Tails Humane Society encourages people to visit

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Summer Fitzgerald | Northern Star

Alexis Ortiz, 21, volunteers at Tails Humane Society.

Elisa Reamer, News Reporter

DeKALB — Tails Humane Society has been an animal shelter in DeKalb since 1999, connecting lost or homeless pets to new families and back to their owners. 

Tails Humane Society is the largest animal shelter in DeKalb County and will help about 3,300 animals this year,  Executive Director Michelle Groeper said. 

Tails Humane Society has a partnership with the Northern Star to promote their pet of the week to people that may read the newspaper or come across the pet of the week articles online, Groeper said. 

“We like to choose pets who have been here just a little bit longer because if it’s the cutest puppy ever, quite frankly, by the time it gets published, it very possibly could already be adopted,” Groeper said. “So we do try to feature the ones who’ve been at the shelter and need a little extra help getting adopted.”

Tails Humane Society, 2250 Barber Greene Road, has featured dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, even birds as their pet of the week. 

The shelter provides volunteer opportunities for students, school and service groups. 

“On our website, we have our volunteer page, and then there’s a form to fill out,” Groeper said. “Our volunteer manager follows up to find out what each individual is interested in, how they’re interested in volunteering, then they come in for an orientation training and then we kind of go from there.” 

Children as young as 5 years old can volunteer and people aged 16 and up can volunteer without a parent. 

Tails Humane Society encourages anyone to come in whether they want to help animals or need a break. 

“We love it when the students come in for a stress break, or they want to just cuddle some puppies and some kittens,” Groeper said. “We definitely welcome NIU (students) with open arms every day.” 

If Tails Humane Society isn’t busy, people can just go in to play with the animals, Groeper said. If they are busy, visitors will have to wait as they give priority to anyone there planning to adopt a pet. 

Groeper’s favorite part about working at Tails Humane Society is when adopters send the shelter updates on the animals even years later. She said she loves to see happy people and happy pets. 

“I also just love it when we’re able to help out somebody who just needs us, and we’re able to give that pet a temporary home and find them a new home,” Groeper said. 

About 2,823 animals were adopted in 2020 from Tails Humane Society, and 31 were returned to the owner, according to the Tails Humane Society website. 

Tails Humane Society is currently seeking foster parents for pregnant and nursing dogs since they are at high risk for euthanasia due to shelter overpopulation.  

“Becoming a foster parent is a great way to save lives and support Tails,” according to the website. “We provide all the food, supplies and veterinary care and you provide the love. You’ll help these cuties grow into happy, healthy pets ready to find their forever home!”

Those interested in fostering a pet can apply now on their website by filling out the application