January 30, 2019

Mayor Emanuel And Chicago Animal Care And Control Announce Record-High Live Release Rate In 2018

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Animal Care and Control (CACC) today announced a record-high Live Release Rate (LRR) of 91 percent in 2018, up from 89 percent in 2017 and 72 percent in 2014. The increased LLR is even more notable as intake has also increased over the last two years (see chart below).

In 2018, CACC sheltered over 16,000 animals, adopted out nearly 1,900 pets, transferred almost 9,000 animals to rescue groups and returned over 1,500 pets to owners.

“Chicago Animal Care and Control is fulfilling its mission to provide quality, humane care to animals while ensuring the safety of our residents,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Through our network of committed volunteers, advocates and rescue organizations, as well as through operational and programmatic enhancements, the City will continue to make record progress for years to come.”

CACC continues to promote adoptions and expand partnerships with adoption events like Petoberfest, Adopt-o-ween, Petsgiving and Home for the Holidays. Over the last year, CACC also started many new life-saving programs, including: 

  • “Field Return to Owner” program providing staff with the tools to scan lost pets in the community and return them to their owners faster;
  • Sponsorship for Heartworm treatment supporting the health of the animals and help CACC’s rescue partners transfer dogs out more quickly;
  • Cat TLC Team providing more individualized care and in-kennel enrichment of CACC’s cats;
  • Tails of Redemption Dog Training Program providing enhanced training and companionship for dogs in partnership with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office; and
  • Cat Adoption Program expansion providing support and education to adopters of cats that test positive for the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV).

"I am thrilled that the life-saving work at Chicago Animal Care and Control continues to grow and improve,” said CACC Executive Director Kelley Gandurski. "The animals at CACC were once family pets, but through unfortunate circumstances, found their way to the shelter. It is our mission to find them a way home again."

“This is awesome and it shows how much work the staff, volunteers and rescues are doing,” said Safe Humane Chicago Executive Director, Cynthia Bathurst. “This doesn’t mean that we still don’t have work to do to save as many animals as possible, but we are pleased with our progress, and we couldn’t be happier!”

CACC is the city’s only municipal-run animal shelter, protecting public safety and ensuring the humane care of animals through sheltering, pet placement, low-cost pet medical care, education and animal law enforcement. 

The table below illustrates CACC’s LRR over the past five years. To see monthly, quarterly and annual numbers, please go to: https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/cacc/supp_info/cacc_data_statistics.html   


  LRR Dogs LRR Cats Total LRR Dogs and Cats
2018 91% 91% 91%
2017 88% 90 89%
2016 73% 85% 79%
2015 65% 83% 74%
2014 67% 76% 72%

To calculate the total LRR, we perform the following calculation:

1) Add the total number of dog and cat adoptions, transfers to rescue groups, and returns to owner.

2) Divide this number by the total number of cat and dog outcome minus “Euthanasia by Request” and “Dead on Arrival.”

3) Multiply the result by 100 to arrive at the LRR.