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.



Best of the Fox!

It’s that time of year again! The Best of the Fox Readers’ Choice Awards is back to determine the best businesses and organizations in McHenry County. Last year, Helping Paws Animal Shelter was voted one of the BEST  animal shelter rescue for the 10th year in a row! This year we need your help again to be voted one of the best to make it 11 years!

Here’s how you can vote. Simply visit the Northwest Herald website and in the Pet Care section pick  “Animal Shelter Rescue” and type in “Helping Paws” to cast your vote. You will need to create an account with your email address, but after that you can vote every day by just logging in.

So why should you vote for Helping Paws Animal Shelter as the Best Animal Shelter Rescue? Helping Paws is the oldest no-kill animal rescue organization in McHenry County and has been helping save animals and giving them a second chance since 1969.  We are dedicated to not only saving animals and re-homing them, but matching them with the best family so that they may live out their life in the right environment.

Please vote in the 2021 Best of the Fox Readers’ Choice Awards through July 20 and help Helping Paws continue its mission of being the Best Animal Shelter Rescue in McHenry County!

To learn more about Helping Paws Animal Shelter, look around our website.

Past News

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

Watch our video to learn more about Helping Paws.

About Helping Paws

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.

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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

Upcoming Events

Panting for Paws 5K and 10K

October 9 @ 7:00 am - 1:00 pm

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