Founded in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1996 by pet owners who were sick of bothering neighbors to care for their furry charges when they were busy or away, Out-U-Go! keeps beloved animals happy when their owners are unavailable. Certified members of Pet Sitter International, Out-U-Go’s fully licensed and bonded pet professionals undergo a rigorous screening process, putting in time at the company's Dog Walk University to learn how to deal with willful pets, calmly handle emergencies, and internalize animals’ fear of vacuums. New customers start off with a free meet and greet, with sitters coming to the house to meet dogs, cats, and smaller critters, and discuss special needs and routines. Services range from daily walks to full-time housesitting and pet taxi rides to groomers, vets, and kennels.
In the late 1890s, Chicago bubbled with progressive humanitarian reforms spurred on by an economic depression, streets stinking with raw sewage, and rising social unrest. Emboldened by their growing suffrage movement in the 1850s, women were at the forefront of change, and one group of women in particular extended their focus to those that could not defend themselves: the city?s 50,000 workhorses, many of which were old and sick, as well as the homeless dogs and cats filling the alleys and running underfoot. These women brought their concerns to two prominent residents and shortly thereafter founded The Anti-Cruelty Society with Mrs. Theodore Thomas as its first president.
In the 115 years that followed, The Anti-Cruelty Society remained a staple of animal-welfare aid, expanding its means and reach in pursuit of its original mission. It cared for US Army horses during World War I, provided refuge for thousands of abandoned dogs, and fought to prevent cruelty to animals across the city. Today, volunteers find homes for more than 5,000 cats and dogs every year, with an open door for animals in need 365 days a year. They provide medical treatment for injured animals, investigate reports of abuse and cruelty, and help educate the public about the importance of compassion through community and school programs.