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High Tails Animal Rescue, NFP is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that operates as a licensed dog and cat rescue. We are both volunteer-run and foster-based serving the Greater Chicagoland area and Northern Suburbs of Illinois. High Tails is not breed or age-specific; our organization is dedicated to rescuing dogs and cats in need of a permanent home. We rescue primarily from animal controls, animal shelters, and euthanasia lists, and assist with local strays. 


We prioritize rescuing animals solely based on their needs, not their appearance, breed, or age. Following a comprehensive assessment, we rescue homeless dogs and cats and carefully match them with foster homes. We do not discriminate; our commitment extends to saving animals of various sizes, backgrounds, and health conditions. Our dogs and cats remain under our care until we secure a fitting forever home, no matter how much time or effort it may take.

Not only do we save lives, but we are actively committed to advancing the cause of animal welfare. We create positive impacts in our local communities by being an educational resource for pet owners. We believe change is rooted in accessible education as education promotes responsible pet ownership. Our organization, consisting of well-versed pet professionals, provides up-to-date resources and guidance to keep owners and their beloved pets together and reduce surrendered pets to shelters and animal controls. 


When you join High Tails whether that is through adoption, fostering, volunteering, or even donating, you become a member of the High Tails family! The High Tails family is a group of highly motivated go-getters who go above and beyond for every dog and cat in the rescue. Our foster families treat their foster animals as if they are their own, and our volunteers enjoy directly making an impact within HTAR in a variety of engaging ways to help animals in need. All adopters are thoroughly screened and matched with an animal that best suits them with available support post-adoption. Our highly experienced team provides guidance and support for all our family members every step of the way.


We are dedicated to creating a strong community of responsible pet owners and passionate animal lovers. Together, we can create a tidal wave of positive change for homeless pets and forever alter the lives of both the animals and families we connect with in the best way possible. 


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Feline Adoption & Foster

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Events & Fundraising

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Canine Adoption, Foster & Records

Professional Dog Trainer



Marketing & Communications

Professional Dog Trainer

30+ years

50+ years


Our team is committed to continuing their education on safe and effective handling and training techniques, fear-free pet care, and animal behavior. In an ever-changing world, we strive to stay updated on new fact-based information to ensure all our animals receive the best care possible and to set our volunteers, fosters, and adoptive families up for success.

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Fear Free Shelters

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Maddie's University

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Positive-Reinforcement Dog Trainers

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Pet First Aid



"Ever since a young age I've had a growing passion to help animals! Through my own rescue animal adoptions and working to rehome stray animals, I could not believe the amount of animals that I encountered who deserved a second chance at a good home. While I thoroughly enjoyed volunteering and fostering for my local animal shelters/rescues, I was motivated to do more, hence the creation of High Tails. High Tails has been instrumental in helping rescue, socialize, and rehome animals that may have otherwise suffered a different fate. I'm so proud to be a part of an organization that is dedicated to helping and advocating for animals that deserve to find their forever home. It's truly amazing to see how proper care and a loving home can transform an animal."


"The first time I ever rescued an animal was when I was a teenager and I found a stray dog on the street. I brought the dog home, fixed him up, and the rest is history. My love for animals truly blossomed after that experience, and I wanted to save and rehabilitate more helpless animals I encountered. Animals are very resilient and can often overcome many obstacles, but they need assistance along the way. High Tails is that crutch for animals that need help whether it is extra TLC in a foster home, training, intensive medical care, etc. Nothing makes me happier than to be a part of an organization that embodies empathy and kind acts of service, and to put my knowledge of nonprofit leadership and dog training to good use."


"Since I was a little kid, I was always saving all sorts of animals and bringing them home. From birds to bunnies to cats and dogs, I answered the call to help any animal that needed it. Over time, I volunteered with different nonprofits and previously volunteered for a local bird rescue and a dog and cat rescue. From those experiences, I was inspired to go out of my comfort zone and start something from the ground up, and that was High Tails. I am excited to use my skills with High Tails to expand rescue efforts all around Chicago and the suburbs to not only help homeless animals but also work alongside fellow organizations working hard to make a lasting impact. It really is a dream come true!"


“Over the years, my family adopted many rescue animals–both dogs and cats. As a result, I fell deeply in love with rescue animals, and I became a big bully breed lover! Through the adoption of my two dogs, I was able to become acquainted with various nonprofits, work with them, and grow as a dog trainer. When I became immersed in the rescue field, I was shocked by the large population of homeless animals, and I couldn’t believe how many adoptable pets are euthanized simply because there are more animals than rescues that can help. That is where High Tails comes in; to lend a helping paw. Through our values of compassion, advocacy, and a hard work ethic, we make a difference both locally and beyond.”

  • Where are foster families primarily located?
    Our fosters are, at most, one hour away from our partner vets.
  • How long would I foster for?
    We aim to have committed fosters that can house an animal until adoption (no matter the length of time) or per the specific needs of the individual animal. Since we are foster-based, we rely on families to house animals as we do not have a physical shelter. The amount of total animals fostered is up to the foster family to decide, there is no minimum requirement.
  • How does my foster animal receive veterinary care?
    We will coordinate veterinarian appointments with you for your foster animal. We ask all foster families to provide transportation of their foster animal to appointments with our partner vets. We always try to schedule vet appointments with a partner vet closest to your home. Please note, however, that veterinary care and the number of trips to the vet can vary depending on the individual needs of the animal. The standard care all our dogs and cats receive are: age-appropriate and state-required vaccines, spay/neuter, microchip, FIV/FeLV or Heartworm test, dewormer, flea and tick prevention, and a wellness exam.
  • What type of dog or cat do you have available for foster?
    We are not a breed or age-specific rescue, therefore, the specific type of animal available to foster varies. Please note we can only intake a dog or cat into the rescue if we have an available foster home, so we are always in need of fosters! The general animals available to foster are: kittens, puppies, adult cats, adult dogs, senior cats, senior dogs, special needs cats (FIV+), and special needs dogs.
  • When do foster animals get adopted?
    We cannot guarantee when a foster animal will get adopted. We post our animals on social media and adoptable pet platforms, and we host meet and greet events so our animals can get adopted as quickly and efficiently as possible. We encourage foster families to share their fosters online as well.
  • I never fostered before, can I still foster?
    Yes, we welcome both first-time and experienced fosters! Our team works with all our fosters to ensure they thoroughly understand what fostering entails and we provide support throughout the entire process. We also have Feline and Canine Foster Handbooks and additional handouts that outline foster expectations as well as helpful tips, tricks, and general pet care information that our foster families are given so they always have a reliable resource on hand.
  • Can I adopt my foster?
    We are more than happy to discuss adoption with our foster families if they are interested in adopting their foster.
  • How do I ensure my foster will get along with my personal pets and adjust well to living in my home?
    We take safety seriously and we work diligently to ensure resident pet's and foster animals get along. Introductions are handled on a case-by-case basis and our team of professionals will work with each foster family individually on how to safely introduce a personal pet to a foster animal, and how to integrate their foster animal into the home. We may request to meet and evaluate your personal pet as part of the screening process (this typically occurs for dogs). Some families choose to not fully integrate their foster animal into their home and instead have a designated foster room. Usually this occurs for cats, and that is okay as well.
  • Can I apply to foster with the intention to adopt?
    A “foster-to-adopt” is when a family has the intention of adopting their foster animal but is fostering until the pet is ready to be adopted. Foster-to-adopt's primarily occur when an animal, specifically kittens and puppies, are not fully vetted yet but can be transitioned from the foster home to their new adoptive home. Since we do not have a physical shelter to house animals, we rely on foster families to help us rescue dogs and cats. We welcome individuals to apply to foster with us with the intention to adopt.
  • If you are foster-based, how do I receive supplies and how much will I get?
    We will either coordinate supply pick ups/drop offs and or ship supplies to your home. Foster kits and supply assistance can vary depending on the individual needs of the foster family, the foster animal, and the amount of donations the rescue receives. We always provide foster families with free supplies.


Adopt    Foster    Volunteer    Events    Donate

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