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By Anna Lothson
It took just five days for the Animal Care League in Oak Park to find homes for a litter of pets. Fifteen dogs, four cats, and one bunny were part of the organization's most recent adoption project in collaboration with the Petco Foundation, the Tails Humane Society, and an animal adoption shelter in rural Oklahoma.
Animal Care League Executive Director Tom Van Winkle said the project involved rescuing animals from an extremely rural area in Oklahoma, which lacks funding for its facilities. One place, he explained, had more than 170 dogs; another small property housed 33 dogs.
The Oak Park team and the Oklahoma group with which they have forged a relationship spent three days evaluating the situation, Van Winkle said. Plans to help on a more periodic basis are in the works.
From Oklahoma, 62 dogs were brought north for the adoption event. Some remain in clinics due to health issues while others are in foster homes.
"They are working their way out of the system," Van Winkle said. The Animal Care League isn't seeing much down time. Six more dogs, stuck in a hoarding situation, were brought in last week from Kankakee.
"Right now, we're pretty full," said Van Winkle, noting that their vision for the Animal Care League includes being a go-to place for these types of disasters and emergencies once the group gets bigger and better known.
"It's been a few years in the working, but we're trying to build that name," he said.
To see animals available, stop by 1011 Garfield St., call 708-848-8155 or visit animalcareleague.org.