Our mission is clear

To take responsibility for each and every orphaned, abandoned, abused or neglected dog and cat which 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

Many of the animals at Orphans of the Storm come from rural Tennessee, where they have very lax spay and neuter laws, resulting in an enormous over-population of abandoned, feral animals. Thanks to our partnerships with shelters in Tennessee, we are able to bring these wonderful, adoptable animals to the Chicago area, saving them from euthanasia and finding them happy forever homes.

A long history of humane service

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.