2015 Annual Report

to the Community

Happy pets,

Happy people.


Improving the lives of pets and people through service, education and advocacy.


Every pet happy and healthy.

Anderson Animal Shelter is committed to a "no-kill", limited admission animal intake philosophy.  That means that we do not euthanize adoptable animals.  We will never euthanize one animal to make room for another.  Instead, we cease admissions when the shelter is at capacity.  We are further dedicated to ensuring that the animals in our care are provided with high quality food appropriate to their species, soft bedding, veterinary care and enrichment tools and programs to ensure their emotional as well as their physical health.

We are committed to providing high quality humane education programming and to creating a compassionate community through youth education. 


We are dedicated to ensuring a mutually rewarding volunteer experience for our volunteers, ensuring that they understand the good they do every day.


Finally, Anderson is committed to ensuring that each dollar donated to our organization is used effectively, to improve the lives of pets and people in our community. 

From her humble beginnings in Oklahoma, we're sure eight year old Lulu never expected to become a beloved and pampered member of the Badner family here in Illinois.  But today, that's where she is...warm and comforable with her new family in Hoffman Estates.

New parents Carey and Kathy Badner are ecstatic.  “She gets along great with our other dog, Maggie.  She loves to run around the house with Maggie, play with toys and sleep in her chair.  Her favorite time is mealtime.  She loves to take walks, but she really doesn’t like wet paws!  We really LOVE Lulu and are glad she came to live with us.  She fits into our family perfectly.  Thank you for all you do.”

Lovely Lulu

is a life


In 2015, we saved 2,067 lives through adoption, reunited 69 lost pets with their owners and transferred 29 pets to other no-kill shelters or breed-specific rescues.

Every adoption


At Anderson, we realize that a smaller shelter animal population allows us to focus on the individual needs of each animal.  In  late 2014, a comprehensive shelter remodel allowed us to create animal friendly caging and people friendly spaces.  By expanding our foster program, we were able to reduce our shelter cat census from its pre-renovation level of 200 cats to our current level of 60 cats.  Our fulltime animal behavior and enrichment program manager works with staff and volunteers to implement daily training and enrichment programs to ensure the emotional health of all of our animals during their stay in the shelter.  An individualized health and behavior plan is created for each of our animals, increasing their likelihood of being adopted quickly, and reducing their length of stay in the shelter. 


As a result of these changes, our animals are both physically and emotionally healthier, our staff and volunteers are happier and our adoptions have soared.  In 2013 we facilitated 673 adoptions.  In 2014, that number increased to 1,050 and in 2015 we facilitated 2,067 adoptions!  That’s an additional 1,800 lives saved in the past two years alone!   


If you haven’t visited Anderson lately, stop by and check out all the changes—we think you’ll be impressed!

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We call it 'enrichment' -


they call it 

Shelters are stressful places for animals.  There’s no doubt about it—a shelter is not a home.  We are committed to doing everything in our power to find forever homes for the animals in our care as quickly as possible, and to providing a high quality of care for them during their stay with us.  Our commitment extends beyond the basics of clean cages, soft blankets, quality food and veterinary care.  We are also committed to caring for our animals’ emotional health.

Shelters are stressful places for animals.  There’s no doubt about it—a shelter is not a home.  We are committed to doing everything in our power to find forever homes for the animals in our care as quickly as possible, and to providing a high quality of care for them during their stay with us.  Our commitment extends beyond the basics of clean cages, soft blankets, quality food and veterinary care.  We are also committed to caring for our animals’ emotional health.


Just like us, animals are adversely affected by stress.   Animals subjected to high levels of chronic stress are more likely to succumb to diseases like upper respiratory infections, may over-eat or stop eating entirely, may become depressed or hyper-active, and often develop negative behaviors such as excessive barking, pacing and even self-mutilation, that exacerbate their stress even further.


In 2015, we implemented enrichment programs for all of our shelter animals.  Dogs are engaged in playgroups daily, where they can find positive outlets for expending excess energy while reinforcing dog-dog interaction skills that prepare them for their future lives outside the shelter.  They are also provided with a variety of toys and puzzle feeders to keep them busy when they’re back in their kennels.


For cats, stress reduction is all about choice.  Our cats are now housed individually in cages with a variety of perching levels and hidey holes so they can choose where they want to sit—in (or out) of public view.  Many of our cats are housed in multi-cat colonies, where they have lots of room to move and where they can hone their cat-cat interactions, increasing their likelihood of being adopted into a multi-cat household.  They also get lots of TLC from our wonderful cat volunteers who groom and socialize them daily.


Even our little critters are provided with enrichment tools, tailored to their species.  Empty cardboard paper towel rolls make great chew objects for guinea pigs, paper bags filled with hay and the occasional hidden carrot, turn feeding time into an adventure for bunnies, and pet birds are provided with a variety of activities to keep them mentally stimulated while they’re in their cages.

The Oklahoma connection

Animal welfare in Oklahoma, as it is in many parts of the southern United States, is conceptually different than in our community here in northern Illinois.   In Oklahoma, the concept of pet ownership is loosely defined.  It is not uncommon for rural homes to have as many as 20-30 dogs and puppies running loose on the property, none of them spayed or neutered, vaccinated or provided with even basic veterinary care.  Unwanted litters of puppies are born in the thousands, creating problems for owners who dispose of them through drowning, poisoning, gunshot or abandonment.  Hundreds of thousands of unwanted dogs and puppies end up at Oklahoma animal shelters annually.   Passionate, dedicated, extremely hard working shelter staff and volunteers try to keep up with the influx of animals, but they’re fighting a losing battle.  In McIntosh and Cherokee Counties, where two of our partner shelters (Happy Paws and Cherokee County Humane Society) operate, the population of homeless animals sometimes exceeds the human population.  Unemployment and poverty rates are high.  Pet owners often must choose  between feeding their children and  spaying/ neutering or providing veterinary care for their pets.  Shelters in these areas are hardest hit by the tragedy of pet overpopulation.  Unwanted animals coming into care in these shelters far exceed those leaving through adoption.  Their only hope is to transport animals to other parts of the country, where greater resources and more adoptive homes exist.

That's where we come in!

In most of the northern, eastern and western states, spay/neuter is prevalent and, as a result, unwanted litters of puppies are now uncommon in animal shelters in these areas of the country.  That’s certainly the case here in the Fox Valley area.  Potential adopters whose first choice is to adopt a puppy from a shelter, are disappointed when there are no shelter puppies available.  Instead of adopting, these people often end up purchasing their new puppy from a pet store or backyard breeder, inadvertently perpetuating the practice of unethical breeding. 


Years ago, we discovered that we can connect the “supply” with the “demand”, thereby saving thousands of dogs and puppies while providing much needed assistance to our partner shelters.

In appreciation

We’d like to express our deep appreciation to:


Petco Foundation for providing us with a grant to purchase our transport van which is used on a monthly basis to transport animals from Oklahoma to Anderson, and from Anderson to adoption events throughout the Chicago area.

Our foster volunteers, who provide the TLC required to help transform the skinny, scared animals who arrive at the shelter on transports, into  happy, healthy, adoptable pets!


And with deepest respect and admiration for the unending and difficult work they do on a  daily basis, we thank our Oklahoma partners:  Kate Paris, Darla Briggs and Carol Underwood from Happy Paws in Checotah, Lou Hays and Mike Jefferson from The Humane Society of Cherokee County in Tahlequah, and all the other staff and volunteers who provide critical initial care to the thousands of homeless pets that walk or are carried through their shelter doors.  These heroes of Oklahoma animal welfare work tirelessly to save the unhealthy and unwanted.  We know it’s a thankless job, but you are the beginning of hope for these animals, and we are so very grateful for the tireless work you do every day on their behalf.  Thank you, most of all.

Anderson by the Numbers

2015 Statement of Revenue & Expenses

Shelter Animal Statistics 2010-2015

Anderson Animal Shelter operates under a "no kill", limited admission philosophy.  That means that we are committed to 100% placement of adoptable animals.  Rather than euthanize to make space for incoming animals, we limit our admissions.  Over the past five years, our adoption and live release rates have increased significantly, resulting in more lives saved!

Humane Education &

Community Outreach

At Anderson, we believe that compassionate children contribute to compassionate communities.  Our humane education program positively impacts over 2,000 children each year through Critter Camp summer daycamp, Kids-n-Kritters learning workshops as well as shelter tours and onsite and off-site presentations.  Curricula focus on teaching compassion, responsible pet ownership, and the importance of spay/neuter as well as a variety of other animal-related topics. 


In 2015, we began partnerships with several social service agencies and schools.  Through these partnership, we provide weekly programs, with the support of various foundations. During the summer of 2015 we offered 21 Critter Camp scholarships to kids in the community that otherwise would have been unable to attend camp due to financial restrictions.

38 tours given

16 school presentations

91 campers

21 outreach events

children reached!


the heart of Anderson

We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our volunteers.  Assist staff with nearly every aspect of animal care, they are humane educators, fundraisers, and ambassadors.   They open their hearts and homes to special needs shelter animals and are experts when it comes to TLC!


In 2015, our dedicated volunteers logged over 24,000 volunteer hours for the shelter.  In addition, we hosted 13 volunteer groups from local businesses, who completed a variety of projects for the shelter including painting,  landscaping and several small construction projects.


We are extremely fortunate to have such a large group of talented, passionate volunteers, and we’re grateful for all they do for the animals.


Organizational Leadership

Staff Leadership

Executive Director - Beth Drake
Beth became the executive director of Anderson Animal Shelter in March of 2014.   She came to Anderson from TAILS Humane Society in DeKalb, IL where she had served as the ED for 12 years.  She holds a BS in Biology and an MS in Immunogenetics from Northern Illinois University.


Director of Medical Services - Sharon Colgan, DVM
Dr. Colgan has been Anderson’s veterinarian since 2003.  She supervises a team of veterinary technicians and highly trained volunteers.  Together, they perform more than 2,000 spay/neuter surgeries and other procedures each year, and are responsible for the health of all shelter animals as they pass through our adoption program.  Anderson’s veterinary team also operates our public low-cost spay/neuter program.  Dr. Colgan received her DVM from Ohio State University.

Director of Development - Holly Alcala

Holly became Anderson’s development director in 2011.  She and her staff are responsible for the “human” side of Anderson.  Creating strong relationships with community members is the key to ensuring a successful financial future for the organization.  Holly holds a BS in communications from the University of Oklahoma.


Business Manager - Carole Faber

Carole is Anderson’s longest term employee.  In 2015, Carole celebrated her 30 year anniversary with the shelter!  In her three decades here at Anderson, she has nursed countless litters of puppies, kittens (and not a few raccoons, squirrels and other assorted wild orphans) back to health, preparing them for adoption (or, in the case of the wildlings, release into the wild).  She has a working knowledge of all things veterinary and can perform (or has performed) virtually every job in the shelter.  These days, Carole is responsible for the shelter’s bookkeeping, human resources and physical facility.

Adoptions Manager   

     Lesya Kercheval

Animal Care Manager

     George Kercheval

Animal Behavior & Enrichment Manager

     Steve Frost

Community Outreach Coordinator
     Carrie Frost

Database Coordinator

     Lynne Smith

Development Assistant

     Kristin Greenlee

Director of Major & Planned Giving

     Andy Hanses

Foster Program Coordinator

     Rayann Sanchez

Offsite Adoptions/Transport Coordinator

     Maria Schau

Special Events Coordinator

     Jane Gregory

Veterinary Clinic Liaison

     Mary Russell

Veterinary Technicians

     Steve Olsson, CVT

     Victoria Smith

Volunteer Coordinator

     Jeff Pal



Board of Directors

Jon Gripe, President                                   Cindy Green                                Michael Petersdorf 
Jeff Hampton, Vice President                     Joe Keller                                      Lindsay Stanton
Andrew Rogers, Secretary                         Mindy Malecki
Julie Bird, Treasurer                                   Bil Papp

Passion    Dedication    Commitment to Excellence

In 2015, Anderson Animal Shelter staff provided life-saving care to over 2,500 dogs, cats, and “little critters”.  Arriving at the shelter as early as 6:30am, and often not leaving until long after closing time, Anderson’s staff works hard every day of the year, ensuring that each of our animals receives the very best of care. 


Working at Anderson is not just a job, it’s a passion.  Every day, staff are assisted by hard working volunteers who do everything from cleaning cat cages to walking dogs and supervising dog/puppy playgroups.  In 2015, volunteers put in over 24,000 hours in service to the animals, and staff worked in excess of 50,000 hours to ensure that our
animals received the best possible chance of finding their forever homes.

"My relationship with Anderson Animal Shelter first started several years ago as a volunteer, then as a foster mom, and now as a mom to two felines.  For every ounce of love I've given, it has been returned to me ten-fold.  Anderson Animal Shelter has been a blessing to me, to the community and to all the animals that have passed through its doors, and I wish the shelter many more years of service ahead!" - Karen


"I volunteer with the shelter because I believe animals are an important part of our society.  They teach us about life and death, all the while stretching our capacities to love.  Animals are a gift and should be cared for which is why I support the efforts of Anderson.  Nothing is more satisfying than looking into the eyes of an animal and seeing the joy you bring them simply by giving your time." - Bethany


"I volunteered at Anderson Animal Shelter when I was 16 years old, and that is how I got my start in veterinary medicine.  Now that I am a veterinarian, I want to give back and support Anderson as much as I can.  They have helped so many animals get the care they need and find loving homes, and are a wonderful organization."  - Denise


Adoption Center

180 N Randall Road

North Aurora, IL 60542

Next to Pet Supplies Plus

(847) 697-2880 ext 80


Adoption Center Hours

By appointment only.


Main Shelter

1000 S La Fox Street

South Elgin, IL 60177

(847) 697-2880

(847) 697-8229 fax


Adoption Center Hours

By appointment only.


Entrance is second door

1000 S La Fox Street

South Elgin, IL 60177

(847) 697-2880 ext. 25


Center Hours

By appointment only.


Adoption Center

412 W Army Trail Road
Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Inside Petco

(847) 697-2880 ext 90


Adoption Center Hours

By appointment only.

Shelter Holidays

New Year's Day  ·  Memorial Day  ·  Fourth of July  ·  Labor Day  ·  Thanksgiving Day  ·  Christmas Day

We will close at 3pm on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

Anderson Animal Shelter is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit recognized by the IRS.

Copyright © 2014-2020 Anderson Animal Shelter

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