On March 6th, received a call from an open access shelter about an 8 week old puppy that had just been brought in with deformities of her hind legs. Upon meeting the pup, we couldn’t help but notice her face resembled that of an opossum… thus, earning herself the name Possum. As we stood and watched Possum run around the medical room at the shelter, our worries started to subside as we realized she was not in pain. On the contrary, she was happy as could be and was none the wiser that her run was more of a hop. Between her puppy breath, fuzzy face and piercing blue eyes, we just couldn’t leave her behind.

After speaking with Possum’s primary vet, radiologist and orthopedic surgeon, it was determined that Possum had reverse tibial abnormalities in both rear legs. Meaning, her long bones in her rear legs were essentially backwards. Radiology thinks it is possible that Possum is a true dwarf, which is a congenital issue that will keep her small in size. Orthopedics thinks that her bones are already severely affected by their abnormalities so any surgical interventions would likely not repair the deformities. The good news is that x-rays of Possum’s hips and spine look great. In addition to all of this, Possum back paws came with a few extra toes… with differently abled legs came differently abled paws. Since they are not causing her any discomfort, Possum’s extra digits will be left alone.

After taking everything into consideration, it was decided that the best option for Possum was to find her a forever home that could keep monitoring her growth and be willing to provide her specialized care are she continues to grow. We believe is that physical therapy, hydrotherapy, massage and chiropractic care will help Possum build up her core strength and continue to provide support to her joints, muscles and limbs. This specialized care can also help Possum improve her balance and coordination. Possum was one of the lucky ones and received countless adoption applications. Even though all of them were great, and would have made for fantastic homes, we had to go with our #1 pick… it would be one of the vets from Possum’s medical team.

Possum’s mom is her vet and her dad is a physical therapist… it will be the perfect fit for what she needs. This special pup will have access to every treatment she may ever need and her mom and dad will love her unconditionally… 7 toes and all. TAF would like to thank Delavan Lakes Veterinary Clinic for taking in our sweet puppy and her new mom and dad for providing her with a happily ever after! We cannot wait to receive updates on her progress and have her come back to visit. Even though she is now going to be living in Wisconsin, she will always be a city girl.



Irish’s new dad is a dear friend of TAF and has not only supported our cause but also even adopted a senior Boxer from us in Spring 2017. This past fall when Rudy passed away, Rich was heartbroken. Even though he knew that Rudy had health issues and was in the late stages of his twilight years, Rich brought Rudy into his home and loved him unconditionally.  

When TAF posted Irish’s photo album this past week, Rich reached out to us and wanted to help. Yesterday morning, we drove out to the suburbs to introduce Irish to Rich and her future fur brother Jake. 

When Jake greeted Irish at our car, it was love at first sight. There were a lot of Boxer butt wiggles and kisses. The two pups immediately started playing and that pretty much sealed the deal… Irish had just picked her forever home.

Thank you to Rich for always stepping up when it is needed the most. Your selfless act of kindness has just made Irish the luckiest girl in the world… even better, it happened on St. Patrick’s Day


Love is Patient. Love is Kind. Love Never Gives Up.

When TAF agreed to take Champ into our program, we had never met him but were told that he was a mean little senior Chihuahua. Knowing that TAF’s therapy dogs have had great success in helping to change the lives of some really emotionally challenged pups, we were up for the challenge. When we arrived to pick Champ up, we handed our travel crate over the counter and never actually saw him. All we could hear was what sounded like a cougar trying to be put in a carrier. In fact, a towel needed to be thrown over Champ just so they could safely pick him up. Once in our care, we realized that Champ was way more than we bargained for and some serious regret started to set in. Regardless, we worked to find out what made Champ tick and why his eyes were filled with so much sadness, defiance and fear.

Champ went into a foster home with three of TAF’s therapy dogs. Right off the bat, we learned that Champ was quick to lash out if he was frightened or didn’t get his way. He was not afraid to use his mouth or look you straight in the eye like a worthy opponent in a boxing ring. It was obvious that when his owner gave him up, they took a piece of him with them and he was now emotionally broken. For the next month, TAF worked on boundaries and positive reinforcement with Champ. Our therapy dogs showed him that good behavior would earn him treats and praise. Bad behavior would be met with a timeout and no treats. If Champ started to have a tantrum, we would immediately ignore him and give a treat to the dogs that were behaving appropriately. Once Champ learned that bad behavior would get him nowhere, he came over to the good side and everything changed for him. Even though we really wanted to find a home for Champ, we were resigned to the fact that he might be a lifer with us. Most people do not want to adopt a senior dog that comes with a list of directions and rules to keep him honest.

Just when we thought nobody wanted Champ, an adoption application came in that was an answer to a prayer. Absolutely every response on the application was perfect and it was obvious that the applicant had a heart of gold. Even though Champ was a handful, we would never adopt him out to a home that we weren’t 100% comfortable with… for both Champ and the potential adopter’s sake. Since Champ’s personality was challenging, we drove him out to his potential adopter’s home. Upon meeting the woman, Champ snarled at her and snapped at her dog. As embarrassing as this was, the woman already knew that Champ would act this way, as we had been corresponding daily in preparation for the visit. Once inside, Champ was quite loving and adorable with his foster mom. We were hoping that this would be the case so that his potential mom would see that there was a super loving pup under all of that gruff. The longer that we all sat together, the more Champ ventured out and officially introduced himself to the cat, dog and his future mom. Champ did not let the woman pet him at first. Instead, he would lean his body up against her foot and use her foot to rub his chest… it would be this action that won over his future mom. She saw that he wanted affection so bad but just wasn’t capable yet… he just needed a little more time to be sure. With a list of special Champ directions and rules to live by, we decided that Champ would do a trial week with his future mom. We talked multiple times throughout the day and answered any questions about behavioral situations that came up.

Before long, Champ’s potential mom became his forever mom. With that, we are thrilled to announce that Champ has found his forever home with one of the most selfless, patient and understanding people to grace this earth. Champ’s new mom already adores him and realizes that he is very special in his own way. She is accepting that he is 9(+) years old and that he may entering his twilight years. The amount of love that she has for Champ outweighs anything else. We absolutely couldn’t have asked for a happier beginning for Champ. *TAF has been doing Champ’s vetting in stages. Because of this, we will continue to cover Champ’s medical bills until all of his medical care is completed. So far, he has been microchipped and had a full senior blood panel. Next he will have a dental and, while under sedation, a more in depth medical exam. If any medical issues arise at that time, they will be taken care of.


With A Little Help From His Friends, A Broken Dog Finds Happiness…

On December 13th, TAF posted a video of one of the most terrified dogs that we have ever seen at an open access shelter. Numbers was plastered to the ground, shaking in fear and completely shutting down. We had to carry him out to the car, as he was so petrified he wouldn't walk.

For the next few months, Numbers worked hard on learning to trust people and just enjoy life as ever dog should.With the help of TAF’s therapy dog Antler, our brave boy was able to let down his guard and welcome love back into his heart.

With that being said, we are so happy to announce that Numbers has found his forever home! No more hectic city life for Numbers… he is leaving for Chicago and moving to a quiet suburb of Indiana. Numbers will now have his own fenced in backyard and a mom and dad to spoil him rotten. If that beautiful smile on his face says anything… Numbers knows that he is safe, loved and just got his second chance at a new life.


On 12/22/17, the Chicago Police Department received a call from a 911 Dispatcher that a small dog was being repeatedly hit with a garbage can and kicked on the side of the road. When the police arrived they found an emaciated dog limp and barely moving. Even though it was a gang infested area, after bringing her kids home to safety, the 911 caller came back to check on Wynter… she was truly his hero. When responding police officers arrived (from the 09th District), the man that had been beating Wynter was already gone. The officers would wait until fellow rescuers, Jarod & Michelle, could pick Wynter up and bring him to us.

Once at the ER Vet, Wynter was rushed to the back and started receiving life saving care. In Wynter’s case, it was hard to know where to begin. Between his head trauma, emaciated state and the trauma around and in his anus, he was literally in pain from head to toe. In fact, the pain was almost too much for him to bear at times. His medical team would have to give him breaks so that his system would not shut down from the stress. At the conclusion of his medical testing, Wynter weighed in at around 5 pounds. This was half of his ideal weight, which should have been over 10 pounds. After having his fur clipped away, you could see that Wynter’s muscles had wasted away from his bones. It was a miracle that his internal organs were still functioning. Wynter’s initial neurological exam was satisfactory and it was believed that he would not have any long-term damage. Horribly, it was determined that the tissue around Wynter’s rectal area was necrotic (dead) and that he had been sodomized. X-rays would go on to show that he even had a bb pellet in his hip.

This is the point where Wynter’s life turned around… After hospitalization, Wynter went into a foster home for continued medical and psychological care. With the help of generous donors, TAF was able to provide Wynter not only with the best medical care but continued care at his foster home… people from around the country, and world, sent Wynter gifts in hopes of easing his pain. In the beginning, to prevent re-feeding syndrome, Wynter was fed 6 small meals a day. This allowed his system to slowly adjust to eating food, again. In addition to this, Wynter was taking some pretty serious medication to ease his pain, heal his bottom and fight off infection. After weeks of extremely thorough medical care, Wynter’s health finally turned around and he made a full recovery. He even went on to gain 6 pounds!

When it came to Wynter’s emotional healing, TAF’s therapy dogs played a big part in that. Once in the company of Antler, Hazel Grace and Bentley, Wynter started to lighten up and trust a little bit more. Before long, Wynter was hanging out with his new buddies and even helped out with two new foster dogs that came to stay… Wynter had already started to pay it forward.


When the time came for Wynter to be adopted, we knew that he had some specific needs that would need to be met. Luckily, since so many caring people submitted adoption applications for Wynter, we were able to choose from a variety of amazing homes. There was one, however, that would end up being the perfect fit. When Wynter first met his future family, we knew that he would be a little nervous and fearful and not show well. Up until then, his world had revolved around his foster mom. However, with his foster mom in the room, we knew that Wynter’s future family could see just how loving and sweet Wynter was with her. For extra emotional backup, Wynter brought his 3 favorite stuffed animals. If they played catch with him, it was a done deal.

With that, we are officially announcing that Wynter has been adopted!

Wynter now lives in a quiet suburb of Chicago where he can go for walks or just play in the yard. He already has claimed a spot in his mom and dad’s bed and wakes them up at 5:30am to play. Wynter’s parents are so head over heals for him and they continue to check in with updates. They say that Wynter is thriving, relaxed and even sits with the grandkids when they do their homework. As in his foster home, Wynter’s favorite thing is the play catch. If you didn’t know better, you would think he was part lab… he could go for hours. Luckily for Wynter, the grandkids are perfect playmates! As with all abuse cases, Wynter’s new mom and dad know that Wynter still has some emotional hang-ups that he may never get over. They are committed to providing Wynter an environment where he will always feel safe, loved and protected… Wynter can finally take a deep breath and know that he is home. TAF would like to thank everyone that help put our little guy back together, again. From donations to thoughts and prayers, you made his will to live possible.


Once dumped at the shelter and paralyzed with fear, Shorty came out of his shell and was adopted!





On December 12th, TAF was contacted by an open access shelter about an emaciated Shih Tzu that had been hit by a car. Upon bringing Greenly to the ER Vet, x-rays showed that she had multiple pelvic fractures and soft tissue damage.

By her 2nd week of hospitalization, Greenly had actually lost a pound. Since she had been on a high caloric diet, this was quite alarming. For an emaciated dog, losing a pound is a pretty big deal. Greenly’s vet performed an ultrasound to make sure there wasn't something more significant going on in her digestive tract, and thankfully nothing unusual was detected. However, her intestines were much thicker than normal. This was a potential indicator of IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) or other malabsorption disorders. Greenly was started on a different diet and given a round of antibiotics. Within 2 weeks two weeks of her new diet, Greenly was already up 1.5 pounds and was doing great. When it came to Greenly’s teeth, they looked pretty out of sorts as her bottom front teeth angled out of her mouth. We were so worried that they would need to be pulled but x-rays would show that there was no overcrowding or other concerns under her gumline. They simply needed to be cleaned and she was good to go.

After 6 weeks of hospitalization Greenly was finally able to leave the vet and went into a foster home. Even though people were interested in adopting Greenly, she was a fear biter and needed some emotional rehabilitation. After learning Greenly’s triggers, we knew we had to place her in a home that would be understanding of her limitations and be willing to work with her.

Luckily, there was the perfect home waiting for her. The home was a loving home that had adopted an injured and emotionally scarred dog from TAF years prior. Many of you might remember Edward. Edward was found with his front paw smashed and split open. He tail was also broken. After going in for emergency surgery, Edward’s leg and tail needed to be amputated. Edward’s physical recovery was challenging but his emotional recovery was far worse. It would take weeks of working with TAF’s therapy dogs to improve his behavior. Because we suspected there was a chance of him being a fear biter, we knew with the right family had to be found. When the time came for Greenly to meet her future mom, she was not on her best behavior. When Greenly is uncertain of people, she is a fear biter. As you can imagine, this does not make a good first impression. However, we knew that if Greenly’s future mom could observe how she acted with her foster mom, it just might work… and it did. With that being said, we are so happy to announce that Greenly has officially been adopted!

Greenly’s new mom is amazing and is 100% on board with taking it slow with Greenly and providing her with a special prescription diet for here IBD. Better yet, Greenly now has a new brother and the two should help each other boost their confidence. These two are both so lucky to have a mom who is so committed to not setting them up to fail and for loving them unconditionally. She is truly a wonderful woman. TAF would like to thank everybody that helped to sponsor Greenly’s medical bills. Without you, we couldn’t have saved her and given Greenly a second chance at a new life.



When TAF first came across Auden, he was in a cage at an open access shelter. He was sad, scared and nervous for people to handle him.

After weeks of working with Auden, one day he just decided to smile. I guess he finally decided that we were pretty cool and meant him no harm… our senior boy finally found his happy.

With that, we thrilled to announce that Auden has found his forever home! Auden’s new family knew that they could provide him with everything that he could possibly need in his senior years and they are absolutely adore him! Any family that adopts a senior dog is pretty awesome in our book. Have a wonderful life Auden!


We have wonderful news... after hospitalization and weeks of medical care, Dearly has found her forever home!!!

When TAF first met Dearly, we were told that she was pregnant and we knew that we needed to get her out of the open access shelter. Our first priority was to get Dearly medical care for a nasty upper respiratory infection. Dearly was hospitalized to receive breathing treatments, fluids and antibiotics. When Dearly was feeling better, an ultrasound was performed to see how big her babies were getting. Sadly, the pregnancy was not viable, likely from the stress of being at the shelter and also from getting sick.

Once out of the hospital, Dearly perked up and her smile finally shined through.

This past weekend, Dearly went to visit her future forever home and it was love at first sight. Dearly's new mom and dad fell head over heals for her, as she did for them. Dearly will never be behind bars at an open access shelter again and will only know love the rest of her life. She has received her second chance. A big thank you to everyone that helped to sponsor Dearly's medical care!



On November 6th, TAF received a call from the 012th District of the Chicago Police Department after an emaciated senior Chihuahua was found near death in a garbage can. It was only 45 degrees outside and this 18 year old had barely any fur. With garbage stuck to her bare skin she was barely moving and her body was starting to shut down.Maxine needed emergency medical treatment and the CPD did everything that they could to save her. In particular, Lt. Mike Rigoli, Sgt. Menoni and Police Officer Laura Agin went above and beyond to help Maxine. When TAF picked Maxine up from the police station, she was lifeless. We took her straight to the ER Vet where she was rushed to the back and worked on immediately.

Through the almost 2 months of recovery, Maxine stopped eating at one point, was vomiting and became lethargic. As it turned out, the 6 remaining teeth in the back of her mouth had become so infected that her cheeks actually started to puff out. Even though she was still extremely underweight, and suffering from a secondary skin infection and yeast overgrowth, Maxine needed to go in for emergency surgery.

With the fighting spirit of a little warrior, Maxine persevered and beat all of the odds. Our 18 year old did not give up and she deserves a standing ovation for that. From the day she was found, nothing was going to take her down… not even her abuser.

In the true spirit of Christmas, a wonderful woman asked if she could be Maxine’s mom… for however long that might be. Maxine’s future mom understood that she most assuredly would have accidents in the house, not be a big fan of some people and have a mighty attitude. With all of this knowledge, this wonderful woman said that she would be honored to be Maxine’s mom. We honestly couldn’t have asked for a more loving and caring home for Maxine’s twilight years. This will be the best Christmas ever for our 5.6 pound miracle and boy does she deserves it… she truly will have a wonderful life.