ARFhouse Chicago (Animal Refuge Foundation) is a no-kill animal shelter located in Chicago, Illinois. We are a 100% volunteer run organization. ARFhouse Chicago was founded in 2006. ARFhouse Chicago’s Board of Directors all have several years of experience working in animal rescue.

ARFhouse Chicago places dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs into permanent homes. We currently house all our animals in foster homes and boarding facilities.

ARFhouse Chicago is affiliated with ARFhouse in Sherman, Texas, the third largest no-kill sanctuary in the United States. ARFhouse is located in a rural area of North Texas and recognizing the potential for a beneficial partnership with a large urban shelter, has offered invaluable support to ARFhouse Chicago.

ARFhouse Chicago accepts animals from kill shelters, our affiliate, ARFhouse in Sherman, Texas and other rural areas that face limited resources for placing animals. We do not accept owner relinquishments, as our mission is to help animals who have no advocates, not those who already have homes.

All of the animals at ARFhouse Chicago are current on vaccinations, heartworm checked, spayed or neutered, microchipped, and receive routine medical check-ups. We pride ourselves on the level of care, commitment, and medical attention that our animals receive.


ARFhouse Chicago is different from other shelters because we put an emphasis on taking in animals that are often overlooked because of age, breed or medical issues. We feel that we need to be the advocates for those animals who do not have anyone fighting for them.

“ARFhouse Chicago has made a commitment to help animals that are left behind by other shelters due to age, breed or medical condition. We are lucky to have a board of directors and volunteers who work diligently to uphold that standard we have set and work so hard to get our animals adopted. I believe we set ourselves apart from others by our success rate with typically hard to place animals.”

- Linda Widmer Cairo, President

At any given time, a minimum 60% of our animals fall into the “hard to place” category. Learn more about our extra-special special needs animals, or, to see all animals currently searching for homes, visit our Adoptable Pets profiles!