Through the years, there's been a lot of stories. some sad, some awesome, But all important.



"Sweet, he's in an enclosed area to catch him." The sad life us rescuers call a victory when rescuing a dog. But we got Wendy's and hot cocoa after. Another sad thing Jared and I do after catching a dog.

New Year, not new me. Not new anything. Same shit, different day is a better motto for my life. Yesterday, we got tagged on a Shepherd that had been hanging out in a playground in Pilsen for at least an hour, from what we know. I put away my food before Kaiser devoured it and turned off my binge show of the week, Riverdale (great show might I add my 2 cents). When we arrived, a woman was there trying to help. He seemed to have gotten himself in the playground and couldn't find his way out. Or maybe was abandoned? Not uncommon either.

As he sat there, shivering, but didn't look like he was out more than a few hours/a day, he saw us and when we took the leashes out, he peed himself. Poor guy. And poor me. It's another old man Kaiser dog. I carefully sat beside him, realizing, Michelle, you are in his urine. And showed him the leash is nothing to be afraid of. Lasso one attempt, fail. Lasso two, fail. Lasso three, ok, he basically let me do it.

Sweet old timer, wagged his tail, did some sniffing. Scanned and no chip. Told you same shit, different day. We brought him to CACC, id A194343, so his family could hopefully find him as this isn't a way to start 2019. I'd love to pull this guy, but many of my fosters are small dog peeps, so if another rescue is interested, I think he will be a good one for the taking. But if someone wants to foster with us, make my day and make it happen by applying!

So we wait the 3 stray hold days. Please share this silver fox. He was very camera shy, so Insta famous, is gonna be a tough one.


The dog with no face. The dog with no name. The dog who gave up. He gained it all back yesterday.


Just back from our vacation and Jared had gone out on his much anticipated Dunkin Donuts coffee break (Park City doesn’t have any). Knowing wherever he goes, he must check if there are dogs in need of help. Yep, there’s this one. A dog walker, with his 5 dog customers, had followed this mop and needed help.

Jared came to his aide, but the dog was completely terrified of anything and everything. Can you blame him? His mats are covering his vision. His mats are cutting off circulation to his legs. He can not defecate with the amount of hair tangled up underneath. He has been out for how long in such distress with probably many people trying to catch or chase him away.

Fight or flight, this dog tried both. He first chose to flee into someone’s yard, but Jared was able to get a leash around him in due time. But once leashed, the mop was like, “Oh hell no.” He, of course, completely spooked, tried his best to show Jared up. It didn’t work. Jared, too, has been around the block, bucko.

But after some time to decompress in our home, Wombat, we call him, has proven he can get through this. Imagine how heavy all of his overgrown hair must feel and how tight his dreadlocks pull at his skin. I don’t blame him for being an ounce of grouch. It’s like a million band-aids being ripped! We got an early medical release from CACC as we needed to immediately take him to the vet. We were able to get an appointment last minute with South Loop Animal Hospital and we are ever so gracious for their help. To not stress Wombat out, we sedated him for his 3 hour groom.

Now look at this cookie monster! I dont know what the heck mix you are, but you are beautiful.

Maybe a Bichon/Poodle/ShihTzu combo. Maybe something else. Your past, your hair, your struggles do not define you. We, at LEAD, will take care of you and you can begin your recovery.

Surprisingly, he isn’t super underweight. Not surprisingly, he has no chip and is not neutered. He is heartworm negative and fecal was all good. The vet estimated between 5-8 years old with some bad dental disease. But overall, he looks like a champ.

Now the hard part is for him to gain back trust he should have known about back when. Without the hair, he is naked to the world, more vulnerable than before. He walks like he doesn’t know what air feels like. He walks like he is just seeing life itself.

We don’t know if Wombat’s owners will show up or if he was outcasted. Either way, he is a dog in need. And a dog that needs you.

Thanks a mil’ for reading about Wombat and thanks to those who have donated to his care already and to those in the near future!!


Y’all remember that Beagle boy we’d say we would return for? Well it looks like someone is now in a home versus being out in the storms 😃!

pita chip_2.jpg

It sure had to be scary being on his own, now that his Terrier friend had been returned back to his owner last week. He stayed put in the same area, which again makes me believe he is still waiting for his owners.

Man, I gotta give all my love and props to Katie Campbell, who sat for many days and nights just watching and hoping Beagle boy would come out, come out wherever you are. True, inspiring dedication! Jared for choosing to rescue a dog over studying for a test. You best not fail your edu-ma-cation, kid. And Toni Rojas for leaving food out for him whenever we all couldn’t.

So Katie had been watching the trap for a good chunk of time yesterday, when Jared took over the second watch. I told him it was gonna rain really bad in an hour so I don’t know if he would see the Beagle. Guess the rain literally flushed him out and he ended up at his hiding spot, under a porch. He somehow got stuck and Jared asked the homeowner for permission to get him. Bing badda boom. Welcome to LEAD Rescue, my boy! Katie named him PITA, so Mr. Pita Chip, I hope you understand that we are only here to help, not harm you.

Jared and I spent the next 3 hours picking ticks off of him. We found the mother load in his armpit. And many more just hanging out. His dirt filled the bathtub and he allowed us to manhandle him like a champ. We are gonna get him all checked out and hope there aren’t any tickborne illnesses. Fingers crossed for real.

Pita is everything a Beagle is. Well mannered, friendly, and sensitive. There’s one thing I wish he didn’t possess: his fearfulness. He ruined our XL crate that was just donated to us and I can completely understand not knowing where he is. However, if anyone wants to donate another large crate to us, PLEASE AND THANK YOU. He is now on Lost Dogs Illinois and a flyer was sent to Chicago Animal Care and Control.

He learned to survive and got through all the elements on his own which is something I don't think I could ever do! However, my pack of co-existers did it again, and his bestie is Tummy! He has perked up within minutes of meeting them (ticks removed of course) oand actually walks on a leash with everyone instead of having to be carried. We will get him feeling 100% before he can be placed up for adoption. But for now, I am so glad we can be thunder buddies.


Can’t I go anywhere without having to rescue a dog?


On Saturday, I decided to go to the craft fair in Pilsen. After everyone stopping me to take pictures of Tum Tum and asking if she could have her own Insta, I was about to head home when Jared Alexander says there’s a Schnauzer like dog running around the corner. Luckily, he just went grocery shopping and had gotten a pound of ham. This dog was searching the alley for food and he saw me, but got spooked. I searched for him a bit more, but couldn’t find him. We were about to leave when he popped up behind us. Jared grabbed the ham (stop giving away your lunch, Jared!), and tried his best to gain his trust. The videos are of me being useless with the dogs in the car and Jared doing it all.

But then, Jared came back to the car and said you try. Advantages of me: Small stature so I’m less intimidating, can use high pitch baby voices (something Jared will never be an expert in), and I’m female. I did try and he’d get extremely close to me and he would eat the ham inches away. But alas, his eyes seemed frightened. We wondered would this dog be dog friendly? We brought out our Elmer’s Glue and voila, snatched after all the ham waste.

No chip and balls intact. Things we find on most dogs we catch. We brought him to the shelter and would have pulled him right back out, and as I had just printed flyers, thankfully his owners came after a night. Now the dog is chipped and I hope going to be neutered before he can go home.

Moral of the story: if your dog gets out or if you let them roam (please don’t let them do this) and are running on a busy street, don’t get upset if your dog ends up at the shelter which is the legal place owners look for their dogs. I’d much rather pay a fee to get my dog back alive, chipped, and altered. And guess what, you also got some free vaccines too! Unaltered animals is one of the reasons why dogs leave their homes in search of mates. If you need some places to get that procedure done, just ask me and I'll help guide you. There are also some real shitty people in this world who can do terrible things to your pets and I’d like to not name them. So, whatever your name is dog, I’m glad you are back home and hope to never see you out alone again 🙂.


“Watch me TRAP. Watch me nae nae.”

These knucklebrains have been seen around the East Side, lounging together in the sun for the past month. Unsure if they are just pets that are let out to roam and go home, Jared and I said enough is enough. Dogs should never be out to fend for themselves especially with coyotes in the area. These two also love to hang around the train tracks and that’s a huge accident waiting to happen.


Many people have attempted to try and catch them, but every time, the Beagle would run away first and the Terrier mix would bark in defense of them. Our friend has been doing a feeding station to keep them near. The goal is to never chase, but to build trust.

The wind was in our favor yesterday and the delicious bbq sauce and wet dog food we placed out, was proven to be the right mixture to trap them. As you can see in my terrible video, I am so excited that when one went into the trap, I barely captured the “capture”. When we trapped the Terrier, we set another trap out for the Beagle. However, Beagle dog is too cunning. We walked Terrier boy around and Beagle dog would come running towards us but never too near to us. We waited 2 more hours, but Beagle boy just wasn’t ready to be rescued.

We did, however, scan the Terrier and yasssss! A mothaf*%kin registered chip! We called the owner and left a voicemail and also texted the number. The owner of the Terrier was only a mile away, so we had to leave and figure out what’s going on with this dog. Jared knocked on the door and a mom and 2 daughters came out. We asked if they were missing a dog and they said yes. We asked what kind and they said, “a scruffy, terrier dog.” Boom. We have your dog!

Of course, his real name was Scruffy and he had been missing since February!! He got out the day of the woman’s husband’s funeral. No wonder why the call went straight to voicemail. I wish I could have recorded the reunion. It happened so fast and the happiness was contagious. Scruffy was over the moon to be back, not only home, but with his family. Damn, I need a tissue.

We still are going to try our best to win over Mr. Beagle. But the fact that they found each other, being complete strangers and never left each other’s side, shows how much cooler dogs are than people. We absolutely hate that we couldn’t get him as he is now wondering where his pal is. Who knows where Beagle boy is from but with his nose, I’m thinking he could be far from home too.

LEAD Rescue started out rescuing stray/lost/abandoned dogs. We may not get out as often, running around doing adoptions and vet appointments. But LEAD will try and help reunite and save these forgiving animals when we can. We also found a distempered raccoon yesterday too, but that’s a whole other story. All animals matter y’all!



And yesterday, we went back to our roots of rescuing dogs from the streets and for the 5th time, it was a mission from under a car.

Jared and I were alerted by fellow street rescuers and a woman who feeds kitties, that there was a dog hiding under a parked car. The kitty woman was trying to keep a large feral from attacking the scared pooch. Jared and I headed to 46th and Cottage Grove. We tried our best efforts to secure the dog. We busted out the cat trap with enticing food. Not gonna work with a pissed off, not hungry dog. A net, a catch pole, and a leash were all too scary too for her.

As life is a literal parking lot, of all the places, these two women were trying to park their car and move another car in the exact place the dog was. The dog eventually was spooked by all the cars that the dog ran from the taller car and completely wedged herself under the very low car the woman was trying to move. We had asked them if they could turn the car off as it was getting hot for the dog. She opened her car door and the dog jumped right in, scaring the woman, the dog ran back under. We then asked if she can leave the car door open again but the woman said no. We also tried to maneuver the dog out slowly by backing up the car. That didn’t work either. After 30 mins, the dog eventually gave up and peered out from the front tire. I placed the leash over her head and she was safe.

Now, named Sprinkles, we brought her to CACC for her 3 day stray hold. Her id is A180113. No chip, no collar. She is a female Pomeranian mix and she was given a haircut by someone, so c’mon let’s find the owners. Sprinkles, if her owners do not show, we will pull her back out and enter our LEAD family. And we will also be looking for a foster home for Sprinkles. From the overnight we had, she warmed up quickly for pets and demanded to sleep on our bed....which we then caved.




So as most people know, our bread and butter has been to help homeless/lost/suddenly distracted by squirrels/abandoned dogs on the streets of Chicago. Today, we were attempting to do just that in the Roseland neighborhood. Of course, it didn’t go as intended. While on our way further south to leave food at an abandoned house that has had a recurring Pitbull sighting (we are still working to help that dog get out of the cold), we happened to look down an alley. It was then that I saw this sweet girl appear, knocking down garbage cans, desperately searching for food. Isn’t it the truth that when you aren’t searching for something, it suddenly appears? It was so heartbreaking to watch. So naturally, I busted out a pack of hotdogs, some fresh turkey, and a delicious Pucci’s sausage pizza (my lunch, given to a dog, again) and walked on up.

Not wanting her to be fearful and run, I tossed food from afar in hopes of gaining her trust. It turned out that she would trust just about anyone with food at this point and sprinted right up, grabbing the full pack of hot dogs right out of my hand! She wiggled and squirmed while begging for more food and affection. She has the personality of a dog that is very loved. She was scanned on sight in hopes of bringing her back to an owner’s house. However, not only was she not chipped or wearing a collar/tag, but it’s QUITE evident that she has either had puppies semi-recently, or is… (dramatic pause) pregnant right now!!!

After getting her in the car, another thing became quickly apparent. While digging through the garbage this dog must have finished a whole pot of chili an’ beans! HOLY SMOKES can she clear out a room. But other than the gas, she is a doll and will be treated as such. All jokes aside, this just means she has been eating crap for however long.

Flyers are hung, CACC notified, LDI post completed, and all appropriate measures will be taken to look for her owner. If her owner is not located, and she finishes her stray hold, she will become LEAD dog #2 (and possibly #3,4,5,6 etc. depending on vet examination if you catch our drift).

Welcome, Ms. Chili!

Update: No owners were found. Chili is our 2nd LEAD dog and she gave birth to 13 puppies. Sadly, 3 passed away early on but now they are all available for adoption!


Surviving this winter as a human is tough enough. Imagine what life has been like for this winter soldier.


On Dec. 21, someone posted in a FB group that there was a loose Boxer roaming the East Side of Chicago neighborhood. This area is notorious for dogs running loose, either by dogs who walk themselves and go back home or ones that were once owned and then never looked for once caught. This story of Houdini is a mystery.

When I saw the post, I immediately contacted our neighborhood expert Toni to get food out and start working the case. We knew from the start this wasn't going to be quick or easy, Dogs that walk themselves around the block have more confidence, a different stride. No, this dog was spooked at the sight of humans. Every dog is different depending on how long a dog has been surviving on its own. This boxer was in complete feral mode and flight seemed to be his only option.

He earned the name Houdini because he was very tricky to track.  This dog would be seen on one end of town and then on the complete opposite side 20 minutes later. He even decided to cross state lines for 24 hours! With coyotes in the area, we didn’t know what were his tracks vs theirs. That’s the great thing about snow: footprints tell you which direction they are going and where they end. From Dec. 21, even on Christmas Eve and Day until today, Toni, Jared, Tammy, Cindy, and I, all were helping to feed him and figure out his routine.

Jared and I live nowhere near the East Side of Chicago and neither does Cindy, but no dog deserves to live on its own especially in weather that will kill him. We drove there almost every day, waiting for the right time to set a trap and get him to safety. The East Side neighborhood was very good about alerting us of his whereabouts as we always reminded them to NOT CHASE him. First instinct is to do so, but it would only endanger his life by getting hit by a car, train, etc. Dogs make poor decisions in feral mode as they are scared and aren’t sure if they can trust humans.

We all used our tools we have to help capture this dog. From asking for help from fellow neighbors, to setting up trail cameras, to feeding stations, to setting up our humane trap, to hot chocolate stakeouts, and all the hours we all put in, Houdini was safely trapped by none other than Cindy and Tammy!

Houdini is now at TRIO Animal Foundation and updates and better pics will come. He does have frostbite on his ears, paws, testicles, you name it, he has it. We all are overjoyed and ecstatic that now we can enjoy the new year without worrying if Houdini will freeze to death. For what it is worth, even if rescuing is very time consuming, the teamwork and laughter (maybe we were just delirious?) were all worth it and I wouldn’t choose any other life.

Houdini is now available for adoption at Trio Animal Foundation!


Gentle, old soul coming through! If he is yours, please go get him!


The same time someone had posted about Wynter being beat, in the opposite direction, this delicate sweetheart had been living in someone’s yard. Feeling like a Sophie’s Choice movie, Jared and I had to decide which dog needed us more. With a tough decision, we had to go to the dog being abused vs the dog that was safely hiding in a large yard in a box someone gave him over the past 3 days along with food.

We picked up Wynter from the south side, then headed to the Chihuahua’s aide in Little Village. Even though he was in a secured yard, he is so little, he just walked underneath the fence when he saw us. We didn’t want him to go into the street, so we set the trap. The owner of the yard was very helpful, watching the trap while we had to transport Wynter to the northside.

With some tasty Costco wet food, my boss’s turkey sandwich she left at work (Thanks Jill) and some hotdogs, little chihu was caught! We didn’t think he would be too hungry since he had dry dog food set out, but no dog can resist a combo of great smelling food.

We returned and thanked the owner of the home. We scanned him and Chico had a registered chip from PAWS Chicago. The chip company left a voicemail for the owner, but no dice. We posted and fostered him overnight, but no owner had come forward. We brought him back to PAWS since it’s where he came from. He is currently at their Pilsen location doing a chipped stray hold.

Chico has an owner and we need to find them. He had that black collar on and is super sweet. All he did at our house was sleep in a dog bed. Never made a peep. He was incredibly smart to hide in someone’s fenced yard, protected from coyotes or other dangers. He survived from what we know for 3 days or longer in the cold. He is skinny, but bloated looking and ate just fine.


Animal abuse is never okay. And yet, everyday it happens.

Yesterday afternoon, there was a FB post about a Shih-Tzu that was being beat by a man with a garbage can and being kicked in an alley. Jared and I just got out of work and immediately headed over to the south side of Chicago. When we arrived, CPD had been speaking with a woman who saw the man abusing this innocent creature. The man had disappeared before CPD could arrive. Sadly, there was no footage of the man who did this horrific act. The dog was laying, unable to move.

Upon seeing the dog, we assumed it was a female with the little top knot someone had styled. This dog was completely emaciated. You could feel her spine, hip bones, and ribs. She was about 4 lbs we estimated. With a little coaxing and her having every right to be angry from being beat, she was rather easy to handle.

We didn’t have our crate with us as we had our own 3 dogs in the car on the way home. But CPD found us a box to carry her in and well she couldn’t have looked cuter. We didn’t want to move her too much in case she had any broken bones and internal injuries. Thankfully Katie was able to get us in contact with Trio Animal Foundation and we had a place for her to go.

I had originally named her Camilla, then once settled in our car, realized she was a he! You really had to feel around as he was veryyyyyy matted and couldn’t tell what was up and what was down. I then named him, Carmelo.

We then made our way to the north side to drop off him to be taken straight to the ER vet. Trio named him Wynter. Trio had made their post and updated it as the night went on (go check out their Facebook page for updates and info on the amazing work they do). The bill at 9pm that night was up to $2,000 already. And besides the abuse he had went through that day, there was so much more. Wynter was very underweight at 5.5 lbs, had a necrotic wound around his anus, a bb pellet in his hip, his muscles have deteriorated, and needed to be on a special feeding regimen otherwise he could die from re-feeding syndrome. This torture didn’t happen overnight. He lived through hell for who knows how long.

Trio is asking for any donations for Wynter’s medical attention. You can donate at Please and thank you in advance!

Unfortunately, Wynter will not be the last animal that will be abused, tortured, or killed. But, we can continue to do them justice by reporting any animal abuse you come across to your local authorities. We are staying hopeful that CPD will find the person who did this, and Wynter will have his justice.



For anyone that thinks animals don’t feel pain, love, or heartbreak, I want you to know about this love story.


I remember a tragic headline in 2009, when Liam Neeson’s wife, Natasha Richardson passed away after a ski accident. And with this rescue, I have to honorably name the little Bichon mix, Liam and his beloved partner, best friend, sibling, mom?, Natasha (We have no clue if either is male or female, as they have a lot of mats covering them).

I had just enjoyed myself at my holiday work party downtown, when I was ready to head home. On the way home,,Jared showed me a post on FB about a deceased dog and another hanging out by its side. I said we have to go as it’s too damn cold to be out here and hell no was I going to let this dog freeze. We made our way to 28th and Kedzie.

When we got there, Chicago Animal Care and Control’s van was already there. Thankfully, another woman was there to cover up Natasha with her jacket. We don’t know what happened to Natasha, but she was frozen. My assumption is she was hit by a car, as the way she passed away around a metal pole, just seemed like so. We scanned her and there was no chip. She did, however, have a sweater with flowers on them. Liam was nowhere to be found and as we were about to search for him, he came running back full of piss and vinegar. AC had already packaged Natasha up and I suggested to put her back out because he was searching for her and Liam was telling us to back off.

Little Liam protected his Natasha, from anyone that came near. He, too, would have froze to death being so bonded to the other dog. He stayed out in the cold for god knows how long, grieving. He, however, was starving. He would place his head down and search for the food we offered to him. Not thinking we were going to go rescue a dog, we didn’t bring our trap with. But with some help from the neighbors making a wall so he wouldn’t run into the street, Joey of CACC blocking the other way, and allowing Jared and I to feed him and then catch him, Liam was secured!! They both were brought to CACC by AC.

Before we could secure him, I called him over when he was running around. He responded to my high pitch commands, which makes me know, Liam and Natasha have a home somewhere where they have been around humans who once took care of them.

That sweater will forever haunt me.

As for Liam, his owners never came for him and with some heads up to our fellow friends at Small Paws Rescue, Liam was rescued once his hold was up!



My alma mater said, “Hey, you are going to attend our university for 4 years and it will help with your career path.” Well today, UIC finally kept their word by allowing me to rescue a dog on their campus.

Our friend Cindy notified Jared and I about a small terrier type dog around the wooded area by UIC. After we dropped off our latest foster at SSHS, we headed downtown. He dropped me off in a very dense area where I could tell many homeless people have frequented with food wrappers, broken into hard-drives, shopping carts, and a a ton of garbage. I was scared, but determined to find this dog. I wondered how long he had been living here. I ended up in the East Campus parking lot and behind some parked cars, was this little turd.

He saw me and disappeared. I couldn’t find him, but realized he made his way through a small hole in a fence. Had he ran the other direction, he would have ran into oncoming traffic. I called Jared and with the help of an additional hand, he was caught! Frightened at first, but OMG this dog opened up into such a little ham within minutes of meeting our dogs. I have named him Sparky, which is UIC’s mascot for The Flames.

Sparky was fostered by us for the weekend, but we couldn't do much longer due to our work schedules. So our friend Cindy took him in and after two weeks of no owner contacting us, after all the efforts of flyering and posting online, Foster Pet Outreach took him under their wing! He will find his forever home soon!



A happy reunion on this snowy day is a great way to start off the weekend!

Chris Cozzi had let a bunch of us know that there was a long haired Chihuahua under a truck at her bf’s work in Blue Island. Jared Alexander and I were already on our way trying to help out 2 other dogs from separate neighborhoods. We wanted to help a third because YOLO. We made the 35 min trek and saw probably one of the cutest little rescues we have had the pleasure of helping with, huddled in the cold. Thinking this was going to be easy, the old gal was as saucy as ever. She was clearly scared and I’d be pissed too if I was out in the freaking cold.

We were able to secure her and she had no chip or collar. Thankfully, through a FB post, someone recognized her and Buttercup is now reunited with her momma.


Black dogs are beautiful in their own special way. I can see it. Can you?


On Friday, my friend Ali made me aware of a dog that she had been seeing for the past three days on her way to work on 110th and Stony Island. We couldn’t make it out this past weekend and so our fantastic, doesn’t-give-herself-enough-credit rescue friend, Toni was helping with a feeding station for 3 days. She kept seeing her and this dog stayed in the same area, just pacing back and forth. This little dog had a routine and came out around 9am and then around 3pm to eat. The workers at Canadian Pacific Railway were also helping to feed and keep an eye on her.

Today, was a glorious day when Toni, Jared, and I set out a humane trap for her when less than 10 minutes later, Toni spotted her. She was licking food off of the road, almost about to get hit by a truck. The truck luckily stopped and she went under the only hole in the fence, which leads to a golf course. We didn’t get deterred and we went back to the trap. We sat for a half hour and said let’s go see if she is back out. Yup. Searching for food.

The trucks were pushing her back to her safe spot and I knew I had to act quickly. I jumped out of the car and stayed right by the open fence. This dog had a family. Her eyes said, “Please save me, but I am not sure if I can trust you.” Well, after some baby talk, getting stuck in the mud (my shoes have seen better days), me falling in the mud backwards, and her trusty head into the slip lead, ta-dah!

I named her Capri because she’s a short little thing. Capri has warmed up very quickly. Dog and people friendly. She will get posted on LDI. No chip. No collar with tags. She’s acclimated as if she was on a staycation.....just out in the cold. Thanks to everyone involved!

Capri did her stray hold at Chicago Animal Care and Control and our wonderful friends at CPR Fund Rescue pulled her! Capri is in foster care!


Bullet holes. Open cut on her leg. Skin and bones. And yet, she is sweet as they come.


This is a shout out to TRIO Animal Foundation for taking in our baby girl.

Yesterday, we were tagged on a post about a dog that was running loose in Roseland. We were all busy but luckily Jared had already left work early (shocker) and was ale to get over there to help the good samaritan following her.

Little long legged Lab/Pit ran into the yard which was thought to be an abandoned house. Nope, just a house that needs some help. Jared unabashedly knocked on the door as he always does and a woman said that she is her dog. Some guy in the neighborhood just gave her the dog and that there are like 6 others running around. Jared asked why her dog was so skinny, and if she had sought out veterinary care. She said she feeds her, but she doesn't eat. At this point he knew that he was going to have to do something and offered to help get the dog seen by a vet. Because, after a little further investigation she wasn't emaciated because she doesn't eat. It's because their very plump other dog eats all the food. Shadow is a shy, scared baby and definitely can't defend herself from a larger dog.

The people also have another dog that just had pups but she was not convinced to spay the other dog (we offered to pay for the spay surgery but were again denied). We also had no idea where the pups were. Jared also noticed open wounds on the dog's skin and when asked, the owner said she was shot by a .22 or some gun. A police report was allegedly filed, but no medical attention was given when this happened in August. Are there pellets or bullets left in poor Shadow's body? The vet would have to find out.

As the owners did not seem to think her condition warranted immediate vet care, the good Samaritan asked if they would surrender her. She surrendered the dog to her. Thank God.

We brought her home and she looks like she could be the daughter to good ol' Left Eye Lopez (see his story below). She's not but she is just as adorable. With her now surrendered to us, the wonderful and always helpful Tammy got her into TRIO. Shadow, you will get past the life you had. You will find a new, loving family. You will get to enjoy life as a young pup should. You should never had been dealt anything less than what you deserve. If anyone would like to donate to the amazing TRIO Foundation, Shadow and all the other dogs in their care could really use your help. Thanks a bunch!



Hey Karma, you're looking out for us, right?

Sometimes "rescuing" a dog has different meanings. Yesterday, a semi truck driver had a seizure, where she needed to be transported to the hospital via ambulance. Through a few friends, we were made aware of a plea put out by some Chicago Police Officers on scene. They needed some extra help because the woman's dog, a female German Shepherd mix, was left in her truck. Luckily we weren't far away and jumped in the car, unsure of what we'd be able to provide. The Officers had put out a call to the local animal control, but it was unknown when they would be able to respond. The truck was blocking an intersection and could not be moved until the dog was safely out of the vehicle. Our friend who originally notified us (is also an over the road truck driver), reminded us that we needed to use additional caution because the dog considers the truck her home. We knew she could be extra fearful and protective and we didn't want to scare her.

Once on scene, I (Jared) hopped up to see the dog laying in the truck. The dog was unsure of what was happening, but I had her sniff me and showed that I meant her no harm. She willing jumped out with me and the emergency crews were able to move the truck.  Hard part was over.

So, next question, what happens to the dog (Zoey) while her owner is in the hospital and she's 1,200 miles from home and relatives? Well, normally the answer would be the local animal control facility. However that would mean her owner would have to pay impound fees and put little Zoey at risk of contracting CIV or other illnesses while there. Not an option. I asked the officers on scene if we could take a ride over to the hospital so that I could speak to Zoey's owner. They agreed and off we went with Zoey in my car along for the ride. I told the woman what options we currently had, and made an offer - Zoey stays with L.E.A.D. until she's out of the hospital and be fully taken care of, and she wouldn't have to pay a dime. I gave her my card and said you call me as soon as you are out and Zoey and I will be at the front door waiting for you. I said that given the crappy night she was already having, I couldn't bear to make it worse by sticking her co-pilot in the shelter.  She was very appreciative of the offer, and immediately agreed. Zoey was extremely friendly and super excited, as she wiggled her way right into our home. She didn't know what happened to her owner and was noticeably (and understandably) frightened. We (and our pack) kept her happy so she wouldn't be sad without her owner by her side.

Luckily the woman was only hospitalized a short while and the next day, I got a call saying, "Hello, I'm getting out now". We headed on over for a reunion. Thanks to some teamwork and a few Pupperonis, this story had a happy outcome for all involved. It was certainly a unique situation to be called to for us and we're so glad we could help.

This also serves as a reminder; if you are traveling with pets, do you have a plan in place? I certainly hope that if something ever happens to me or anyone else in this world, someone would make sure to lookout for our pets and family! And as another reminder, always lend a helping hand to those in need and as golden rule says: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

#Breaker1-9 #Smokey #PupperoniForTheWin



Who else doesn't mind rescuing dogs in Roseland on a Thursday night?


 Our friend Katie had notified Jared and I about a large Cane Corso hanging out by an abandoned house. We made our way over to 101 and Princeton. It's so damn dark out, it's hard to see if a dog could be there still. I mean the world is a huge un-fenced yard, so finding a black dog in the dark is a needle in a haystack.

We also heard of another Pit that's been out and about as well. We tried looking for that dog too because All Dogs Matter, lol. We eventually drove back to the boarded up house and Jared spots her. She retreats to the back of the house. But before we can go find her, a tiny Chihuahua/Miniature Pinscher mix comes out just strolling from across the street. I was able to catch the little girl with some hot dogs and my non-threatening appearance. We knocked on the neighbors doors and asked fellow neighbors if they know who owns her. No dice. So along with a Mastiff to catch, now we have a little squirt sitting in our car.

We go to the back of the house and Jared is searching in the darkness. But I knew, just like Rosebud (the Pit we caught in the garden center at Home Depot,), the dog found a quiet, underneath the house spot to stay low. Look at those eyes. The eyes that pierce your soul, thinking, "Did this dog live here and was she abandoned and look how smart she was to find a place no one would find her, away from the elements." We were able to slip the leashes over her head and she didn't want to budge. But with a few hot dog sniffs, she was eating out of my hand, ever so gently mind you. Someone taught her that. Someone loved her. I want to believe it.

Knowing CACC would be closed as it was now 10pm, we knew just where to bring them to relax. The Chicago Police 005th District Animal Safe Haven was built for this reason. So our little rescues of the night were given shelter, food/water, and a place to sleep away from whatever else could happen to them out on the streets. This morning they were brought to CACC. I named the little dog, Lexi and the omg gorgeous, Cane Corso, She-Ra (meaning Princess of Power). She-Ra is an amazing dog, so please watch how she socializes with me. God knows how long she was living out on her own. Lexi, cute and dainty as you are, you have some mighty smelly farts lol. ]

Luckily for both cuties, She-Ra was rescued by MCP Outreach Rescue and found her forever home. Lexi was rescued by New Leash on Life Rescue!



The weather could not have been any better to get these two to safety. You feel the sarcasm?

This brother duo had been out since last Friday and survived on the streets together. When someone again posted them on a FB group about how they were hiding under a truck, we had to go help scoop them up. When we arrived, Cindy was already there about to set her trap.

It was pouring out and Jared and I were both not dressed for the weather, so we sloshed through the puddles and mud. Luckily for us, the dogs secured themselves in a gated area with only a few holes they could get out of. We used garbage cans, dog kennels, and traps to keep them inside.

Now, the black and white dog, I call Ernesto, was so hungry, he walked right in the trap. He is a brave little fellow. The brown one, I call possum (you should have seen how he crawled under the truck), was more hesitant. Both starving, neither could resist the delicious spam and bbq sauce Cindy provided. Possum just was too smart and would eat the food but never went to far in the humane trap. It seemed like the longest hour of our lives, standing in the rain, waiting for Possum to just go in. Jared standing inside the gated area needed some extra help, so I climbed in. I don't climb fences and yes, I looked ridiculous whereas Jared I swear is part monkey. Jared was able to snappy snare him after I flushed him out from under the truck.

Together, all of us were able to secure both dogs and now they are at our home, resting. Shoes squishy with water and wet pants stuck to my legs, the dogs have a warm place to stay. These brothers definitely had an owner and are bonded. They don't leave each other's sides and look for each other on walks. They are sweet, gentle, but scared of course. Ernesto warmed up quickly with Possum still trying to figure us all out. I am also so thankful for my 3 dog pack because they have helped be the encouragement they haven't had in awhile. They don't fight over food and share with each other.

After fostering them for 5 days with no owners contacting us from the flyers, South Suburban Humane Society graciously opened their doors to these brothers. They did an additional stray hold there and were adopted very quickly and to the same home!!



Leaders are born, not made. And Jared, you are a leader.

Without the notification about a dog that had been in the same spot for a few days, we don't know what could have happened to this sweet gal, I named Daisy (because she sat in the bushes with daisies everywhere). Someone had posted that she was abandoned and they couldn't get near her because she was growling. Although food and water were left out for her, it was still incredibly hot out for this dog. We both like most people were at work, but hoped someone could get her because we couldn't. Hours ticked by and this sweetie stayed put. We were unsure if she was chained, but 5p came and Jared clocked out and made the trek to the Southside to rescue her.

Even though he hates cameras, he decided to post a  FB Live video to show everyone how docile and good natured Daisy was before her rescue. With a few treat tosses and some patience, Daisy was rescued! She wasn't aggressive, but just a scared dog. She also wasn't tied down, but stayed put. Dogs who generally are abandoned by their owners stay put in the same area. She also might have been stolen and then dumped. We can assume a lot and that's why she needed a legal stray hold, which she received at Chicago Animal Care and Control.

Fantastic news! Her journey does not end at CACC. CPR Fund Rescue has pulled sweet ol' Daisy and now she is in foster care! Yay Daisy!



Labor Day weekend = 5 Pittie Witties in need of being rescued from off the streets. 1 RTO, 3 at CACC waiting for rescue, 1 currently being adorable at our house.

Meet Benjamin Button. We were just done with a bbq and on our way home. But before we could do that, we are notified about a black and white Pit running around only a few miles from our location. Jared and I figured we go look just in case even though the last sightings were over an hour ago. I happened to see a man walking his Poodle and a rambunctious dog following him without a leash. I said, "hey, I bet that dog isn't his because it just doesn't look like he knows this dog and it's bothering him on his walk (his dog had a collar, tag, harness, and leash on, so Thank God)."

We followed him down the bike path and asked if that was his dog and he said no. I was right! Easiest catch ever as this dog loves people and other puppers. And practically walked into our slip lead. We told the original person who posted about him and she said that he had been out the night before too. Wonderful....

He was found on 109th and Avenue B and so far no one recognized him. No chip, not neutered, no collar with tags. He is about 4-5 months old and has the most soulful eyes. He looks older and bigger in his pictures, hence his name. But he's all pup and all cute. And his coat is actually charcoal and not black. He was posted on LDI and flyers were posted. Those eyes though!

After a couple days on our couch, South Suburban Humane Society said yes to the Benjamin! He was then neutered, vaccinated, and adopted by a loving family!



A sweet creature Left Eye Lopez is!

This black beauty was wandering around the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago and had been taking solace at a construction site for a few days. A good samaritan kept spotting him and asked for some help to try and get him to safety. Our friends Michelle P and Frank went out and tried to trap him. Then the next day, Jared and I went out and tried to find him, but never saw him when everyone else did. And him being so dark, we couldn't see him in the night. We left food in hopes he wouldn't go hungry another night.

Then yesterday, we went back but construction workers were still working on the site. He has been sleeping by the dumpster and is fine when the workers are around. But, we couldn't set the trap until they were done for the day. We left, came back an hour and half later, set the trap, and then after 3 hours of waiting and Lefty sleeping in the house like he didn't give a F$@&!, he finally went in! Apparently, fresh roasted chicken didn't spark his interest until hours later. I mean I'd be interested in good, smelling food.

So he camped out with us for the night. No chip, no collar or tags. We will fight for him at CACC to get rescue and get the word out about him. His eye needs medical attention, which CACC will look into. Left Eye Lopez will hopefully just be Lopez once his eye is healed 😊.

UPDATE: Lopez was taken in by CPR Fund Rescue and is currently in a foster home!


Calling all my Southside friends, does anyone recognize this pint sized Shepherd mix?

zorba trap.jpg

Alexis and Michelle P searched for her in the morning but she was nowhere to be found in Bridgeport. It was around 6:30pm and she was spotted in a lot at 35th and Halsted, just chilling. While we were trying to trap a momma cat (we don't do cats, but it was exigent circumstances as noted below), Jared and I responded as we were close to where she was hanging out.

Some nice neighbors kept an eye on her and then we set the trap. She was super hungry, having been out for however long. Took less than 2 minutes for her to be trapped! She is a sweet little thing and she grabbed the attention of all the fellow police officers.

She had no chip, is posted on LDI, the 009th district was given contact info for the neighbor who offered to hold onto her, as well as flyers are being hung. I'd like to name her Zorba, which means Live Each Day. Without the efforts of concerned neighbors and some amazing rescue people, Zorba gets to see another day, safe and off the streets.

UPDATE: After many efforts to find her owners, 4 months later, Zorba was adopted by the foster's friends.


"Wait, I thought you guys only rescue dogs?"


That may be very true and our usual, but an animal in need, is an animal in need. It doesn't matter if your husband is deathly allergic to kitties and I have to constantly remind him to not rub his eyes after handling cats. He just won't let an animal suffer no matter how dangerous the neighborhood is.

When we got notification about a momma cat and her kittens, who were hiding in the bushes of one of the housing projects, Jared got out of work early to assist. He was able to wrangle the 5 sweethearts easily. They are two weeks old according to the neighborhood kids, so their eyes aren't open yet. While our trap was borrowed to help catch another cat stuck in a garage over the weekend, we borrowed Katie's. Since she has WAY more experience, she suggested we caboose the crate of babies to the trap, so that mom cat could walk in the trap and be secure.

I came by for the stakeout an hour later to which the neighborhood kid asked Jared if I was his daughter. Ha! Unfortunately, due to the ice cream truck and all the kids who wanted to help rescue the cat, momma was too scared to come back to her babies. Jared would tell them to leave the trap alone over and over. They kept being so curious that they kept peering into our car windows thinking we had something. Hey kids, if you want some wet cat food or some slip leads, well that's all you are going to get.

We have the help of the security guards that are going to help us watch the trap for mom while the kids are not out tonight and for how ever long it takes to get the mom. We left food for her and hope she gets enough courage to go in the trap. I know the kids mean no harm and were very curious about the kittens, but she is a young mom and is just really scared.

That being said, we left with 5 ragamuffins who are being bottle fed by Daisy. I named them after different types of trees because of the bushes they were found in. Say hello to Evergreen, Ash, Willow, Maple, and Oak. So it's not a box of puppies, as I've always imagined finding one day, but these little dudes/dudettes will do!

All kitties were adopted through another rescue once they were old enough to go home!


Thanks to a caring individual, this grandpa is now safe.


Yesterday, a woman asked for help for this big boy. Apparently, he had been out wandering the neighborhood for awhile and she thought he got hit by a car, since he was limping. The house, where the dog kept going back to, the man who "watched" over the dog for a few weeks said the dog should be put down because he is 18 yrs old. Um, how about no.

So Jared immediately jumped into his car and went to go rescue this old man in Pilsen. Jared has the gift of gab to be able to knock on doors and start random conversations, which he needs for his day job. He spoke to the man who said his owners were no longer here. He also said his name is "Biggie" which we found to be hilarious. Well since he just wanted the dog put down, Jared wanted more info. he asked how he acquired the dog. He said the original owners were deported and he took the of in off the street (we still have no idea if that story was a load of crap or not). So, since the guy just wanted the dog gone, and our motto of get dogs to safety, Jared put him in the car with zero plan for where he'd be going. The first step was to scan him for a chip, since we still didn't know whether or not he had an owner actively looking for him.

Luckily, he is chipped (unregistered) to The Anti-Cruelty Society, where we found out he is a mere 11.5 years old and was adopted in 2006. As we always do with found dogs that have chips implanted at a shelter/rescue, we contacted Anti who will always stand behind their dogs. They said bring him on over, which we did. Anti and they will do their best to find his owners and hope he wasn't given away/stolen/bounced around. He is a sweet old soul with the drool and bumps to prove it. If anyone recognizes this frosty face, he was wandering around 19th and Ashland.


So here's the little story of the pretty girl rescued from the streets yesterday.


We will do whatever we can to get her out of CACC. Katie contacted a few of us asking if anyone was around because there was a dog hiding in a lot in-between some cars. After we got back from walking our newest foster (her story comes tomorrow), we headed on over to Englewood.

We spotted her after a minute of looking and patiently waited for her to settle into her spot. We set the trap and waited for her to smell the food. Jared had asked the locals if anyone recognized her. They all said the same thing, "Man, that dog got no owner!" Thanks for the help guys lol.

Now, she is an incredibly smart cookie, probably has been out for quite some time judging by the street awareness. She watched as we drove far enough away from her. She watched every fly that came near her. She made sure to keep her back to the wall to stay alert in case someone came up to her. But what made her even more special was she knew not going in the trap was the goal. She walked over to the food and pulled the blanket of food off through the trap! A woman had run past and she cowered, instead of going into fight or flight mode. When I saw that I felt her pain. I prayed we would rescue her today because no dog deserves to have to live in fear and on their own.

She eventually ate all the food and walked back to the lot of cars.

There were two holes through a fence she could have escaped from, but thanks to having a few extra bodies used as makeshift fencing (thanks to CPD for the assist)  we all blocked them so she couldn't get out. Caught!

Safe from the streets, she was taken to CACC, where she will get the proper medical care, food, and shelter. It looks like she had pups at some point. We will never know. She can hopefully get a chance to sleep without keeping an eye open. If no owner comes in the next three days, we hope to get her pulled by a rescue. I can tell with a little time and patience, she will get her second chance. Never underestimate a dog's ability to survive. She is a true warrior. I'd like to name her Emma, because she deserves a soft, sweet name to go with her beautiful smile.

UPDATE: Emma was rescued by Furrever Friends and Kitten Rescue!


"It was worth it to lose my lunch to rescue him." ~ Jared

jheri curl_2.jpg

Jared was on his way to get food in Indiana when he came across this looker. While people were playing baseball, he called out to everyone asking if this was their dog. They all said no and that he had just been running around all day. While no one else was interested in helping the dog, Jared of course had to help.

He didn't have any food except the tacos he just bought. The dog would eat out of his hand but would scurry away if you tried to put a leash on him. Hoping he wouldn't run off and with no more enticing food left, he asked if he could buy some hotdogs from the people barbecuing. Gratefully, they just gave him some without question. Still with no help in sight, he coaxed him more and more until the dog didn't notice the leash around his neck. Now a hungry Jared was a happy Jared because he knew this dog was safe.

As soon as he brought him home, I noticed his curly hair on his back and well, folks, his name is Jheri Curl. Upon petting him, there were bumps all over. Now for the quite gross but very realistic truth, this dog had to be out for quite some time because he is covered in ticks! We took him to the vet and had to sedate and overnight board him. When the vet called us, it took 3 vet techs over 3 hours to pull out over 100 ticks (they lost count). Thankfully, he does not have any tick-borne diseases!

No chip, no collar. Jheri Curl is posted on LDI. He is an 11 month old Flat Coated Retriever and I know this dog has an owner somewhere.

Oh and we have a GoFundMe page set up for the large vet bill, but if anyone wants to also make a donation to Jared's lunch fund, I'm sure he'd appreciate it. Hah!

Jheri Curl was taken in by South Suburban Humane Society and adopted!


I have always seen on tv when animals randomly walk into a store and leave like a boss, but never did I expect that to happen here in the Loop.


Enter this grey beauty. She found herself a warm, cozy spot in Home Depot's Garden Center at 9:30p. We had to find her before they closed in a half hour. She didn't make a peep and we searched for her for 45 mins. I suggested, if I was a cold dog, I'd be snuggled under the Christmas trees. Low and behold, she found a dark corner to hide. We walked past her 9 times!

And now here she is, after 3 days, she finally has come out of her shell. All it takes is patience and letting a scared dog come to you. Never pushing anything on her. As you can see, I can't even take the leash off her. She takes to her crate as her safe place and clearly likes women over men. I named her Rosebud since she was found in the flower section and is stained with red paint.

No chip, no calls from an owner (since she is on LDI), no collar. She will stay with us until the holidays are over, but we'd need to find rescue for her asap.

We eventually brought Ms. Rosebud to South Suburban Humane Society.