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.


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

In 2019 we will be celebrating our 50th Anniversary!

Stay tuned and keep checking back for details on what we will be doing to celebrate!


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.

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Past News

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