Chicago Group Helps ‘Court Case Dogs’ Avoid Euthanasia

Posted by Krissy Howard
Chicago Tribune

Neglect, dog fighting, animal cruelty – these are all reasons someone might find themselves charged with animal abuse.

But what happens to the dogs in these cases? Where do they go while these people face their day in court? Almost all of these innocent dogs find themselves behind bars through no fault of their own.

Known as “court case dogs,” these poor pups end up seized by the state where they wait in animal shelter cells, prohibited from being walked or socialized. More often than not, the dogs are euthanized once the case has been settled.

Safe Humane, a Chicago-based group of volunteers, is working to change the fate of these dogs, one trick at a time.

Founded in 2010, the group operates under the philosophy that a humane community is a safer one and works to reduce violence against children and animals through advocacy, education, outreach, and skill training.

The group’s Court Case Dog Program trains volunteers to appear in court to serve as a voice for the animals and transport them to a training center outside of the animal control facility, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune.

Here, the Safe Humane team works to teach these dogs basic skills and training that could make them a good candidate for adoption once the trial is over. In 2015, the group was able to transfer 183 “court case dogs” to 53 partnered rescue organizations. 


In addition to giving “court case dogs” the skills they need to be considered for adoption, Safe Humane also works with teens at the Illinois Youth Center in Chicago, a medium-security facility for delinquent youth.

Through a program called “Lifetime Bonds,” the teens gain confidence and social skills by teaching adoptable dogs a variety of tricks and basic behaviors, which helps get them adopted into their forever homes.

To learn more about the additional programs Safe Humane has to offer, click here.

Would you adopt a court case dog? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Chicago Group Helps ‘Court Case Dogs’ Avoid Euthanasia