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Skokie animal rescue partners with first responders for 2020 calendar


A Skokie-based animal rescue group is selling new calendars for 2020 that capture special moments between area first responders and cats and dogs.

Janice Cha, a spokeswoman for Community Animal Rescue Effort, CARE, said the initiative is a first for the nonprofit organization.

“Everybody loves animals, so the plan was to bring CARE dogs and cats over to the fire stations and do photo shoots,” she said.

The group approached several local fire departments from area municipalities, and recruited first responders from Wilmette, Skokie and Morton Grove, who are featured in the calendars.

“They liked the idea of helping a not-for-profit,” Cha said.

The photos featured in the calendar include pets posed with first responders alongside their rig, and at various locations within fire stations.

The calendars, which cost $20, are available for purchase on the group’s website at: https://carenorthshore.org/2020calendar. Supplies are limited.

Proceeds from the 2020 calendars will benefit CARE and its effort to match people with pets.

Cha said a majority of the group’s work is volunteer-driven.

“We depend on this kind of fundraising effort to help keep the lights on,” she said. “The money that we raise from the calendar and the CARE Faire goes to take care of our pets.”

Working on the calendars was a positive experience for the dogs, and helped find homes for them, too, Cha said.

“Of the adoptable dogs that we brought, at every photo shoot, there was somebody who was really interested, ” Cha said.

Fritz, a cattle dog who is also known as a “blue heeler,” is the lone remaining dog under the care of the group since the photo shoots took place, Cha said.

The pictures were taken in September by Karen Gordon Photography of Chicago at no cost to the group, Cha said.

“He’s photogenic,” Cha said of Fritz, adding that CARE is hoping to find a new home for him.

The rescue group has a history of matching pets with people who will go the distance to find the perfect four-legged friend, Cha said.

At a fire station in Skokie, the group brought along a little black dog that officials said tends to have some difficulty getting along with other canines.

“I gave that dog to one of the firefighters,” Cha said. “He ended up holding the dog for 45 minutes, and by the time we left, he had bonded with the dog. So, he filled out an adoption application the next day, and he adopted him.”