By Jillian Braun - Jillian is a foster, volunteer, and Associate Board member at One Tail at a Time. She’s been involved with the organization since 2017 when she adopted her little southern mutt, Albus.
The number of animals that we lose in our shelters each year is daunting which can make it feel like an overwhelming problem to solve and hard to nail down a place to start. Luckily, at One Tail at a Time (OTAT) there are so many ways to make a difference, no matter your location, background, or availability!
Freedom Rides & Transports
One of the best feelings is to be the first person a pup sees when they’re being rescued. Take little Enchilada, here, who was surrendered by his owner at Chicago Animal Care & Control. Thanks to the Chicagoland Rescue Intervention & Support Program (CRISP), this little chihuahua avoided the shelters and was sent to foster through One Tail at a Time. Driving him to his foster where he transformed from a scared little pup to a confident dog was incredibly rewarding. All you need for freedom rides is a car and some spare time.
One Tail at a Time currently has three facilities where you can volunteer - the Adoption Center where pups go to find there forever families, the Isolation House which is a safe space for dogs to transition between the shelter and their foster homes, and the Rudy Stewart Training & Behavior Center which provides positive reinforcement training to pups who require additional support before finding their forever homes.
Thanks to the current capital campaign, OTAT Cooperative, the Ellis Veterinary Clinic will be opening this spring and will also have a plethora of opportunities including bottle feeding kittens, assisting in the puppy room, or helping with transport intake days.
Whatever your interest, whether it is snuggling sick pups, matchmaking dogs with their future families, or clicker training, there’s a spot for you! Shifts are a couple hours and are offered multiple times a day. Learn more and sign up for orientation at onetail.org/volunteer.
My personal favorite is the Behavior Center where you can spend quality time with rambunctious boys like Freckles and receive kisses from goofy girls like Oreo.
If you have room in your home - whether you have resident pets or not - fostering is a great way to make a difference!
Dogs typically need foster for about 2 weeks which gives the rescue enough time to learn about their likes, dislikes, and quirks to help them find the perfect family. OTAT provides all of the supplies (crate, food, treats, toys, etc.), all you need to provide is a safe space for them to blossom. Learn more and apply at onetail.org/foster.
Over the last two years, we’ve fostered more than a dozen pups (and kittens!) through OTAT including big dogs, tiny puppies, medical cases, puppy mill rescues, and old scruffy dogs. Each dog is different which always adds a bit of fun when figuring out their personalities.
REAL DOG MOMS OF CHICAGO
Our goal is to connect dog rescues, dog-friendly businesses & dog lovers. Based in Chicago, Illinois, we host fun events for dogs & humans at great places with all proceeds going to local dog rescues.