IllinoisMcLean County309-451-1000hscipets.org
Operation SAFEPeoria County309-453-8767operationsafe.org
PurrsonalitiesPeoria County309-360-7455purrsonalities.net
Quad City Animal Welfare CenterRock Island County309-787-6830 ext. 26qcawc.org
Animal Protective League Spay/Neuter ClinicSangamon County217-789-7729apl-shelter.org
TAPS No-Kill Animal ShelterTazewell County309-353-8277tapsshelter.org
NAWS CampusWill County708-478-5102nawsus.org
Winnebago County Animal ControlRockford, IL815-319-4100wcasrock.org
Noah’s Ark111 N 1st St, Rockford, IL 61107815-962-2767noahsarkanimals.org
Safe HarborKenosha262-694-4047safeharborhumanesociety.org
Wisconsin Humane SocietyMilwaukee414-323-6163wihumane.org/clinic
Humane Society of Southern WisconsinJanesville608-752-5622petsgohome.org