Chicago area companion animal rescue, Lulu’s Locker, is an organization with a unique and very important mission: to find homes for black dogs and cats, as well as educate the public about FIV-positive cats. With the public less likely to adopt black dogs and cats, the volunteer-run Lulu’s Locker Rescue finds foster homes for these animals in the Chicagoland area until they can be permanently placed in loving homes. Named after the adopted kitten who provided love and companionship to a teen who really needed it, Lulu’s Locker spares many healthy, gentle companions from unnecessary euthanasia.
Please consider joining the 21-and-over happy hour benefit for Lulu’s Locker Rescue this Thursday, June 7 at Trader Todd’s, 3216 N. Sheffield. For just a $25 admission fee at the door, you get drinks, lots of vegan food (like eggplant and cactus bruschetta, deluxe summer pasta salad, chips with guacamole and salsa, and fruit kabobs) opportunities for raffle prizes (including a Chicago Cubs gift basket valued at $150 and a $100 REI gift card), karaoke and more, like the chance to win free tickets for the new movie, Rock of Ages. Most important, your money will be helping to support this worthy rescue. Please contact them with any questions.
Thanks to Erin Lamparter, Vice-President and Co-Founder of Lulu’s Locker Rescue, for answering some questions for me about their unique adoption organization.
Marla Rose: Could you tell me a little about the unique challenges the animals you are trying to find homes for face?
Erin Lamparter: Here are the unique challenges:
1) Education: Because FIV cats and black cats & dogs have the lowest adoption rate across the board, our biggest challenge is to first educate people (the media, public, adopters, veterinarians, animal welfare community, etc.). Once people are educated about the fact that black animals are the most highly euthanized, and that FIV cats are adoptable, and can and do live long healthy lives, a shift in thinking is created. We're out to spark that grassroots shift in thinking which will take time and effort. The reality is that black animals and FIV cats are just as loving, caring, and wonderful as other companion animals and we challenge each person to educate their friends about what they now know!
2) Length of time in foster care: Through no fault of their own, black animals are historically overlooked, and there are many misconceptions regarding adopting and living with FIV cats. While we strive to educate and create that change in thinking, black animals (cats, especially) and FIV cats do reside in foster care slightly longer than other animals of other markings. Each educated person increases the animals' chance of adoption, and lessens their time in foster care.
Marla Rose: Where do the animals you have up for fostering and adoption usually come from originally?
Erin Lamparter: Once we have a confirmed Foster Home, Lulu’s Locker will rescue a cat or dog from a Chicagoland shelter or via an individual who has phoned us about a specific animal in need. We rescue from both the city and surrounding suburbs we like to call "Chicagoland." We work closely with South Suburban Humane Society, Animal Welfare League, PAWS Tinley Park, and Chicago Animal Care & Control.
How can people help Lulu's Locker?
Erin Lamparter: Here's a list, and then an elaboration:
1) We can only rescue an animal if we have Foster Homes in place - Foster Parents are our most precious asset! Chicagoland shelters euthanize thousands of healthy and friendly animals each year due to limited holding space. Foster Parents maximize the number of animals rescued, and give Lulu’s Locker time to find permanent homes for many wonderful animals. We work with each Foster Parent to ensure the animal they've volunteered to temporarily house, will fit well in their home environment. Lulu’s Locker can cover food, litter, and medical care costs, unless the Foster Parent is able and willing to contribute to such expenses.
2) We are able to focus on overlooked animals because of thoughtful individuals who contribute generous in-kind and monetary donations. Children or adults can hold a "Wish List" drive at school or work, and donations for medical care can be made here. We would not be able to operate without generous donors!
3) We are a volunteer-run organization, and volunteers are our lifeblood. We welcome people to contribute in a way that works for them by becoming a Foster Parent, transporting animals, and/or helping with operations, including marketing, education, and events.
4) ADOPT!!! Our adoptable animals are on Petfinder.
Thanks, Erin. I hope to see lots of people at this worthwhile event Thursday.