Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Huey Is The Reason For The Season

At some point, most visitors to Red Door will come across Huey. Most people will exclaim how big Huey is, or will compliment him on his distinct Ocicat markings. Huey loves visitors, because having visitors means having people who will lavish him with attention...and the occasional treat if he can sneak one. This was Huey's 11th year at Red Door, and despite his numerous medical ailments, he's still going strong and is as goofy and playful as ever. While many people would say that Huey is lucky to have Red Door, the truth is, Red Door is lucky to have Huey. His spirit to overcome the odds stacked against him, his loving and generous nature, his affable personality are all great reminders to us all this holiday season to love the ones who love us unconditionally.
From all of the staff, volunteers, cats, rabbits, and dogs at Red Door, have a Happy Holiday, and a safe and Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Venitian Nights

Venitia was originally found outside by someone who tried to keep her, but she simply did not get along with the other cats in the household. Venitia is just a little thing, and if you didn't know she was an adult cat, you might think she was a kitten. She was in very poor condition when she was admittted to Red Door. There were patches of fur missing from her back, scabs all over her body, a small hard nodule just beneath her skin on her shoulder, and her left eye appeared to be damaged. The veterinarians who first examined her thought that maybe someone had tried to roughly shave all of her fur off, cutting her with the razor in the process. The small hard nodule lodged in her shoulder was thought to be a pellet or a bee bee. This was later confirmed by an eye specialist who said that it appeared that her left eye had been shot with a pellet or bee bee. The doctor confirmed that Venitia most likely could not see out of this eye, however, no treatmeant or surgery was required.

Venitia did not allow any of these things to deter her. In the weeks and months since coming to Red Door, her skin has improved dramatically, and she's getting around superbly with the use of only one eye. She's very sweet, affectionate, and trusting, which is surprising given her prior history with treatment from people. She's not a big fan of other cats, and would be best in a loving home on her own.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Cookies, gifts, and Santa! Did we mention cookies?

On Sunday November 20th, Red Door will host its annual Winter Bazaar at the Indian Boundary Fieldhouse (2500 W. Lunt) from 11am-4pm. This annual event features dozens of varieties of homemade cookies and baked goods sold by the pound, as well as the dozen or so vendors who will have their goods for sale. Everything from handmade jewelery and artwork, to books and toys. You will be sure to find something for that special loved one- or for yourself!

Of course, not to be missed is Santa, who is once again taking time out of his busy schedule and will be gracing us with his presence from the North Pole. Yes, it's true, Santa is a HUGE supporter of Red Door (duh, he wears red!). And for any of you doubting whether or not this is the real assured...his ID, references and credentials have all been checked out. He IS the real deal. Santa will be available for photos with you and your family- both furry and not so furry alike. Photos are only $10, and everyone will receive a nice, 4x6 keepsake photo. Coffee and cider will also be available, so come in from out of the chilly weather, get warmed up, get yourself some sweets (because YOU deserve it), browse some great handmade gifts for loved ones (because THEY deserve it), and bring your pooch to sit on Santa's lap so he can tell Santa all about that new Red Rider Bouncy Kong Toy With This Little Thing That You Put Treats In.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Reunited and It Feels So Good!

Red Door cat Mango was uncerimoniously dumped at our door in 2002 with no note or explanation. His luck soon changed when he found his adoptive home in 2003 where he has been even since. In August of this year, Red Door received a call from Mango's adopter. Sadly, her home had foreclosed and she was being evicted, and had no where to go. It was her last resort to have to bring Mango back to the shelter, but she had nowhere else to go. She was heartbroken, and one can only imagine that Mango was devastated. She tearfully brought Mango back, where he has been until October of this year. Recently this month we received word from his owner that she had gotten herself back on her feet, financially stable, and was living in a pet friendly apartment where she had placed a pet deposit down. The only thing she was missing terribly was Mango. This past week, Mango was reunited with his mom. She is overjoyed to have him back in her life, and Mango voiced his approval with a big "MEOW!" when he saw her again.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Holiday Movie For All To See

The Christmas Bunny, an award winning movie starring Florence Henderson, is coming to a shelter near you this holiday season. Red Door is offering DVD copies of the movie for purchase for only $15, with proceeds from sales going to help the homeless animals at Red Door. The Christmas Bunny has numerous themes, though two of the main themes are animal welfare and adoption. It is a very uplifting, family friendly movie, which also offers a positive portrayal of rabbits.  The DVD makes a great gift this holiday season for family and friends. You can pick yours up at Red Door during business hours, or stop by the Winter Bazaar on November 20th from 11am-4pm. Don't wait too long though, quantities are limited!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Higher Learning

Red Door received a phone call one week night from a school administrator at Northside College Prep about a domestic rabbit one of the students had caught in the school garden. We arranged to have the rabbit come in so it could be looked over for any illnesses or parasites. By the time the administrator had brought the rabbit to the shelter two days later, four other rabbits had been found on school grounds! It didn't end there...yet another one was caught and subsequently adopted by a student, and sadly three more were found dead in the garden. While they were waiting to go to Red Door, students brought in supplies for the rabbits, and helped to care for them.

All five rabbits were eventually transferred into the "Red Door School System" for further evaluation. Half of them had coccidia, another had bite wounds from another animal that had abcessed and needed immediate surgery, and yet another needed surgery to remove bot fly larvae (yes, it's as gross as it sounds, you can google the images, but not recommended for the faint of heart).

Unfortunately, we may never know how or why these nine buns ended up outside like they did, fending for themselves. The most obvious answer is that a person most likely placed them there, thinking they would be able to survive on their own after being cared for by people their whole lives. As three of the rabbits showed, the odds of a domestic rabbit being able to survive outside on its own are slim to none. This year, Red Door has rescued a record number of rabbits who had been left outside by people ignorant to the fact that wild rabbits and domestic rabbits are not the same creatures.

This story ends on a high note, with nearly all of the rabbits cleared of coccidia, and two of the rabbits recovering from their surgeries. they are on the road to recovery, and will be ready for adoption in no time. Thank you to Northside Prep and all of the students and school administrators who helped to rescue these rabbits and get them to safety. The rabbits all agreed, you get an A for effort.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Month of Discounted Adoptions Ends on High Note

For the month of August, all adoptions at Red Door were 25% off the regular adoption fee of $100 for cats and rabbits. We saw 12 animals find new homes during those 31 days, including two pairs of cats adopted out together! One of the biggest names adopted was Dee, adopted on the last day of August. Dee came to Red Door as a 6 month old over two and a half years ago. She spent her time in the kitten room, and as time went on, she outgrew her kittenhood and became an adult cat. She saw a lot of kittens come and go in those two years. About a month ago, she was moved to the common area at Red Door and everyone saw her personality shine. It didn't take long for her after that to find the home that fit her the best. Her adopter reports that Dee is doing great in her new home, and has become quite fond of "punching dough" on her new companion. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Here Is What NOT To Do...

For the second time this week, a box has been left at the front door with an animal inside. It's not the first time, and it won't be the last time unfortunately. However, both times, the animal that was inside escaped and the box was empty by the time the staff came in the morning. One of the animals was recovered by someone, the other unfortunately has not been found. If you find an animal, or know someone who has, please do NOT leave it at an animal shelter after hours. Aside from the animal possibly escaping and running into traffic (Red Door is located near a very busy intersection & alleyway), many times left without food or water, the animal is also exposed to the elements outside including rain, heat, snow, predators, insects, and even people who may want to do the animal harm. Also, leaving an animal at any shelter in the city other than Chicago Animal Care and Control is considered animal abandonment and is punishable by law. Understandably, people think they're doing the right thing, or may not know where else to turn.
So what should I do with an animal I find outside after hours? If you can house the animal overnight (spare bedroom, bathroom, etc) you can contact area animal shelters in the morning to check on availability. If you absolutely cannot keep the animal overnight and it's after hours, you can contact Chicago Animal Care and Control, who by law must take any stray animals for a holding period.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Big Black or British Broadcasting?

BBC first came to Red Door in the spring of 2000 as a stray cat. His name stood for Big Black Cat or Basic Black Cat, depending on who you asked. But BBC was anything but basic. He had a birth defect which fused his toes together on one paw, giving him the appearance of having a club foot. Because of that, he developed early arthritis and it could become painful for him to walk. Despite all of that, BBC was adopted a few months after he came in with three other Red Door cats.
His story didn't end there unfortunately. In May of 2003, he was returned with two of the other cats (one of whom was Luna, who you can read about below). They were left in a box with no air holes and no note. All three cats were very dirty. BBC got cleaned up, and despite having a very friendly personality, was overlooked year after year at Red Door. People were often put off by his birth defect or when he became over stimulated and had a tendancy to nip at times.
However, in December of 2010, BBC's luck changed. Red Door Animal Steward, Molly, could not resist BBC's charm, not to mention his lovely vampire fangs. Molly took BBC home to foster, and he quickly became British Broadcasting Cat. Recently, the official adoption paperwork was completed for BBC, and over 11 years after first coming to Red Door, BBC finally found his forever home.
BBC's story really shows that there really is a cat for someone out there, and you never know when that person will come into their lives and give them the loving

home they deserve.

Friday, July 01, 2011

The Marilyn Monroe of Cats

June is adopt a cat month, and it turned out to be a really great month for Luna. Her journey of finding that forever home was finally realized on Wednesday.
Luna was originally adopted from Red Door in 2001 as a kitten, with 3 other cats. A few months after adoption, her and two of the other cats were unceremoniosly left in a box outside the shelter. It was a very hot day, the box had no air holes, and no one knew how long they had been there. The cats were dirty, greasy, and matted. Needless to say, Luna got back on her paws, and quickly found a home again, this time for over 10 years.
Sadly, Luna was returned to the shelter again late last year, this time due to inappropriate elimination. It had been doing on for several years, and her adopter had tried everything in the book, had numerous medical tests done, and nothing seemed to work for poor Luna. It was with a heavy heart that her adopter brought her back.
Upon being readmitted to Red Door, we ran comprehensive tests to evaluate Luna's condition. She was also being treated for arthritis, pancreitis, and liver disease. When the xrays came back, they showed a tiny minute facture in one of her vertebrae. Dr. Gia at Animal 911 came to the conclusion that most likely everytime Luna went to make a bowel movement in the litterbox, that the squeezing of her abdominal muscles and intestines most likely put pressure on the vertebrae to make it painful, enough so that Luna associated the litterbox to be a painful place to be. Given her current medical conditions, and the fact that she had lived in a home for over 10 years and was now back at the shelter, Luna's outlook seemed gloomy, and it was speculated that her physical condition might continue to deteriorate quickly.
However, Luna pressed on and took her more than 6 medications each day like a pro. She definitely wasn't happy being at the shelter, but she would never give anyone the satisfaction of seeing her down in the dumps. Then one day, Luna's luck changed when a couple who had just lost their cat to illness came in looking to adopt again. It turns out they fell in love with two cats. After hearing Luna's situation, they decided to foster Luna for awhile to see how she would do in a new home. They fell in love with her of course, and this week they came in to finalize her adoption. They said they just couldn't imagine their lives without Luna, and they love her so much. As the adopters put it: "She's just so beautiful. She's like the Marilyn Monroe of cats!".
Some like it hot, and some just like to be loved.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

From Rags to Riches

Annie the dog came to us early April. Her owner showed up with her at the door saying that his family was moving and couldn't take her with. When the staff person turned her back for a moment, the man let Annie go and ran out the door. She was dirty, matted, and very thin. By our best estimates, she was probably left outside a lot, and definitely neglected. Needing to come up with a name, the staff temporarily named her "Ragstock". She was moved into a foster home, who got her cleaned up, groomed, and started on a good diet. Annie became a totally new dog, hardly recognizable from the scruffy pup who first showed up on our doorstep.

After a couple of months of not getting many looks, Annie finally met her match this past weekend and went to her new forever home who is sure to be her new Daddy Warbucks.

Monday, June 20, 2011

In Memory of Chex

Chex was a senior bunny when he came to us. He hadn't had the best care--a long-ignored ear infection had given him a crooked face. To us, he looked like he was smiling at something, and maybe he was.

He was happy from the first night he arrived, flopping in joy and loving the attention. He was affectionate and easygoing, but he really blossomed when volunteers Elise and Ben took him home.

Chex would sit on the sofa with them, cuddling and watching TV. He became friends with their cats and guinea pigs. He had finally found a real home.

Chex passed away knowing he was loved and appreciated, and he is greatly missed.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Red Door's 11th Annual Gimme Shelter! Walk for the Animals

On Sunday June 12, over 200 animal lovers will come to Indian Boundary Park to support Red Door Animal Shelter at the 11th annual Gimme Shelter! Walk for the Animals. The walk is always a ton of fun for people and pooches alike. After the 3k walk through the park and neighborhood, participants come back and enjoy a continental breakfast, entertainment, doggie splash pools, and more fun!

Advance registration fee is only $20, and day of registration is $25. Kids are only $5! Everyone who registers gets a free walk tshirt and a bandana for their doggie. No dog? No problem! You can still join up and register to walk with the cat or rabbit team. The rabbit team won two years ago, and the cat team won last year. Who will win the rubber match this year?

There are two easy ways to register for the walk. If you'd like to register to join up with the cat or rabbit team, or if you'd like to raise additional funds aside from the registration fee, you can register at:

If you just want to register for yourself or another person without joining a team, you can register at:

See you there on the 12th!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rest in Peace McGreevy

Red Door expresses its deepest sympathies to Kerri F. on the passing of her beloved McGreevy. He was a tiny dwarf boy with a BIG attitude. Kerri remembers...

"I originally came to Red Door for Schroeder because I saw him on Petfinder. I ended up seeing McGreevy first and he seemed to take a liking to me. I heard that he was having a hard time getting adopted and that just broke my heart. I did leave with Schrodie but I never forgot about The Greevster. I kept checking in with Marcia hoping he was adopted. He wasn't so I fostered him.

After about a week he got stuck under my radiator (which wasn't on thank god!). After I got him out (longest 3 min of my life), I knew he was trouble but I also knew he was mine. Well I've had McGreevy for over 6 yrs. and in that time he never failed to make me laugh. He liked to get in trouble...but how can you really get mad at a bunny? He was not allowed in my bedroom anymore because of my allergies and because he ripped the bottom off of my box spring and would hide inside of it. So he liked to sit in the doorway of my room as if he were challenging me. Most of the time he would just wait until I noticed and I'd yell "Bunny!", and he'd run as fast as he could back to his room. Then he'd do it again 5 min. later.

He also figured out that I was giving my dogs sweet potato and he'd box my dog out of her bowl just to get some. She never fought him. She knew who she was messing with. So I started giving him a little too until the doctor said that was a no no. So instead he got a tablespoon of critical care with a little carrot on top for his nightly treat. He loved his critical care! I work all different hours but the latest I ever get home is about 9:30pm. So that became midnight snack time. One thing that always amazed me is that he knew what time it was! Even when I came home early or didn't work at all, he knew when it was 9pm. So he would wait in the doorway of the kitchen and stare me down until I started getting their treat ready. Then McGreevy and my two dogs would line up side by side and wait for it. He'd scarf his down so he could try to steal the dogs treat too. He soon had to be separated from the dogs during treat time.

Needless to say he was a character. I used to call him my little BadAss. He was the best and going through all my pictures made realize how much he must have missed Schroeder. They were my little Brokeback Bunnies. Hopefully they're together again. That gives me some peace of mind."

McGreevy was well-loved and will be missed by many.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Remembering Smitty -- an Exceptional Rabbit

Many volunteers & visitors to the shelter remember Smitty, a small black-&-white Dutch bunny. He was an exceptional bunny with more personality than most humans. But he had some neurological problems--nothing that impeded his quality of life--but the future was uncertain. So he was always passed over for adoption.

Then Laura met him. And she adopted him, so Smitty was able to live his life in a warm, loving home where his special qualities were appreciated.

Laura writes:
"I just want to express how much Smitty meant to me. He was my introduction to life with a bunny, and I took such joy in daily things like watching him hop freely around the apartment with his cute little rump in the air. He was very happy with us, and he often spent time under the bed with his favorite cat, Nina. I think he felt something in her that he enjoyed because she was a cat that had survived a car accident and extensive injuries. I know he was happy because he would often come into the living room while I watched tv and he would do binkies across the rug so I could see him. For the short time I had him he found his way into my heart."

A few days ago Smitty had a seizure and died in Laura's arms. We thank Laura for loving Smitty and our thoughts are with her.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Splish Splash!

On Saturday April 30th and Sunday May 1st, Canine Social Club (5508 N. Western Ave) will be hosting a dog wash benefit for the animals at Red Door. Prices for baths are based on the size of the dog:
XS (0-15lbs)- short hair- $10 long hair $15
S (16-30lbs)- short hair $15 long hair $20
M (31-50lbs)- short hair $20 long hair $30
L (51-70lbs)- short hair $30 long hair $40
XL (71lbs +)- short hair $40 long hair $50

Canine Massage Chicago will also be on hand to offer dog massages for $1 per minute. The fun starts at 8am on Saturday and 10am on Sunday. There are also some great Spa packages for your pooch! All proceeds go to help homeless animals at Red Door. For more info contact Canine Social Club at 773-506-6200 or

See you there!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

First Easter Bunny 2011 Rescue

Look at little Fozzy. He's just a baby--a lop-earred, long-furred, harlequin baby bunny. Yet he was found outside the day after Easter, sitting in his cage--in the garbage where someone had left him.

Red Door volunteers heard about him and scooped him up before he got taken away with the trash.

Fozzy got saved, but so many Easter rabbits are in peril. Please think of all the other Fonzys and help Red Door help more rabbits in need.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Remember the Duck "Brothers"?

We're sure you remember the baby ducks who came to Red Door last winter--they had been dumped in a pond but they had no feathers, just baby duck fuzz? Then it turned out they had metal poisoning, so Kiwi and Waffles lived at Red Door for several months while being treated.

We called them the Duck Brothers and you may have seen the video of them on our Facebook page? They loved to swim in our sink and later, when they got bigger, in our bathtub.

When Kiwi and Waffles reached a full recovery, they went to live in Virginia with our well-known duck lovers and rescuers Heather and John. (Thanks to Pam and her husband John for driving them.)

Guess what? The "brothers" turn out to be sisters! We thought you'd like to see Kiwi and Waffles in the backyard of their new home. The first photos shows Waffles looking at the camera and Kiwi is right behind her.

And the second photo shows the whole gang--we hear the Duck Sisters fit right in! In the middle of this photo you can see Kiwi and Waffles walking on either side of their new best friend Elmer. And bringing up the rear is Flipper, who is quacking off at them.

They look like very happy, healthy ducks! Thanks Heather and John for all the duck love.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Black Velvet

January was a great month for adoptions at Red Door. There were 9 cats adopted, and the biggest one of all was Velvet. For those who don't know, Velvet had been at Red Door for over 5 years. He was orignally living in a nursing home facility which then closed and Velvet had no where to go. Soon after coming to Red Door, Velvet was diagnosed with Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease and was prone to urinary blockages because of it. Once the problem was diagnosed, he was prescribed 2 different medications as well as prescription diet food.

Even though Velvet managed very well on his medications, had a very sweet & easy going personality, due to his special needs and age (7-10), he was constantly overlooked by potential adopters. Last winter a couple visited the shelter looking to adopt a pair of cats. They decided to foster Velvet to make sure he would be the right fit for them, and to be sure they would be able to manage his medications and special needs. Of course, they fell in love with Velvet, and could not envision their lives without him, and finalized his adoption in January. Velvet and his cute tounge-sticking-out antics will be missed by the staff and volunteers at Red Door, but of course it's most important that he found a great loving home to live his life with.

Red Door Honored by Windy City Rollers

Come out on Sunday February 13th to the UIC Pavilion to witness some nationally ranked womens flat track roller derby. Red Door will be honored at half time with a check presentation from Windy City Rollers and Red Door volunteers will be on site with information about Red Door programs.

Off the track, love is sure to be in the air the day before Valentines Day, but it's blood, sweat and tears on the track. It's sure to be a great time with some fierce competition as the Hells Belles take on the Double Crossers in the first match at 3pm and the Manic Attackers take on the Fury in the second match. For tickets and more information check out the Windy City Rollers at

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Welcome to the Year of the Rabbit

It's official--2011 is the Year of the Rabbit: Happpy Chinese New Year to everyone! According to the Chinese zodiac, rabbits are gracious, kind, elegant, artistic, compassionate, and make excellent friends.

If you're looking for a new, excellent friend, please adopt a rabbit from Red Door. And stayed tuned for a whole year of wonderful rabbit-centric events.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Grape Expectations Jan. 27th: Red/White Wine Tasting Fundraiser

You won't want to miss the Red/White Wine Tasting Fundraiser this Thursday, January 27th, at Fine Wine Brokers, 421 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago. It runs from 7:30 - 9 pm and your $40 ticket includes wine, hors d'oeuvres, celebration, and a chance to help the animals at Red Door Animal Shelter.

This event usually sells out! And it's well on its way to doing so now. So make your reservation now at

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Miss Pickles Finds Love

Valentine's Day came early for Miss Pickles. And not a moment too soon! For years, she lived outside in a hutch with little interaction with people and all too much exposure to the elements. Then Red Door volunteer Jill was able to rescue her. But even at Jill's house, Miss Pickles was very prickley! She didn't want love, she didn't even want anyone to look at her. Go away! was her constant state of mind.

Another Red Door volunteer, Pellet, took Miss Pickles home and spend time with her, sitting in her space with her, even though Miss Pickles made it clear that Pellet was not welcome. But slowly she began to come around.

Then she came back to the shelter and within two weeks, she met her dream family. They loved her and Miss Pickles loves them back. It's a real happy ending for a very deserving bunny.