Friends of Chicago Animal Care and Control’s Pets for Life (PFL) program is dedicated to bridging the gap between animal service providers and people and pets living in poverty. The program philosophy promotes the understanding that a lack of financial means does not equate to a lack of love felt for and provided to a pet. Everyone’s lives can be enhanced by a pet, and those who choose to should have the opportunity to experience the unconditional love and meaningful relationship a pet brings.
PFL provides free wellness care, services and information to people and their pets in communities with limited or nonexistent access to pet wellness resources. This groundbreaking approach opens doors and builds relationships in underserved communities through strategic, positive community engagement.
Currently in Chicago, Pets for Life focuses specifically on the 60623 and 60624 zip codes, which represent the North Lawndale and Little Village neighborhoods. By providing residents with access to spay/neuter, veterinary care, supplies and information for their pets, PFL is addressing the critical lack of accessible, affordable pet care in underserved communities, keeping pets healthy and happy in the homes they already have, and helping reduce intake numbers at Chicago Animal Care and Control.
Chicago PFL Focus Area Resource Map
39% • Poverty rate in North Lawndale and Little Village communities, which are pet resource deserts
92% • Pets unaltered when first met through PFL
91% • Pet owners who have never reached out to the local animal services agency
77% • Pets that have never seen a veterinarian when first met through PFL
80% • Conversion Rate (Percentage of pets originally unaltered when met who were altered through PFL)
Coco is an 8-year-old dog who developed severe mammary tumors from not being spayed. Her family could not afford the tumor removal surgery and were devastated at the thought of her suffering. PFL was able to provide the surgery and spay Coco, so she would be healthy for a long time to come and stay with her family.