Although LEAD was officially incorporated in 2017, the story leading up to it dates back several years prior.

Co-Founders Michelle and Jared started with helping stray and abandoned dogs living on the streets of Chicago in 2014. It began very small and has grown through an ever-expanding network of caring citizens with similar skills and beliefs, licensed rescues, police officers, firefighters, veterinarians, and friends. Without these people (you know who you are) none of this would be possible. Our team will go to any neighborhood,  at any time of the day to help dogs out in the elements. Up until now we have had to rely on other rescues to pick up where we had to leave off. All of our current stories revolve around dogs returned to their owners, taken to animal control for their legal stray hold, or taken in by our awesome friends that run rescue organizations. There has been no shortage of odd, crazy, and often sad situations that we have been able to help with over the years, and we foresee our ability to help with those situations expanding rapidly. Check out our Rescue Stories tab to keep up to date with everything.

The original goal has remained the same over the years, GET DOGS TO SAFETY AND OUT OF DANGEROUS SITUATIONS. But, without the ability to control the outcomes for dogs caught on the streets and taken to the open-access shelters, we felt that we could ultimately do even more. When we caught a dog(s), it would be immediately assessed for any type of owner identification: scanned for a microchip, posted on the awesome LOST DOGS ILLINOIS website, networked on social media, and flyers hung to hopefully locate the rightful owner of the dog. Remember, every dog that goes back to their loving family clears up kennel space at the local animal control, just the same as a dog being transferred to a rescue.

Reuniting lost dogs with their families and saving them from the streets is our game. So, what happens to the dogs we would bring into animal control that didn't have an owner actively searching for their dog and the ability to reclaim them in the 3-day (for Chicago) "stray hold" window at an open-access shelter? First off, we pleaded. We posted. We called. We commented. Thankfully these amazing rescue organizations accommodated our constant pleas and almost, if not ALL of our dogs have been adopted or are in foster homes!

Our Mission

LEAD (Love Everything About Dogs) is a volunteer-run, non-profit 501(c)(3) dog rescue devoted to helping animals in need and lowering the euthanasia rates for Chicago area open-access shelters.

Our mission is to provide care for rescue dogs that don't have a place to call home. We rehabilitate, foster, and provide a loving environment to any dog that needs us until a suitable adoptive home is found.