Welcome to the Animal Welfare League!

We are a not-for-profit 501(c)3 that has been in existence for 85 years. We are the largest animal shelter in the State of Illinois. We are an Open Access shelter — thousands of animals pass through our doors yearly. We operate two shelters, one at 10305 Southwest Highway, Chicago Ridge, IL 60415, and the other in the City of Chicago at 6224 South Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637. The Animal Welfare League was founded in 1935 for the purpose of preventing cruelty to animals, eliminating pain and suffering, as well as for providing humane care to animals and adoptions for unwanted animals.

We are licensed to service animals throughout the State of Illinois. We are proud of our 85-year history in assisting with homeless, abused, unwanted, sick and injured animals. We strive to provide animals with the opportunity for a second chance at life through our adoption program. Many stray animals have been reunited with their owners because we were there for them. 

Our founding shelter in the City of Chicago remains open to this day. It is located in an underserved community of Chicago, where it provides a great purpose for animals in need. Strays, unwanted, sick and injured animals pass through the doors. It was there that it all began for our shelter. 

Our Chicago Ridge Suburban facility serves a major purpose to animals in need. This shelter houses hundreds of animals on a daily basis. These animals are strays, unwanted, homeless, abused, in need of medical attention and so much more. We employ a full-time medical staff, including veterinarian(s) who provide the care needed for these animals. Words cannot begin to explain the nature of the severe cases that have passed through these doors over the years, with a wonderful outcome due to our trained staff and veteran surgeon. 

We service approximately 35+ police municipalities. We are open to them 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, to receive their animals as well as to provide field services. Over the years we have been involved in emergency disaster situations, caring for animals removed from hoarding situations, abuse cases, and so much more. 

We are the “animals” shelter, and have been, and always will be there for their needs. We strive to enrich their lives daily! 

“Where would they be without us?”