With a Broken Jaw & Maggots, Starla’s Spirit To Survive Prevailed... Back in August, Starla was brought into an open access shelter with maggot filled wounds down her neck and upper back. It would soon be discovered that her jaw was also broken in multiple areas and a section of the bone was protruding through her cheek. When TAF was contacted about Starla, she had already started extensive medical care to remove the necrotic tissue on her back/neck. Once her dead tissue was cut away, Starla needed to have her skin stapled back together. It was at this point that TAF was contacted about addressing Starla’s broken jaw. The shelter had taken her recovery as far as they could and knew that we could take Starla to the next level of care.

By the time we took Starla to the ER Vet, a Dental Specialist was waiting to give directions to prepare her for surgery. Once given IV antibiotics, pain medication and supportive care, Starla was ready for an extensive surgery to save her life. When all was said and done, a small section of Starla’s shattered jaw was removed and the side of her cheek was repaired. In less than 24 hours, Starla was up and eating on her own. Starla split her recovery up in two different foster homes. She started off with the TAF therapy dogs and then went to The Moon Dog Farm were she was given some extra attention. Due to an emergency situation on our end, we needed The Moon Dog Farms help and they had our back. This is an amazing group with their hearts in the right place.

With that being said, we are so happy to announce that Starla has made a full recovery and has found her forever home! Starla new family lives in the suburbs and has a fenced in backyard for Starla, and her three siblings, to play in. Starla is in the perfect place to fit her needs and her new mom continues to use essential oils and massage to help in her recovery. It is a match made in adoption heaven. TAF would like to thank everyone that helped to sponsor Starla’s medical care. We couldn’t have brought her to a Dental Specialist and kept her hospitalized at the ER without you. Also, thank you to those that rallied for Starla and kept her in their thoughts and prayers. Lastly, thank you to Animal Welfare League for working with us to bring this little dog back to life and give her a second chance.


In Honoring His Name, Brix Finds His Forever Home... On May 10th, TAF was contacted by the Chicago Police Department’s 16th District about an abused Mastiff mix that had been brought in to the station. The pup was emaciated with scars from fly strikes & frostbite on his ears and laceration around his legs. His teeth were almost worn down to his gumline and he had raging ear infections. Knowing that he deserved a strong proud name, TAF decided to name Brix after a departed Chicago Police Department K9… surely Brix would make his namesake proud.

After months of medical care, a slow-refeeding program, ear surgery, neuter and some emotional rehabilitation, Brix finally came out of his shell and was ready for adoption!

With that being said, we are so happy to announce that Brix has found his forever home! As fate would have it, his forever family is in law enforcement and his #1 person in the whole world is a Marine. We knew that he was destined for great things and he proved us right! TAF would like to thank Brix’s new family for continuing with his training and being committed to caring for his every need. They are so in love with him and we have never seen Brix smile like the day he did when he met his family… it was like a flip had been switched and he knew that his whole world was about to change… like he had been waiting his entire life for that exact moment. Oh, and Brix also has a new Boxer sister that he is over the moon for… it is all just perfect! TAF would also like to thank those who donated to Brix’s medical care and to the CPD for contacting us and keeping Brix safe until he came into our care.


On January 16, 2018, TAF introduced you to a sick pup named Cody. After 8 months of prior medical treatments failing him, TAF took over Cody’s medical care and brought him into our program. When Cody arrived, he was in a tremendous amount of pain. His skin oozed puss and blood and he cried out when you touched him.

Tests would go on to show that Cody was suffering from demodectic mange and a massive secondary skin infection. Skin cultures would go on to show that Cody's skin was riddled with E. coli and he was diagnosed with the dog-version of MRSA (methyl-resistant staph) known as MRSP. Well, after getting the right combo of antibiotics, Cody’s immune system finally caught up and after months of skin treatments, medications and TLC, Cody made a full recovery. 

However, before leaving us Cody did manage to get in a pretty extensive dental surgery. Oh… and a last minute neuter. To all of our surprise, we found out that Cody was not neutered the day before he was to be adopted! You see, Cody was cryptorchid and his testicles failed to properly descend from the abdomen into the scrotum. In Cody’s case, his testicles actually were in his inguinal area right next to his lymph nodes. Since he had been sick for so long, it was assumed that his lymph nodes had just been swollen upon exam. To look at him, you couldn’t see a thing. It would take a last minute vet visit and x-rays to confirm that this was the case. When the day finally came for Cody to officially get the seal of approval from his medical team, it was quite the victory!

It was then that the most wonderful couple came along… a couple that had been looking for a dog that many might have passed up due to age or emotional issues. When Cody first met his new mom and dad, he was shy and even nipped at his dad. After a year filled with constant hospitalization and medical isolation, Cody was scared and unsure of his new visitors. At this point we thought that Cody might have run his future family off. That, however, was not the case. This wonderful couple just sat with him and were 100% accepting that it would take Cody time to adjust to new people and new environments. They were so sweet with him and without hesitation welcomed him into their home… his forever home. Needless to say, Cody just hit the jackpot and has a mom and dad that adore him. After all he went through, he is now the luckiest dog in the world. TAF would like to thank everyone that supported Cody all these months through donations, well wishes and support. Without people like you, this little guy may not have made it… thank you!


On March 30th, while walking down the isles of an open access shelter, TAF came across a heart crushing sight… a dog that was in such emotional distress that her body could barely cope with the fear. As long strands of drool draped the ground, Belle shook uncontrollably as she looked through the bars of her cage… she was looking for the family that just left her behind. Knowing that Belle would crumble under the stress, TAF took her into our program and out of the shelter.

Once in our care, it was not long before it was confirmed that Belle needed immediate orthopedic surgery from a surgeon skilled in knee repair. On April 16, Belle had her anterior cruciate ligament, luxating patella and meniscus repaired. It would be another 7 weeks until she made a full recovery.

After weeks of help from the staff at Unleashed Pups, TAF was able to get Belle back on her feet and ready for a new life… it was then that she met a family… her forever family. TAF is so happy to announce that Belle has officially been adopted and is now living a quiet and happy life up in Wisconsin! Belle’s new forever family absolutely adores her and are over the moon about the newest addition to their family. From here on out, Belle will only know love, affection and the safety of having a forever family by her side. With a new knee and a new family, Belle has finally gotten her happily ever after. A big thank you to everyone that was able to help sponsor Belle’s orthopedic surgery… you helped give a scared little dog her life back and that is the greatest gift of all.



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!