Helping Paws Animal Shelter’s mission is to provide shelter, food, medical care, and comfort to abandoned, neglected, and abused animals until they are placed into loving, responsible homes.

Second Chances Start Here!

Helping Paws is a no-kill animal shelter and private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Our small, committed staff of 11 employees and over 300 dedicated volunteers handle and care for more than 800 animals annually and serve more than 300,000 residents in McHenry County and surrounding communities.

Each animal that comes into our shelter is treated with respect, kindness and compassion. We believe that for each of our animals…”Second Chances Start Here.”


The best things in life are rescued.

Wall of Love

What better gift to give an animal than love!
Help us save more animals by donating and give them their Second Chance at Love.

Do you want to be part of saving a homeless animal’s life, but aren’t able to adopt or foster?

Helping Paws Animal Shelter has created a “Second Chance Ticket” Sponsorship that will allow you to help rescue the animals! By becoming a sponsor, you will provide the funding needed to remove these animals from high-volume kill shelters, where they have little to no hope at a future, and onto a transport to our shelter, where they will be given their Second Chance at a great life!

Your sponsorship will pay for their initial vet exam and health certificate, initial vaccinations, any necessary medications (prior to travel), as well as the cost of transportation.

  • $50.00 – Ticket for a Cat or Kitten
  • $75.00 – Ticket for a Dog or Puppy
  • $100.00 – Ticket for a Kitten Litter
  • $150.00 – Ticket for a Puppy Litter

Any donation amount is greatly appreciated.

Help spread the word so we can save more animals this year than ever!

Add Your Heart to the Wall

Other Ways to Donate

Do Your Holiday Shopping With

You shop. Amazon gives. When you shop AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate to your favorite charitable organization.

  • Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Helping Paws Animal Shelter
  • AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service.
  • Support your charitable organization by starting your shopping at

Frequently Asked Questions

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers like you enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organizations of your choice.

Tens of millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for donations. You will see eligible products marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages. Recurring Subscribe-and-Save purchases and subscription renewals are not currently eligible. For more information, see Qualifying Purchases in the AmazonSmile Participation Agreement.

No. Amazon funds the operations of the AmazonSmile Foundation.
  • Always shop at If you’re shopping on the regular site, the purchases will not count.
  • Select “Fox Valley Helping Paws Animal Welfare Association” as the organization you’d like to support.
  • Verify that you see our name in the header as your selected organization.

Amazon Smile toolbar

Purchase the Items We Need

and send them directly to us!

Donate to us by shopping our wish list:

  • Go to our Amazon Wishlist
  • Select the items you’d like to donate
  • Send the order directly to us at Helping Paws Animal Shelter, 2500 Harding Lane, Woodstock, IL 60098

Gift a Gift of Stock

gift of stock icon

Donating stock can be an effective and efficient method of supporting Helping Paws Animal Shelter. Stock donations may enable you to increase your gift to Helping Paws while realizing additional tax benefits to you. Check with your broker or tax advisor to determine if a stock donation makes sense for you.

Instruct your bank or broker how many shares of which companies you wish to gift and instruct them to deliver as follows:

Benjamin F. Edwards & Co.
11621 Catalpa Lane, Woodstock, IL 60098
Account Name: Fox Valley Helping Paws Animal Shelter Association
EIN: 23-7177946

For more information, please contact Helping Paws at

We’ve been helping animals find loving homes for over 50 years!

Watch our video to learn more about Helping Paws.

About Helping Paws

Upcoming Events


Peace, Love, Paws!

18th Annual Paws in Park Dog Walk and Pet Fest


Plans are underway for our 18th annual Paws in the Park Walk & Pet Fest! This event is a dog- and family-friendly event where you can bring your dog(s) and enjoy a day of fun at Emricson Park in Woodstock! This fun-filled day will include a walk around a nature path, dog games and prizes, pet blessing, raffles, vendors, food and more! You’ll also get a chance to meet a few of our shelter dogs that are available for adoption.

Participants can register individually or form/join a team. A fundraising page can also be created to help raise even more for the animals at Helping Paws by asking for donations.


Registration is now open!


Be an advocate AND a fundraiser for the animals by collecting pledges. You can set up a pledge page during online registration or download a pledge form.

Read More

Past News

Saving one animal won’t change the world, but it will change the world for that one animal.