Forty years ago, a group of people in Oak Park opened their homes to stray dogs and cats. Today, the Animal Care League operates a 9,000-square-foot shelter that houses 50 dogs, 100 cats and various other animals with 24 staff members and more than 200 volunteers.
As the organization celebrates its 40th anniversary, staff members continue to look for ways to grow.
"The organization needs to grow because the number of animals needing help is higher than we can meet," Executive Director Tom Van Winkle said. "We want to be able to help all homeless animals with a safe place until they get a home. Until we can take every single one of them in, we need to do more."
Last year, the Animal Care League found new homes for 779 animals and returned 152 lost animals to their owners.