Lake Zurich shelter takes in ‘recycled dogs’
Green Pup Shelter president Leslie Lipowski, a Barrington Hills resident, runs a group of local pet foster homes. Lipowski holds "Melvin," an 11-year-old Carin Terrier, who is up for adoption. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 1, 2013 6:58AM
KILDEER — Pet adoption agencies often see families in financial crisis sending their dogs to shelters, or worse, abandoning them.
That’s when Green Pup Shelter gets involved.
The local nonprofit consists of pet foster homes across the Lake Zurich, Kildeer and Barrington area. The homes take in “recycled” dogs, showing them the care and affection they need before a new, loving adoptive home is found.
“Some of these dogs come to me looking so confused because they don’t know why they’ve lost their family, and they have sad eyes,” said Green Pup Shelter president Leslie Lipowski, a Barrington Hills resident. “Once you show them love and trust again, their eyes look happy.”
Lipowski co-founded the organization with a group of like-minded dog lovers about four years ago. With the slogan “adopt a recycled dog,” they help save many of the dogs that are oftentimes subjected to euthanasia at pounds or shelters due to age or certain medical problems.
Another significant portion of their rescues come from dogs that were abandoned or “surrendered” by their former owners. Among several reasons, Lipowski listed foreclosure as one of the common reasons why owners had to give up or leave their dogs.
All of Green Pup’s rescues are given the medical attention they need, and the dogs are cared for by licensed foster homes prior to adoption. These foster homes act in the place of a shelter, as 100 percent of the donations Green Pup receives are used to cover the costs necessary to care for the dogs.
“Me and the other board members all work like dogs — no pun intended — and we need help,” said Lipowski, adding that she has hopes to receive more volunteer and foster home applications.
Green Pup currently oversees about 10 active foster homes, which have 18 dogs available for adoption. Lipowski, however, pointed out that 10 homes isn’t enough room for all the dogs they’d like to help.
The organization also is looking for more volunteers to help with fund-raising, walking the dogs and assisting with its adoption days, which are often held at the PetSmart in Kildeer.
As a relatively new shelter, Lipowski said, Green Pup has already taken big strides within the greater Lake Zurich community in terms of its fundraising and rescue efforts, and its involvement in the school district.
Last summer, Green Pup’s volunteers helped save several German Shepherd-Boxer mix puppies that were inflicted with parvovirus, a contagious canine virus that’s highly deadly when left untreated. Rescue volunteers found the puppies running loose around a Barrington Hills home after Aid to Animals of Northern Illinois informed the them of the situation, and sought out immediate medical attention when they noticed some were drooling.
May Whitney Elementary School’s students got involved in late 2011, helping raise money for the shelter through a “Pennies for Paws” coin drive. Green Pup then brought one if its newest rescue dogs to the school to let the winning class name her. At the end of the day, the Pug-Pomeranian mix left with the name “Penny.”
On Feb. 9, the shelter will be hosting a “Murder Mystery Dinner Party” fundraiser at Mill Creek Inn in Wauconda from 6 to 11 p.m. to further support the cause.
For more information about Green Pup Shelter, its fundraisers or how to get involved, visit www.greenpupshelter.org or call (847) 946-1735.