Pet  Mutual Aid

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Mutual aid is when people get together to meet each other’s basic needs. Animal mutual aid is when people help each other with pet-related challenges—and in so doing, keep families together and pets out of animal shelters. 


The Human-Animal Bond


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Pet Mutual Aid 


What is Pet Mutual Aid?

Mutual aid is when people get together to meet each other’s basic needs. Animal mutual aid is when people help each other with pet-related challenges—and in so doing, keep families together and pets out of animal shelters.

For example:

  • Lost pets can be returned home by their finders. 

  • People can re-home their own pets with a little support.

  • Pet owners can get help with medical bills and even rent deposits, in order to be able to keep their pets.

  • Helping people with emergency fostering that are homeless, needing to seek treatment, people that are sick and in the hospital.

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Why Mutual Aid Now?

Most of the pets who enter shelters can instead be helped in their communities. Always important, there’s a special urgency when animal shelters are stretched for space and other resources.

Mutual aid lets us harness the will of our communities to help, and the result is fewer pets entering shelters and more families staying together.  


Both Ends of the Leash

Strawberry Fields believes helping "both ends of the leash" is a necessity.  Often times when an animal is in need of help so is the pet owner. Helping animals is only half the battle.  We must also extend a hand to pet owners in need.

By providing valuable resources we can keep more pets in their homes thus preserving the human-animal bond.

Resources for Pet Owners

Our rescue is working hard to build our animal pet mutual aid program.  We will be adding more resources for pet owners.   Please reach out if you need help.  Email us at

Having a Bath

Supported Self re-homing

Deciding that your pet needs a new home is not an easy decision. Finding a home for your pet on your own and keeping them out of the shelter is beneficial to both your pet and others in need. This page is meant to be a resource to help you rehome your pet on your own or with help from a Strawberry Fields volunteer.  Strawberry Fields is here to support you and your pet. 

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Pet friendly housing

According to the American Pet Products Association 68% of households – that’s 1.8 million Chicagoans – own a pet. But there is a crisis facing those who are not able to secure pet-friendly housing. As a result, thousands of Chicago residents are forced to give up their animal companions each year. Strawberry Fields wants to change that.

With pet ownership on the rise, and fewer buildings amenable to animals, we are launching a campaign to bridge the housing gap by providing resources for both tenants and landlords. Our goal is to open more doors to Chicago pets so less of them have to come through ours.

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Low Cost Veterinary Care

The overwhelming barrier for all groups of pet owners is financial, with 80% unable to obtain preventive care due to financial constraints, 74% unable to obtain sick care, and 56% unable to obtain emergency care.

Most at risk for not receiving recommended care are cats and dogs living in lower-income households with younger pet owners.

The veterinary profession is aware of the problem, as well as the need to do something about it—95% of veterinarians surveyed either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “All pets deserve some level of veterinary care.” And 87% agreed that not being able to obtain needed veterinary care impacts the owner’s mental and emotional health. 

-Report by AAHA

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Pet Food and Supplies

Now more than ever, given the Covid 19 virus, the need for help with pet food is greater than ever.  

Even before Covid 19, the need for this type of resource was vital to serve low-income families, the elderly, homeless, and other community members who have fallen on hard times for whatever reason.

Often they also feed stray animals that otherwise would go hungry.