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A.D.O.P.T. celebrates 20 years of animal rescue

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Naperville Sun
by Sandy Boston, Special to the Sun
Oct 20, 2010
Sandy Boston, President of A.D.O.P.T. Pet Shelter

This month, Animals Deserving of Proper Treatment completes its 20th year of serving the community through rescue, extraordinary and compassionate care and the placement of homeless animals into permanent, loving homes.

In 1989, a group of passionate animal advocates started an organization that cared about all dogs and cats, not only the most desirable and adoptable. It would not euthanize for space or based on length of stay. It was committed to treating medically challenged animals and spreading the word about the importance of spaying and neutering as a means of reducing the overwhelming problem of pet overpopulation.

In 1989, ADOPT’s lifelines were regular advertising in the classified section of The Sun and an answering machine at the home of a volunteer. A website? Not in those days. Rescued animals were housed by foster families or boarded at Boulder Terrace Animal Hospital until adopted. Animals were shown by appointment only.

Eventually “appointment only” expanded to an occasional adoption fair. Then, in the mid-1990s, on every Sunday afternoon Boulder Terrace Animal Hospital became ADOPT’s temporary adoption center, thanks to the generosity of Dr. Robert Cortesi, owner of the animal hospital.

In spite of the challenges of promoting our animals and limited adoption hours, within our first three years of existence we had adopted more than 1,600 animals. By our 10th anniversary, that number had increased to just more than 9,500, thanks to the tireless efforts of our dedicated volunteers.

In 2003 we finally completed the building of our animal shelter. While this helped tremendously in expanding our intake of animals, we discovered new challenges related to staffing, overhead, and general operations – problems that still challenge us today.

Yet with our own shelter, we have been able to create a hub not only of intake and adoption activities, but have implemented and expanded our own on-site medical programs, providing all routine care for our animals at our shelter. Over the last couple of years, we have also reached out to many area rescue organizations to provide low-cost medical care and most recently have implemented a low-income spay-neuter program.

Things have sure changed since those early days, but many things have remained the same. We are committed to accepting special-needs animals, many of whom have experienced severe neglect and abuse. We provide the most comprehensive care possible and hold our animals until they are adopted. Spaying and neutering remain a cornerstone of our organization. Related programs have expanded dramatically as we strive to do our share to eliminate the cause of pet overpopulation and the epidemic of shelter overcrowding. And still today, our volunteers remain invaluable to our success.

Unlike those early days, today we do have a website. Please visit to learn more about ADOPT Pet Shelter, our adoptable animals and how you can join A.D.O.P.T. in celebrating 20 years of serving the community.

Sandy Boston, president of the ADOPT Pet Shelter, has been volunteering with ADOPT since 1990 when she adopted her first dog.

Sandy Boston has been volunteering with A.D.O.P.T. since 1990 when she adopted her first dog. Sandy is currently President of A.D.O.P.T. Pet Shelter.

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