Friday, December 10, 2010

Queen For a Day

Last Saturday, a Red Door staff and volunteer favorite was adopted. Queen, the little tortie who had been at the shelter since June, finally found a home. She was often overlooked in favor of younger, smaller kittens in the kitten room. The couple who adopted her had adopted a cat from Red Door five years previously, and had just stopped in to visit with some of the cats. When they came across Queen, they couldn't resist, and decided to welcome her into their home. The timing was great, and it was great to know that Queen would be spending the upcoming holidays in a new, loving home, where she would get heaped with affection and care. It also highlighted a great benefit to having been a previous adopter with Red Door- the green light! No application to fill out, no interview to sit though...just the willingness to open your heart to another homeless animal in need.

Happy Holidays from everyone at Red Door.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month!

Older animals tend to be one of the more overlooked when people visit animal shelters. People tend to forget that some cats can live to be nearly 22 years of age, so while a 10 year old cat may seem old, it would be the equivalent of a person in their 40's, and they still potentially have half of their lives left to live! Many senior cats are also healthy, or any health issues can be easily managed with the help of medications.
As volunteers of the shelter may remember, Esther was originally adopted from Red Door in 2002 when she was about 1 year old. Sadly, earlier this year, Esthers adopter passed away, and while various members tried to take her in and care for her, none of them could commit. Eventually she made her way back to Red Door. She didn't get along particularly well with other cats, and after being with someone who loved her for the previous 7 years, being back at the shelter was a shock for her. While her looks were very striking, her age and stressed out personality always seemed to dissuade potential adopters. Eventually, as we believe happens for every animal in our care, the right people came along and opened their doors to Esther and welcomed her with love. Recently I heard from Esther's adopters who sent along the attached picture and message:
"We are delighted with being able to provide Esther a new home and she has brought us so much joy. She talks to us a lot and is with us for the morning wake-up call as well as the bedtime devotion and playtime. We seek her out many times in the day so she has lots of attention. What a special cat she is!"
So next time you're in a shelter looking for a potential animal to adopt, don't look past the senior pets...they still need a lot of love, and still have a lot of love to give!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Rabbit Boarding at Red Door

Worried about your rabbit while you're out of town? Trust your bunny's care to our experienced rabbit-experienced staff.

Red Door is happy to announce the opening of our Rabbit Boarding Program--just in time for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's.

Your rabbit will receive hands-on care in a rabbit-friendly environment. We offer fresh Oxbow hay; salads; daily exercise in a playpen; bunny-perfect climate control (A.C. in the summer, of course! and not too warm in the winter); and--best of all from a rabbit's point of view--no dogs barking!

We can give meds, too.

Make your reservations now. Write: or call 773-764-2242.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jade 9/20/2010

Many volunteers over the years at Red Door know and remember Jade the cat. Originally Jade came to Red Door in 2004, after living on the streets and being cared for over a year by a woman. Potential adopters visiting the shelter over the years were always drawn to her because she was very striking and beautiful. However, Jade was always a bit of a wall flower, very sweet once you get to know her, but very shy to start with. For that reason, Jade was overlooked by adopters time and again for over 6 years.

Back in April, staff at Red Door discovered some tumors on Jade's underside. After having them removed by our vet Dr. Gia, she did a biopsy, and the results came back positive for cancer. The doctor speculated that even though we had caught the tumor, most likely the cancer had metastasized and spread. She said Jade most likely had weeks to months left to live, and it would be great if we could find a hospice foster home for the time she had left.

A family did step forward and offered to care for Jade during her last days. They provided over 4 months of love, attention, and care for Jade. They reported that Jade was frequently run throughout the house and loved to play. As you can see in her picture, she was absolutely content in her new home.

Sadly, Jade passed away yesterday. However, we can celebrate the fact that she was able to live in peace and happiness, as every animal should, for a brief time in her life. It really goes to show how living in a loving home environment can change any cats personality. So remember to give that shy or special needs animal a second look next time you're thinking of could be looking at a wall flower turned social butterfly.

Special thanks to Jade's foster family and to all of Red Door's foster providers for the work they do everyday. We wouldn't be able to do it without you.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Coraline: From foster to adopt

Many volunteers at Red Door are familiar with Coraline, the cute little cat who showed up on our door one day with four newborn kittens. All of her offspring had been adopted, and Coraline still waited. Finally a lovely couple came along interested in adopting Coraline, but they had some reservations. One of them had experienced allergies to cats in the past, and wanted to be sure that adopting a cat wouldn't worsen those allergies. So they decided to try fostering Coraline first, to see if their allegies became an issue, and also to make sure that Coraline was the right fit for them. Needless to say, and as you can see from the photo, they felt Coraline was a wonderful fit (and she agreed), and the foster parents reported no allergy flare ups. The couple was more than thrilled with her, and they decided to move ahead with the adoption.

Fostering is a great way to try out an animal, especially if you're unsure if the animal is the right fit for your home, or if you're concerned about any issues. The process is very similar to that of adoption, though it's not as permanent. That way, if it doesn't work out with the animal for some reason, they can come back to the shelter, and we can say that they got a nice vacation from the shelter. Of course, everyone's hope is that it does work out in the end, and that their story ends the same as Coraline's.

Of course, some volunteers foster animals, long term or short term, for a variety of reasons. Some foster just to give the animal a break from the shelter, some foster because it helps to create space for more animals at the shelter, some foster because a home environment is always more enjoyable for an animal than a shelter environment, some foster for terminally ill animals or animals with medical conditions, etc. The reasons are infinite. Please consider opening your home to foster an animal in need.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

At the shelter

At the shelter
Originally uploaded by reddoorshelter
Red Door wants your help in making great videos of the animals at our shelter. If you have experience with Flip videos, please send us an email at

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Wish I May, I Wish I Might...

People interested in donating goods often ask us what sorts of items we need at the shelter. We have a wish list on our website ( However, now for the first time, Red Door has a comprehensive list of all goods we use on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis at the shelter through our Amazon Wish List:

And remember, if you use this link: Red Door will receive a portion of the proceeds from each sale! It's like making a double donation!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Time to Wash That Dog!

With all of the hot, rainy, muggy weather we've been having now is the perfect time to get Rover rinsed! On Sunday, July 11th, join us at Central Bark Doggy Day Care (3358 N. Pulaski) for some scrubtacular dog washing. The dog wash takes place from 11am-2pm. A clean dog will cost you only $10, and all proceeds go to help homeless animals at Red Door. What a deal!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cat + Patio = Catio!

Catios--safe outdoor play areas for cats--are in style. Check out the whole trend, plus links to catio suppliers in today's New York Times.

The cats at Red Door are lobbying for their own catio this summer.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Honey Do List

Honey has made out her own Honey Do List:

*Do support Red Door's rabbit rescue efforts! (After all, they rescued me and, even though they put me on a diet to lose weight, I'm very grateful.)

*Do bring my allowance to the Gimme Shelter! event this Sunday, June 13th. There is a fabulous raffle and tickets are only $1.00 each. Plus, maybe I can convince the people in the dog massage tent that I'm just a little puppy.

*Do be my naturally charming self to every adopter who comes to meet me. Because I know there are lots of rabbits who need rescuing and as soon as I leave for a happy forever home, some new bunny will be saved.

3 Days to the Doggy Splash Pools!

You won't want to miss all the fun at Gimme Shelter! on Sunday, June 13th. It's Red Door's 10th anniversary and everyone will be celebrating! Join us at Indian Boundary Park, 2500 W. Lunt, Chicago.

Make That a Decade of Rescuing ALL Animals

Yes, we concentrate on rescuing, sheltering, and re-homing cats, dogs, and rabbits. But Red Door is the no-kill shelter for all animals needing help. Here are just a few of the other animals we've rescued during the past 10 years:
Sweet Pea & Lily, abandoned at the park, where they wouldn't have made it through the winter (big white ducks can't fly away);
Zsa Zsa, the tiny bantam chicken running down Ridge Avenue, dodging through cars;
Boris, who was left in a box--his injured wing needed some nursing;
Blanche, who was standing in a snow bank with frozen feet; and
Khaki and Cooper, two impulsive Easter buys who weren't wanted a few days later.
Everyone got care, food, shelter, and a new loving home where they could live as a companion animal.

50-Ft. Memory Wall -- See the Names of All the Rescued Animals on June 13th

You will want to see the 50-foot Memory Wall this Sunday at Indian Boundary Park, 2500 W. Lunt, Chicago. It will show every name and many photos of the animals rescued by Red Door over the past 10 years.
If you've adopted from Red Door, you can place a heart or star sticker by your pet's name on the wall. And even if you haven't adopted, you'll want to stroll past this most special memory lane. It will be at the 10th Annual Gimme Shelter! Walk for the Animals event Sunday, June 13th. Details at
Over 50-feet long??!! That is a real decade of rescues.

Thelma & Louise Are On a Runaway Rampage for June 13th

Thelma and Louise are seriously on a robbing rampage for this Sunday's Gimme Shelter! Walk for the Animals. It's Red Door's 10th anniversary and these two rabbits know that--if not for Red Door--there'd be no no-kill shelter in the Chicago area for homeless bunnies to go. You don't want these two to turn into disapproving rabbits, do you?
So empty your pockets and give a little up for Thelma and Louise--and all the soon-to-be-abandoned Easter bunnies that we'll be taking in. You can make a secure donation at

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

400 Pelicans Saved in Louisanna, 1 in Chicago

We're happy to show you this photo of 400 Louisiana pelicans who were rescued from the recent oil spill. This is after they were washed off by a dedicated crew of volunteers.
Red Door has a fondness for pelicans--after all, we got a call one night in 2006 about an injured pelican on the Morse Avenue beach. It was hard to believe, but it was true! We worked with Flintcreek Wildlife to be sure the pelican was rescued & they rehabbed the lucky guy.
You can read more about the Louisana pelicans here:
And you can see photos of the Lake Michigan pelican that Red Door got the first rescue calls about here: under "American White Pelican Release."
We're not just about cats & dogs & rabbits & chickens & ducks. We've saved pelicans, quails, voles, mice, and other critters, too.

Adopt a Cat Month & Red Door's Memory Wall

I'm Mortimer & I was adopted from Red Door. So you'll be able to see my name on the Memory Wall this Sunday at the Gimme Shelter! Walk for the Animals event. I hear the wall will be over 50 ft. long & will show the name of every animal Red Door has saved in the past decade. Join the cat team at

Monday, June 07, 2010

Chicago Fire Department Gets Pet Oxygen Masks

Paco is thrilled that the Chicago Fire Department has received a gift of over 200 pet oxygen masks. These masks will go a long way towards helping save pets who are in need.

Paco knows all about need--he was abandoned and had to make his own way until Red Door rescued him. He's doing fine--even though his right ear has a little wear and tear! Now he's waiting for a forever home to adopt him.

You can help pets like Paco by supporting Red Door's Gimme Shelter! Walk for the Animals on June 13th. No dog? No problem? We'd still like to see you there. And if you can't make it, maybe you can make a small, Paco-sized donation at

And on June 2, the Chicago Fire Department used their new masks to rescue the lives of two dogs and two cats who were trapped in a fire in West Rogers Park. What great news!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

All You Need is Love, say Lennon & McCartney--but a salad never hurt

Lennon and McCartney, a bonded pair of rabbits at Red Door, know that all you need is love. But some timothy hay and a fresh green salad never hurts, either!
This amazing team is hoping (and hopping) that people will support Red Door's Gimme Shelter! celebration on June 13th. They don't even care if you sign up with the cat team or the dog team instead of the rabbit team. All the money raised goes to help all the animals at the shelter.
And they can't wait to hear how the humans like Harrington's Key Lime Sandwich cookies, donated by Sweet Attila's, made by a Red Door bunny adopter and named after the ever-sweet RD rabbit Harrington.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Have You Adopted from Red Door -- Wall of Honor for June 13th

We remember these faces -- of course! And they're only a fraction of the animals we've saved over the last 10 years.

Have you adopted from Red Door? If so, you will want to come to the Gimme Shelter! walk to see our Wall of Honor, showing all of the names--and many of the photos--of the animals we've saved during our past decade of rescues.

You can place a heart or star sticker by your animal's name on the wall.

Even if you haven't adopted from Red Door, you will still want to help us celebrate on June 13th at Indian Boundary Park. Get all the information at

Registration is $15 before the event, $20 the day of the event. See you there!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Kitten One-Step, Two-Step

Miriam swears she saw something--right over there!
Maybe what's catching her interest is the cat team for Red Door's Gimme Shelter! Walk for the Animals on June 13th. A very enthusiatic group of people are supporting the shelter's cats this year--and when the money goes to help little sweeties like Miriam, who can blame them?
You can give a secure donation online that will go directly to care for the animals. Check out the cat team (or the rabbit team or the dog team) at Red Door's web site:
Go ahead and choose a team. We know you like all the animals.

Rabbits Helping Community Gardens

Like all the Red Door rabbits, Aries is working hard for the Humboldt Park Community Garden. The shelter bunnies have been donating their hay boxes--after a hard day's workout as a litterbox--to the gardeners.
Aries, who was left in a plastic container at the door, is a happy, helpful rabbit ready for adoption. If you're not ready to adopt, please consider making a donation to Red Door's 10th Anniversary Celebration Gimme Shelter! Walk for the Animals.
You can find information and a secured donation page at

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Gimme Shelter! Walk for the Animals

It's our 10th year and our 10th annual Gimme Shelter! Walk for the Animals! Come on out on Sunday June 13th from 10am-12pm at Indian Boundary Park. We're celebrating in a big way, and it's sure to be our biggest, best walk yet!

You have been an important part of this decade of saving lives. You can pick the cat, dog, or rabbit team and register online.

$15 per person ($5 for children 3-12) gives you admission to the event, a great 10th anniversary tshirt, free brunch, a doggie bandana, music, entertainment and use of the doggie splash pools!

No dog? No problem! Join the cat or rabbit team! This is a walk for all of the animals!

Thank you for your contining support! Here's to another 10 years!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Rooster Cogburn Finds a Home!

It's not easy to find a home for a rooster--and we know why! This guy, shown here wandering outside before Red Door's Matt and Mike chased him around and rescued him, makes a LOT of noise. We found out that roosters don't just crow when the sun comes up, but many other times during the day and night. But, thanks to our friend Liz Perry in Madison, Wisconsin, Rooster Cogburn [look up old John Wayne movies if you don't get his name] is on his way to a great new home where he will rule over a harem of hens. Thanks to Liz Sharp for transport.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Get your tickets!

Spring To Life raffle tickets are in! Be sure to stop by the shelter and pick some up. Tickets are only $1 each, and the drawing is April 24th at the end of Spa Day. Grand prize is a $500 Visa gift card + a bottle of champagne, 1st prize is a case of 12 bottles of "Wines Around the World", 2nd prize is an Olympus FE digital camera, 3rd prize is an ipod touch, 4th prize is 2 books + 2 Vosages chocolate bars! Don't miss out!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I was describing the process of adoption to a friend, who remarked that it was like dating... which inspired me to write up a profile for Elenor in online dating style. Enjoy!

Name: Elenor Rigby. Yes, after the Beatles song. Yes, spelled differently. I go by Elenor.

Age: A lady never tells. But I am quite grown up.

Fur color: White. Very soft, if I do say so myself.
Eye color: A very attractive red and pink combo.

Weight: Healthy/Athletic.

Perfect first date: Approach me quietly. No clumping feet or loud friendly greetings, please! I like to get to know people slowly -- I'm shy at first, but I open up eventually if you give me time.

Likes: Music, including but not limited to the Beatles. I love it when my human plays the guitar. Carpeting that I can run around on. Massages behind the ears and on the forehead. Anything chewy. My human's Complete Works of William Shakespeare was especially delicious.

Dislikes: I'm not wild about dogs. When my human watches a movie or TV and a dog barks in the background, I freeze.

Conversation: I do occasionally tooth-rub and grunt, but I'm not a big talker.

Favorite foods: Curly parsley and pears. I even ate part of an orange peel that my human unwisely left sitting out, with no ill effects.

A typical day: Eat, sleep, get petted, eat, sleep, run around, explore, get petted, eat, sleep.

Friday, March 05, 2010

The Queen of Sheba DOES NOT Approve!

Red Door alumni, Sheba the Lionhead was recently posted to the Disapproving Rabbits website:
Sheba's adoptive mom, Veronique, Is very proud of her little girl...and so are we!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Tattoo You! Red Door Pairs Up with Insight Studios

Insight Studios, Chicago's most progressive tattoo and piercing studio, partnered with Red Door for a tattoo benefit on February 20-21. All the profits on that weekend went to help the cats, dogs, and rabbits at the shelter. Insight raised $2163.00!

A story in the Chicago Tribune on March 3 profiled the event, including the unusually large number of requests for rabbit-themed tattoos.

Read more about it here:,0,2447609.story

Thanks to everyone who came to Tattoo You! and thanks to Insight Studios, 1062 N. Milwaukee, Chicago.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Mario and Luigi get a HIGH SCORE!

Earlier this year, Red Door rescued two boys from the city pound. Absolutely inseparable, these 2 buns would play games and chase each other in circles. Thus, they earned the names Mario and Luigi. The boys were adopted last month, and today we received a wonderful message from their new family.
Catherine writes:
"I want to give you an update on "the boys"--Mario and Luigi, whom we have renamed Bruce and Scottie (with a dog named Louie, it was just too confusing!).

They are WONDERFUL! We love them! They have terrific, outgoing personalities, and are so friendly and sweet. They use their litterbox very well, and the mounting behavior is completely gone. They are very affectionate with one another (grooming each other and lying together) with none of the mounting. We really love having a bonded pair.

Hey--and having cover boys for pets is very cool! To introduce them to friends and family, I just sent your recent newsletter.

Anyway, I thought you'd like to know how lucky we feel to have two such great bunnies.
Thanks for your help with their adoption, and for all you do for the animals."

Saturday, February 27, 2010

(Rocky)Marciano gets a TKO

Marciano came to Red Door as an owner give up. His family could no longer care for him. Incredibly sweet and very laid-back, this rabbit was one of a kind - a big velvety, rare European breed called Perlfee.

It wasn't long before a beautiful female lop, Baxter, came to Red Door with her guardians, Liz and Felix. Baxter met a number of boy buns and finally settled on Marciano. Check out Felix's blog on Baxter's bunny speed dates:

Liz recently emailed this update:

"It took Marciano (aka Quincy) about a month or so to fully open-up. He now is a 100% begger. I have no idea where he learned this bad habbit, but when he's out he follows me around 24-7 waiting for either food to drop or for petting." You can see from the picture above that Quincy loves to beg!

Thank you to Liz and Felix(and Baxter, too!) for giving Marciano a loving, forever home.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tattoo You! Get Inked for the Animals February 20 & 21

If you've been thinking about getting inked, here is the perfect time: Don't miss Red Door's Tattoo You Event on February 20 and 21 at Insight Studios, 1062 N. Milwaukee, Chicago. Insight is Chicago's most progressive tattoo and pierciing studio and they will donate 100% of all profits from these two days to the homeless animals at Red Door.

Insight only does custom work, so feel free to drop in or email them ahead of time about your ideas. You can check out their artists at []. We'll see you there!

OM NOM NOM (How I tell my rabbits I love them)

Let me just come out and say this: I will show my love to you through food. If I'm feeling particularly friendly, you may just get a batch of cookies or a plate of pasta because you've made me happy recently (velvety, cheesy, sun-dried tomato creamy pasta happy). Good food, to me, is the ultimate expression of emotion. The inverse is true, too. You know I'm mad at you when the coffee is cold and french toast is burnt. Mmmhmm, I go there. Believe me, pancake flipping, vegetable sauteing, pastry baking me is my daily goal. And who makes me that absolutely really, really happy? My rabbits, of course!

Ryo and Shortcake. My duo bundles of love.

So naturally, as this Valentine's Day approached, I wanted to show these two a little special momma-loving. I opened up my copy of Red Door's Just Desserts cookbook, and decided to make them Bunny Treats (pg. 118). They're incredibly easy to make, and so worth it, too! The printed recipe follows, my rendition after:

  • 1 small carrot puréed
  • 1/2 banana, mashed until really creamy
  • 1 Tbsp honey (raw please!)
  • 1/4 cup rabbit pellets, ground
  • 1/4 cup ground oats, ground finely in a coffee grinder.
Mix the puréed carrot, banana, and honey in a medium bowl. Add pellet powder and ground oats. Mix until blended. Knead in your hands for 1-2 minutes. Roll out the "dough" in 1/4-inch thick layers between sheets of plastic wrap. Cut into small cookies. Place cut shapes onto a parchment paper covered cookiie sheet. Bake at 325˚F for about 30 minutes (make sure they are not browning too much). Turn off the heat and let the cookies sit in the warm over for an hour or so.

After I read the recipe (First rule of baking! Always read through!), I balked at the idea of honey in cookies for my rabbit. I mean, pure sugar, seriously? That can't possibly be in their natural diet! I called my trust-worthy resident rabbit expert, Vanessa.

"Hey Nessa, should rabbits be eating honey? I'm reading this recipe and I can't possibly bring myself to feed them these if that's bad for them!"

"No worries, a little bit is fine for them, just don't overfeed them and all will be well!" (You can hear her smiling over the phone, it's a remarkably comforting trait of hers.)

I'm a big fan of Chicago's Green City Market downtown, so I had some raw honey on hand from there. I also had pre-ground oat flour (my dog suffers from Celiac's Disease, so his homemade treats are all wheat-free) - ingredient two no problem. I had to go to PetSmart to get rabbit pellets, but after that, I was in business.

I pulled out my food processor, and blended my carrots till near mush, added the banana, scraped down the sides, and puréed that until practically smooth. I added the other ingredients until the mixture resembled a paste, for a lack of a better descriptor.

From there I used a small scoop to portion out cookies, and used my hands to roll them into balls, and my fingers to pat them flat. I followed the baking instructions as listed, and they came out beautiful.

Shortcake had the best reaction: He took off running underneath the papasan for five revolutions, and came to stop at the edge of the carpet mat. Ryo attempted to hide his cookie, as Shortcake can be a food-thief.

So on this Valentine's day, with love in my heart and buns snuggled by my feet, all I have to say to my sweetheart's is this: OM NOM NOM.

Zoom-Zoom: Bunnies Speedracing into Love

On this Valentine's Day, we wanted to post a shout out to two loving brothers, Mario and Luigi. Red Door transferred them in from Animal Care and Control and, because they were so devoted to each other, we keep them as a bonded pair. It wasn't long before they were speedracing into an adoptive family's heart.

Wishing all rabbits the gift of love on Valentine's Day.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Who Dat?

In the parlance of the N.F.L., dat's Zydeco. And we're sure he's happy that his team, the New Orleans Saints, won the Super Bowl! Zydeco is as refreshing as the Louisiana style music he was named after: a delightfully sweet bun full of personality and love.

So no wonder that Zydeco is going home on Monday! Now he's a winner, too.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Venus: Bunny of Love Adopted Just Before Valentine's Day

We always knew Venus, the black and white lop, was a real beauty. And a geniune sweetheart, too. So we're thrilled that Venus was adopted by her foster mom today--just in time for Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Boris = Natasha! Home At Last.

So the duck we rescued from the frozen pond turned out to be a girl, not a boy! And that's how Boris became Natasha. We're thrilled that our outstanding duck rescuers Heather and John agreed to take on Natasha as their own--including all the intensive treatment Natasha still needs for her frostbitten webbed feet.

However, as you can see by these photos, Natasha seems to be having a great time in her spiffy new pen, swimming in the bathtub, and sitting in her extra-softly-padded bed [got to pamper those poor feet!], checking out the computer as "Daddy" shows her some online photos of other Muscovy ducks.

By springtime, Natasha will be able to spend outside time with the ducks Heather and John have rescued. They all live in a fabulous, custom-built duck Disneyland, with predator-protected yards, houses, and swimming pools.

Natasha had a rough start, being abandoned outside in below freezing weather. But now it seems that her life is going swimmingly!