Bo's Journey

Several months ago, one of our volunteers watched in horror as a van rolled over a dog and drove off. Being the awesome New Leasher that she is, this volunteer acted quickly and brought this stray to our vets for intensive treatment. We were thrilled when Bo made a seemingly full recovery. Once we got him out of the vet and in to a loving foster home, Bo's personality totally changed. This 9 month old guy is a total goofball, a lover of toys, and a great companion for his human friends. We were so happy to make him officially one of our New Leash on Life dogs.

Throughout Bo's journey from critical condition to adoption event star, we have been committed to providing him with the medical attention that he has required. After his accident, Bo could not put weight on to his front legs. But with vigilant treatment and therapy, Bo seemingly made a full recovery.

As time has passed and his scarred face has healed, we were dismayed to see that while his right leg improved, his left front leg has continually bothered him. With the help of our specialists, we determined that the radial nerve damage is too much for this active and lively pup. Because of this, he continues to injure his injured leg by favoring and overdeveloping the muscles in his other legs. After multiple and lengthy discussions with all parties involved, it was decided that Bo would require amputation of his left leg in order to give him the best quality of life.

Bo's journey will not be made on the traditional four legs. Instead, this guy will be going his own way on three strong and healthy ones. His lack of a limb will be tangible proof that he is a survivor. He is a shining example that anything can happen with the right people, a lot of love, and a whole bunch of determination.

New Leash will be supporting Bo through it all- including the costly medical procedures and therapy . As a 100% volunteer run nonprofit, we ask that you considering donating to our cause. Whether it is good wishes or monetary support, you can help us make Bo's journey to a forever home happen today.


Luck of the Elvis?


We here at NLOL are getting super pumped up for our event at Irish Eyes tonight

While we love having a good time, we think the best part of a New Leash event is reconnecting with our friends, family, and supporters. We especially LOVE to hear a good "happy tails" story! So of course I was thrilled when we heard from my favorite alumni/heart throb: ELVIS!

When NLOL Chicago found and rescued the handsome Elvis (formerly known as Bates), I was instantly smitten! This pup was the perfect mix of sweetness and spunk. He loved dogs just as much as he adored people, and his fan base grew and grew as the weeks passed.

But it wasn't long till he was spotted by the perfect, cocker spaniel family! Vicki and her husband had been huge fans of the dogs since their first family pups, and their current spaniel Annie was looking for a brother to join the pack. Elvis fit right in! He loved the big yard his suburban home provided, learned the ropes from his loving doggie sister, and became the apple of his parent's eyes in only a matter of two weeks. Elvis didn't need to leave the building anymore- he had found his forever home.

elvis and annie

Elvis's NLOL name was given to us by an amazing guy named Brian. Brian has been a generous and awesome supporter of New Leash on Life Chicago for years. This week, Brian is challenging us to raise $2500 to our St. Puppy's Day match campaign. We've been overwhelmed by the support we've gotten over the last couple of days, and we are still hoping to make Brian's vision come true. All of our monetary support goes 100% to saving more dogs and providing them with the necessary (yet costly) medical, emotional, and physical care that they need. Please consider supporting us with a donation today so we can find a warm bed and a loving family for all those homeless "hound dogs!"

St. Puppy's Day Match Campaign

luck (/lək) 968Synonyms: fortune – chance – happiness – hap – fate – felicity

One of the best things about our New Leash community is that we are a huge family – a family of dog lovers, supporters, adopters, admirers; a fam

ily of people wanting to make a difference in the world one dog at a time. This St. Patrick’s Day, we are reaching out to our family to help us continue to make a difference – with a little bit of luck.

You see, it was a little bit of luck that brought Brian into a pet store where he saw one of our NLOL pups for the first time. At least, we believe it was luck, because he soon became part of our family through his passion to save “just one more” homeless dog. The story behind his passion can be found here, on our blog. The road has been long and full of both love and loss for Brian – but today, he wants to create a little luck for more homeless dogs.


Brian has offered to donate $2500 to New Leash on Life―Chicago if we can raise the same amount by St. Patrick’s Day (Sunday, March 17). That means that your donation can go doubly far to help New Leash on Life rescue more lucky dogs! No amount is too small; every single penny will help.

As a double bonus, we’ve having a bar party to celebrate!  After all, what’s St. Paddy’s Day without a pint? Join us at Irish Eyes on Lincoln on Wednesday, March 13 from 7-10 p.m. All tips earned by our volunteer guest bartenders will be donated to NLOL!  To sweeten this pot of gold, we’ll also have live Irish music music by Brendan Diamond(NLOL foster dad and adopter extraordinaire), a raffle, and NLOL merchandise for sale! All this will benefit the little people who need it the most: no, not the leprechauns – the pups!

Springtime is usually the time when the number of homeless dogs swell, leaving the dogs at risk of starvation, malnutrition, and, in many cases, euthanasia. Your donation will help us find many more pups to give them a new chance at love and a new leash on life. Please consider donating today.

Create some luck for a homeless pup – and help us meet Brian’s challenge. Click to donate.

 What about the man behind this lucky mission?

He approached NLOL with this offer and when we asked what he would say to those donating, he answered.

NLOL: Why are you so passionate about rescue? photo

Brian: 13 years ago, my late partner, Frank, and I met a woman who had rescued a yellow lab Gus. We fell in love with Gus and adopted him on the spot.  He's really the one that changed us forever in regards to our respect for rescue.  It was through his rescuer, Appi, that we learned about all of the dogs and cats that never get homes and have such sad lives and endings. My partner, Frank died suddenly in Aug 2011 and Gus was there with me thru that incredible loss.

At that time, Gus himself was suffering from lung cancer.  We weren't fortunate to beat it with multiple rounds of chemo but Gussie was a good sport thru it all and never, ever lost his loving, kind nature.

After getting me through Frank's passing and into the new spring, Gussie left me to join Frank and our other babies.  When I woke up the next morning, I couldn't bear the silence in the house and started looking around. I found Gino (my Dachshund) through a rescue.  I quickly decided he needed a buddy and Mack (my Labrador) came next.  So the story continues.

photo (1)


NLOL: What advice would you give to someone trying to make a difference?

Brian: Please try to adopt and if you can't adopt, then foster.  If you can't foster, contribute your time or resources to the many organizations like NLOL so that they can help you make a difference.  We are all part of a bigger plan and any giving makes the entire enterprise work.  You'll feel great, you'll feel appreciated, and you'll know that your kindness meant that at least one beautiful pet had a happy ending.

We could not have said it better ourselves. Thank you, Brian.


Click here to donate today!


JackFrost and Chestnut

Some intake coordinators went to aCC before xmas to pull 1 small dog.  A foster family had stepped up and we could place during their time off from work over the holidays. We jumped at the chance and headed down.  All the other foster families were full and we could only pull one.  We knew this.

Typcially when we head to ACC, we walk the rows, we greet each dog- give them a treat and gage them.  We remember who stood out in our minds and then we revisit.  This night was quite different.  We started walking the rows and our typically emotionless coordinator stood widemouth and speechless at what she saw before her.  She had the other coordinator come over and both stood there just watching as what was before them.  They read the cage card and saw that the two dogs infront of them were owner give ups the day before.  The good news- because they were owner give ups- the two dogs didn't have to wait the stray hold and could leave immedately.  The bad news- the dogs were noted at 18 years and 10 years....often there are mistakes when noting the ages- but it was still a concern.
We knew we could only take one, but how do you determine which dog to go and which to stay.  After roughly 6 hours debating, calling the board, calling vets and groomers and talking with the onsite head vet- we took both.  We knew that it was going to be expensive and we knew there was a good chance one might die, but sometimes in rescue- it's not about finding the perfect family as it is making sure the dog is safe, comfortable and cared for.
We named the pair: JAckFrost and Chestnut.  AFter further evaluation- we deteremined that Jackfrost is probably 8-10years old and Chestnut is probably 2-4 years old.  Chestnut has an adorable underbite and while she was matted- she wasn't anything near as bad as her brother.  It appeared that chestnut had never been on a leash and she had anxiety in her crate- literally chewing on the bars at ACC.
JackFrost was shut down- his little tiny frame was supporting so much weight from mats, we couldn't even get a good look at his face.  Let alone love him or touch him.  As we debated in the hallways, volunteers came up to us and burst out crying over the horrific nature of JackFrost.
He was heavily mattted, a mat this bad he had to of been caged in a small pen his entire life.  Mats grew under his feet and he walks funny, he's a little bowlegged from his legs sticking out from the mats and there were feces all on his hind legs that the mats grew around and through.  His teeth were horrible and he had a heart murmur... All signs were against him.
The first thing that was done fore both of them was medical groom.  It took hours and extended into days with Jackfrost.  While he was great being groomed- the sissors can only cut through so much mat before they overheat and because the mats were so severe, they had to cut very very close to the skin and thus had to be extra delicate.  Chestnut was a bit more rough in her groom and after all the mats were cut off and she was thoughly washed- we called a truce and she left a little ragged looking but happy as a clam.
When JF was picked up- we didn't recognaize him, besides his tongue falling out of his mouth.  Because of the severity of his murmur he wasn't put under for anything and was just his 7lb frame- they took off roughly 4lbs of mats.  2lbs came off his head alone and we think the weight was actually more.  JF was put on medication for tooth decay to see if it was linked to his murmur.  After going back, we decided that his teeth would only get worse and tooth decay would lead to organ failure- so him being put under and having his teeth cleaned and pulled was needed.  On a risk- we put him under and had him cleaned up and microchipped.  He survived and is thriving in foster home.
Both are still looking for their forever homes.

Happy Tails: Wendy!

Little Miss Wendy found her way into New Leash on Life.  This 2 year old Chihuahua/ Papillon mix is so sweet and lovely, we couldn't pass her up.  She was grabbed by our intake directors with some big dogs, but she wasn't scared.  She is so great and sweet that she has won everyone over.
Wendy has quite the personality, and although she is a smaller breed, she isn't yappy or too barky.  She is quite simply, a very easy dog.  Wendy was just officially adopted and enjoys socializing with other dogs.  Congratulations Wendy! We are so thrilled for you!!

Happy Tails: Annie (Devo) ADOPTED!

***add picture at bottom from jenna email

Annie wasn't single for long.  This skinny brindle boxer came to us and before she was officially 'on the market' looking for her new family.  Her forever dad swooped in a scooped her up.  She is now the reciever of 8 little hands giving her tons of love and attention.

Annie is now Devo and she is looking stunning with some weight added on.  She is starting to put on the weight from her too skinny former days and her true beauty is radiating.  We are so happy for you Devo & family!!

NLOL Community

Being an all volunteer run organization, we sometimes wonder how the ends will be met, if all the dogs will be placed, and if we'll have enough volunteers to make our adoption events, fundraisers, and get togethers staffed/successful.  But then we remember that New Leash on Life is unlike any other rescue.  We are a banded group of people who love and care for our animals.  When people need encouragement, or help or a dog transported from one event to another, our community steps up and helps out. 

We are so grateful and thankful to everyone that is a part of New Leash on Life.

One of the many great things about New Leash is our community comprised of volunteers, foster homes and adopters.  We love when we see families come full circle and come back to New Leash to add additions to their families or to foster.  We really do have the best community.

 Fry (NLOL Alum) big foster brother to: Hannah!

 Fry (NLOL Alum) back for another foster sister: Sally!

 Jude's (NLOL Alum) Family not only fostered Kameko, but ended up adopting him as well!

Fernando (NLOL Alum) helps foster brother, Nick learn the ropes of being the best dog!

These are just to name a few!  Thank you to everyone who works tirelessly at finding these dogs homes!

Last Minute Saves...

All of our dogs come from rough backgrounds and we never know how close they are to being euthanized until our intake directors arrived a few Saturday's ago.  Our intake directors arrived Saturday to begin the long (usually 5 or more hour) process that it takes to pick the dogs that come into the NLOL family.  Little did they know that as they were walking into the shelter, one little pooch was being walked to the euth room.  One of the workers stopped and redirected the little sweetheart to our intake directors who immediately fell in love with her shy demeanor. 

Adorable, apartment sized Noca had no idea that her life was about to change big time.  She was pretty reserved and withdrawn while in her crate at ACC.  The intake directors took her out and spent time with her, played and just waited for her to open up, and boy, did she!  She was one of our most outgoing pups, willing and eager to meet and greet everyone.  Noca always made time for a good belly rub and quickly found her way into her forever home. 

Congratulations Noca and your new family.  We loved every minute you spent with us!

Hambingo at Hamburger Mary's

 Remember this super fun event?! Well, it's happening again! Mark your calendars: February 27th 7pm at 5400 N Clark Street, Chicago.  Hamburger Mary's will be hosting BINGO NIGHT with all proceeds going to New Leash on Life.

 Bingo cards are $5 each or 5 for $20.  They will also be serving $2 jello shots.  All proceeds from bingo cards and jello shots will be directly donated to New Leash on Life.

Don't forget about the amazing and talented performance and singing by drag queen Mary!

Hamburger Mary's was pretty full last time, so please come early and help homeless dogs!

Will you be my Valentine?

Happy Valentine's Day from New Leash On Life!

New Leash on Life Chicago would like to wish you and your canine loves a happy Valentine's Day! Thank you for all the love and kindness our volunteers, foster families, adopters, and supporters show our dogs throughout the year!
*Spoiler alert: keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for pictures of the
5 new dogs we rescued this weekend!*
Scrambling to find the perfect gift for your sweetheart? Look no further! We have several pairs of tickets to the following 5 upcoming concerts at House of Blues Chicago. With each donation of $40+ online, you'll get to pick your concert tickets and watch your honey swoon at how you planned a fun night out while helping save homeless dogs at the same time!

    • MARCH 1: The Brothers (Allman Brothers tribute band) ~ 25 pairs
    • MARCH 16: Toots & The Maytals ~ 5 pairs
    • APRIL 1: Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 ~ 10 pairs
    • APRIL 3: Band of Skulls ~ 10 pairs
    • MAY 11: The Fab Four (Beatles tribute band) ~ 10 pairs
Instructions for Participating:
When donating online, write the name of the show in the "description" line on the form. We will confirm that you've won the requested tickets within 1 day of your donation by email. If your top choice has sold out, we'll offer you tickets to another show. If you want to verify the tickets of your choice are still available before donating, or if you have any questions, just email

On behalf of all the dogs saved and those still dreaming of rescue, thank you for your support!
PS. We just picked up 5 new adorable pups that will be making their debut very soon!