Our mission is clear

To take responsibility for each and every orphaned, abandoned, abused, or neglected dog and cat who reaches our doors; to take them in and shelter them; to provide the best medical and physical care possible for them; to nurture them back to health if need be; and finally to place them into warm, loving, adoptive homes where they can enjoy the lives they deserve.

A journey of hope

A long history of humane service

Orphans has a variety of wonderful cats and dogs from the local area, all over Illinois, and also from rural areas in Tennessee, Texas, Alabama, and more.

Spaying and neutering is not as common in some areas of the US, resulting in an overpopulation of abandoned and at-risk animals. Thanks to our partnerships with these shelters, we can bring these wonderful, adoptable animals to the Chicago area and find them loving homes.

Since its founding, Orphans of the Storm has had a long history of humane service to the community. The vision began with Irene Castle in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by the leadership of animal welfare activist Thelma Zwirner in the 1970s and 1980s and continuing today with Thelma’s son, current volunteer President Richard Zwirner. Orphans of the Storm has been serving most of the animal control facilities and municipalities in Illinois’ Lake and northern Cook Counties ever since. For literally hundreds of thousands of homeless animals, Orphans has been the refuge of last resort.