Our volunteers, supporters, community partners, and professional colleagues come from a wide area – one that happily seems to grow wider with each year. While we try to say "Thank you" with each collaboration and success, sometimes it's best to share with you all that we've accomplished. Some people like the shelter stories, some adoption photos. Many of you comment on our Facebook posts and "Like" us when we share good news. For our end-of-the year round up, we want to illustrate how 'the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.' Here are a few numbers…
VOLUNTEERS: More than 11, 000 volunteer hours were spent supporting the shelter in 2012. This total represents an array of assistance, including our 2nd Chance and Economy shops, fostering ACL animals, planning and helping with fundraising events, transporting animals.
ADOPTIONS: The best news of 2012 is that we were successful in finding forever homes for more than 750 animals this year (401 dogs; 319 cats, 11 bunnies and more than a dozen other small animals, including a chicken)!
OFFSITE ADOPTIONS: 2012 marked the first time ACL has had two offsite adoption counselors for weekend events. And even with the most basic math, you'd expect our numbers to just double. But our news is even better than that! We added events at Petco locations in River Forest, North Riverside, and Hodkins. We also have a wonderful partnership with Oak Park Natural Pet and Fish (Harlem Avenue & Madison St.). We even managed to do so many multiple events on the same day that we wished we could have cloned ourselves. The final numbers aren't in but we attended over 175 events and off-site adoptions exceeded last year's number.
FELINE FOSTER CARE: This was a very "Meow-y Christmas!" This season we had 150 kittens in our program and six mother cats. That ends up being 14 more kittens than last year. It also means more lives saved, more adoptions, and more happy endings.
CANINE FOSTER CARE: Our canine foster care program keeps expanding to serve more dogs, regardless of age and situation. But certainly the highlight of 2012 was the October arrival of 41 dogs from Oklahoma that needed immediate foster care. On a cold Saturday morning dozens of people lined the sidewalks of ACL waiting to pick up "their dog" – not knowing much about the new foster they would be responsible for. That venture is truly a testament to the love and support we all share for animals.
RETURN TO OWNER: This year we reunited 150 cats and dogs that were found on the streets, lost, and alone.
IT ALL ADDS UP TO THIS: We hope you'll take some time as you say goodbye to 2012 to recognize what a vital part of our ever-expanding, animal-loving community you are. If nothing else, the next time you can't fall asleep, maybe having these numbers in your head will make for a restful and peaceful night.
Happy New Year!