Please help us help Shorty


Shorty is a 15 year old Pomeranian that was surrendered to a local kill facility in late June of 2014. At 15 years old, he is still feisty, happy and full of energy. He can run up and down stairs and has proven to get along with dogs of all sizes, cats, children and people.
We as a rescue have been shocked that applicants have withdrawn their applications because he is still full of life and mobile.

On 1/4/16, Shorty developed a large swelling under his right eye. We brought him into our vet and discovered that he had a Carnassial Tooth Abscess in the 4th premolar. His back teeth are fused together by tartar build up. This is extensive and major surgery, especially for a dog of his age.

He had one round of blood panel and urinalysis and the vet has placed him on 2 weeks antibiotics to prepare him for surgery. He will then be subjected to another round of blood tests and xrays to be sure that is heart is not enlarged because he has a slight heart murmur. These need to be performed in order to ensure his survival.

We’d like to ask for your help.
Making A Difference Rescue is a Non-Profit Organization
that is funded solely by donations made by the public.
We are a 501(c)3 and all donations are tax deductible.

We have several fundraisers set up.
Snap It Forward has generously set up a page to donate 35% of their jewelry sales to our rescue to help.
We will also be featured at the BarkBox Comedy event on January 21, 2016 at Chicago Party Animals Loft Venue.

You may also donate here.
or here

Thank you.

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Lola Update

“Eventually you will come to understand that love heals everything, and love is all there is.” – Gary Zukav

This is what love looks like. This is what love can do.

We wanted to share with you this happy update of MADR alumni, Mallie, now known as Lola.
Her skin and hair have mended when we were told that there was little chance. Her spirit has been lifted and she has truly come out of her shell. We are so grateful for her new family who had found her in her condition and were determined to give her a home and reached out to us to help them help her and for her many angels who advocated for her. She is loved.

If you haven’t read her story, you can read it here:

Roscoe, now known as “Pisac” has found his fur-ever home

We are overjoyed to share the happy news that Roscoe, now known as “Pisac” has found his fur-ever home!

This has been a big month for his new Mommy Marti. She will be completing her CE Certification as Veterinarian Technician. Big sister Nelly is already a Certified Therapy Dog. Pisac has exciting adventures and experiences ahead of him!


20151017_094847We wanted to give a huge thank you to an amazing organization, Paws Illinois, NFP.
We are so grateful for your donation, help and generosity.

Special thanks to Michael Tellerino,  CEO of PAWS ILLINOIS, NFP. for his fore sight and vision to help keep pets out of shelters and at home.

PAWS ILLINOIS, NFP has created a program called “PETS 4 VETS”. This program will focus
on assisting all United States Veterans – living in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs –  many of whom have been injured while serving our great country or suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). PAWS ILLINOIS would like to show our gratitude to these heroes by offering Veterans with service dogs a LIFETIME supply of food, routine medical and spay/neuter services for their service dog companion at no cost.
Please show them your support, donate and like their facebook page!

Change is needed in Cook County

Cook County residents and animal lovers:
Please read the petition below as this affects you and your fur loved ones and their return to you if they should get lost.

Change is needed.

Our mission as a rescue has always been to help keep homeless animals out of the shelter. We have also provided help when we can to help others keep their loved ones at home so they do not have to enter the shelter system.

Education is empowering. Educate yourself and protect your loved ones.

The Department of Cook County Animal and Rabies Control (CCARC) does not have a facility. It is incredibly rare for an animal control department with the size of its’ county population to not operate its own facility. Dupage, Grundy, Lake, Kankakee, Kendall, Kane, Will, and McHenry County all have their own facilities to house stray animals, reunite pets with their families and adopt out homeless pets. They are funded by your tax dollars and rabies tag fees.
Read the audit here.

Be a voice for your Cook County animals.

“This is a petition demanding the Cook County Board of Commissioners accept the recommended changes by the Cook County Inspector General as a FIRST step towards fixing the problems with Department of Cook County Animal and Rabies Control (CCARC).

The ASPCA estimates that 40-60% of animals in shelters are lost pets.  Most of these pets do not need a new home; they simply need to go home. Every animal not reunited with its owner costs Cook County money.

Proactively reuniting lost pets with their families should be one of the main focuses of animal control departments.  When barriers prevent people from reclaiming their lost pets, the system fails.  Cook County Animal and Rabies Control fails.

The OIIG report revealed several areas of concern, including but not limited to:

·      No centralized database for posting found dogs and cats for Cook County. Posting photos on a website allows families to search the site when it is convenient for them and with more frequency.  There are many situations that make it difficult for owners to physically visit all the stray holding facilities in Cook County frequently to look for their lost dogs, including:

Work hours

Access to transportation

Language barriers

Physical challenges

·      No facility. Nationally, it is incredibly rare for an animal control department to not operate its own facility.  Kankakee, Lake, Kendall, Kane, Dupage and McHenry County all have their own facilities to house stray animals, reunite pets with their families and adopt out homeless pets.   It is a complete maze in Cook County with 135 municipalities, including Chicago, having multiple facilities and making it very difficult for families to find their lost pets. With the sheer number of shelters within Cook County, a centralized database in lieu of a centralized physical facility is minimally necessary.

·      No central repository system (microchip number and rabies tags number) available to other shelters and law enforcement to reunite pets with their families quickly.

·      Animal Control website fails to provide guidance to pet owners and no listings of the stray holding facilities in Cook County.

·      Disparity of budget and intake: Cook County Animal and Rabies Control Fiscal Year 2015 Budget  $4 million –  2014 intake 262 animals; compared to City of Chicago Animal Care and Control Fiscal Year 2015   $5.5 million – 2014 intake 21,037 animals.

These are just a few of the items pointed out, which are disconcerting for taxpayers and voters in Cook County (including Chicago).  City of Chicago – your rabies tag monies fund this department.  What services do you receive?

There is a disconnect between what Cook County Rabies and Animal Control actually does and what is truly needed for residents and animals alike in Cook County.

It is time to overhaul the Department of Cook County Animal and Rabies Control and reexamine its mission so the department can provide vital services, ensure that funds are spent effectively and allow for an efficient process for owners to get their pets back.”
Please sign here.

Jeffrey has found his furever home!

Jeffrey, our football mascot has scored his very own touchdown!

Jeffrey has officially found his fur-ever home!

We could not be more happy for him!
He now has an amazing mommy to call his own, and 2 brothers (Charlie & Maddox) to play with!

Lily, Now Known As Sophia, Has Found Her Fur-ever Home!

We are ecstatic to share the happy news that Lily, now known as Sophia, has found her fur-ever home!

We could not have asked for a more perfect home.
She is living the good life with her new brother, Buddy, and her new daddy, who is a well known American entertainment television host, reporter and advocate.  He has always chosen to adopt instead of shop and we are so grateful.

It is Now Or Never!

Written by Susan Taney

At the request of Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey, the Cook County Independent Inspector General (OIIG) conducted an 8 month audit of Cook County Animal Control.  On August 21, 2015, the OIIG released its audit summary.    The OIIG found many failures in regards to providing services to Cook County residents and their pets.  Cook County is funded by rabies tag monies, which are paid by Cook County residents (including Chicago).


  • No centralized database for posting found dogs for Cook County.
  • No facility (FY 2015 $4 million budget – 2014 intake 262 animals; compared to City of Chicago Animal Care and Control FY2015 $5.5 million – 2014 intake 21,037 animals)
  • No listing of Cook County stray holding facilities on the Cook County Animal and Rabies Control website  (approx. 37 different facilities in Cook County that hold strays).
  • No central repository system (microchip numbers and rabies tags number) available to other shelters and law enforcement to reunite pets with their family quickly.

All these failures lead to an ineffective system of reuniting lost dogs with their families.  Pets are family members.   They should be treated as such.

Cook County Residents (including Chicago)

Please contact the President of Cook County Board and each County Commissioner Board Member and let them respectfully know that you support the recommended changes presented by the Cook County Inspector General as a FIRST step toward fixing the problems of Cook County Animal Control.

Here is the listing of the President and the County Commissioner Board.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle  – Phone: 312.603.4600

Commissioner Richard R .Boykin  – District #1

Phone: 312.603.4566                     Richard.Boykin@cookcountyil.gov

Commissioner Robert B. Steele – District #2

Phone:312.603.3019                      Robert.Steele@cookcountyil.gov

Commissioner Jerry Butler – District #3

Phone: 312.603.6391                     Jerry.Butler@cookcountyil.gov

Commissioner Stanley Moore – District #4

Phone: 312.603.2065                     Stanley.moore2@cookcountyil.gov

Commissioner Deborah Sims – District #5

Phone: 312.603.6381                     Deborah.Sims@cookcountyil.gov

Commissioner Joan Patricia Murphy – District #6

Phone: 312.603.4216                     Joan.Murphy@cookcountyil.gov

Commissioner Jesús G. García – District #7

Phone: 312.603.5443                     Jesus.Garcia@cookcountyil.gov

Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr. – District #8

Phone: 312.603.6386                     Luis.Arroyojr@cookcountyil.gov

Commissioner Peter N. Silvestri – District #9

Phone: 312.603.4393                     cookcty9@aol.com

Commissioner Bridget Gainer District #10

Phone: 312.603.4210                     Bridget@bridgetgainer.com

Commissioner John P. Daley – District #11

Phone: 312.603.4400                       John.Daley@cookcountyil.gov

Commissioner John A. Fritchey – District #12

If you would like to thank Commissioner Fritchey for initiating this investigation, please contact him.


Commissioner Larry Suffredin – District #13

Phone: 312.603.6383                     lsuffredin@aol.com

Commissioner Gregg Goslin – District #14

Phone: 312.603.4932                     Commissioner.Goslin@cookcountyil.gov

Commissioner Timothy O. Schneider – District #15

Phone: 312.603.6388                     Tim.Schneider@cookcountyil.gov

Commissioner Jeffrey R. Tobolski – District #16

Phone: 312.603.6384                     Jeffrey.Tobolski@cookcountyil.gov

Commissioner Sean Morrison – District #17

Phone: 312.603.4215                     sean.morrison@cookcountyil.gov

We need to let the President and Cook County Commissioners know that the residents of Cook County overwhelmingly support changes to provide better services to the Cook County Residents and their pets.

Why lost pets stay lost in Cook County

A recent investigation of Cook County’s Department of Animal and Rabies Control revealed the agency lacks a system for reuniting lost pets with their families. (Jeffrey Coolidge, The Image Bank)

Editorial Board

Your best friend, Bowser, is missing.

You’ve plastered the neighborhood with fliers, posted his mug on Facebook, circled the block for hours while holding a can of Alpo out the car window. You’ve offered up a prayer to St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, and cursed yourself for not registering that microchip. Now what?

It’s time to make the rounds at all the local shelters, come up empty, and repeat. If Bowser’s been picked up and you don’t find him quickly, he could be offered for adoption or, gulp, euthanized.

Don’t expect much help from Cook County’s Department of Animal and Rabies Control. It doesn’t operate a shelter and doesn’t consider reuniting lost pets with their families a big part of its mission. In a report last month, the county’s inspector general made a good case that it ought to, and we agree. Especially since the IG’s six-month review left us shaking our heads at what the department actually does.

 Animal Control is about rabies, mostly. It gets most of its funding from the sale of rabies tags — and spends much of that money to pay employees to type the rabies tag data into a very old computer system.

There are 22 full-time employees, and 13 of them spend most of their time processing tags, often earning comp time for working during their lunch hours, according to the IG’s report.

Most of the data is submitted by clinics, shelters, veterinarians and rescue groups that perform the actual rabies vaccinations, but Animal Control’s system is so dated that the information can’t be uploaded easily, if at all. So staffers do it by hand. If this reminds you of the Cook County clerk of the circuit court office, join the club.

The IG recommends a web-based system so veterinarians and others can input the data themselves, freeing up resources for more meaningful services (like helping you find Bowser).

Animal Control also holds low-cost rabies and microchip clinics and runs a spay/neuter rebate program to encourage pet sterilization.

The office is closed nights, weekends and holidays, and the IG’s report notes that law enforcement agencies throughout the county complain that they can’t access rabies data or find an animal control officer except during banking hours.

There are six employees who patrol the unincorporated area for strays. Their workday includes time spent commuting to and from work in their take-home government vehicles. For one employee, that’s three hours a day. If heavy traffic means their door-to-door workday lasts longer than eight hours, they get comp time.

What do they do in between? The report doesn’t say, exactly, but it sounds rather aimless. The IG recommends more supervision, along with a patrol strategy based on analytics, “not left to the discretion and judgment” of drivers. It also says work schedules “should be adjusted for improved coverage and reflective of the needs of the county.”

The big takeaway from the IG’s report, though, was the notion that Animal Control should take responsibility for unwinding the frustrating “maze” that prevents lost pets in Cook County from finding their way home.

Animal Control contracts with a shelter in Chicago Ridge to take in animals impounded by the county. Chicago sends its strays to a shelter in Little Village. A few suburbs have their own facilities. Then there are more than a dozen nonprofit shelters and rescue groups. Together, they take in 50,000 animals a year. Bowser could end up at any one of them.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says fewer than 30 percent of dogs that come in as strays — and fewer than 5 percent of cats — are claimed by an owner. Those odds are likely worse in Cook County, because owners don’t know where to start. It makes sense for them to start with Animal Control, the IG says.

The agency’s website should provide a road map for the search, the report says, with a list of all the shelters and rescue groups, including phone numbers and Internet links. It could also include a registry that can be accessed by the public to upload posts and photos about lost and found pets, and a database of microchip registrations and rabies tag numbers to help shelters and local police identify animals they pick up.

That would be a real service to the people whose rabies tag fees fund Animal Control, and the costs would be more than covered if the agency adopted the efficiencies recommended in the IG’s report. That would be a tail-wagging outcome for everyone. Especially Bowser.

Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune

Cocoa has found her fur-ever home

We are ecstatic to share with you the happy news that Cocoa has found her fur-ever home!!

Cocoa was all tail wags and smiles when we arrived in her new home. She immediately recognized Mike & Julie as the nice people that came to visit her a few weeks ago. They had so many toys, yummy food, a comfy bed waiting for her.
We could not be happier for Cocoa!!

We are so grateful to all of her caretakers who have showered her with love, patience and guidance. This would not be possible without you.