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About Us

The A.A.F. is a 501 C-3 not-for-profit corporation and one of America's first no-kill and cageless animal shelters.

The foundation is named after St. Francis of Assisi, the early champion of animals.

Click here to see more pictures of our wonderful facility!

The AAF is the proud recipient of recognition and award from the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association. This organization presents only three awards annually for outstanding work by humane organizations. The AAF won this honor for the fourth time in 2003!

A Member Of:

Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce, Crystal Lake, IL 60039

 

Our Mission Statement:

The Assisi Animal Foundation (AAF) is dedicated to providing shelter, care and, when appropriate, re-homing suitable animals to caring, permanent homes. We abide by a no-kill policy, which allows for euthanasia only under professional veterinary assessment, recommendation and administration in cases of terminal illness which cause suffering, in cases of injury too severe to repair, or in cases of such severe aggression that it is a threat to other shelter residents and caregivers is present. 

The AAF is dedicated to educating the public on such issues that impact on animal welfare, preservation and protection, developing humane attitudes and compassion in young people, providing a pet therapy program to nursing centers and providing a continuing care program for dogs and cats. The AAF is dedicated to improving and protecting sentient life.

The AAF is further dedicated to supporting trap, neuter, and return (TNR) programs to help alleviate and control the pet overpopulation tragedy, and which will lead to the county where the AAF offices are located becoming "no-kill."

 

The Founders

Our Story

The two founders of the Assisi Animal Foundation, I.L. Yarosh and I. Linklater, are a mother and daughter “team”. (Sadly, Mrs. Yarosh has passed away.) Mrs. Yarosh was a retired business woman, and Mrs. Linklater was a teacher. Encountering strays, giving them care, and providing homes had been a family tradition, but the idea of the A.A. F. as an actual shelter started in Chicago in the mid eighties with work toward legal status. Then the search for a site began. The founders sold a home they loved in Chicago, and moved to McHenry County. Shortly, the first newsletter went out to a handful of friends and animal lovers asking for support of the project.

Meanwhile, their animal population increased. After some months, it was evident they had to get started on construction, so personal funds and modest donations were used to start renovations on a small horse barn on the property. The contractor they hired promised the project would be complete for Christmas 1987. The following March 1988, he abandoned the project, left them with no materials, and had already been paid 80% of the total project cost! To make it worse, when County inspectors were called in, the founders were informed that the work was substandard, in violation, and had to be torn down!

After the initial shock, they realized there were just two alternatives … euthanizing the 150 animals living in their home and accepting defeat, or remortgaging their home and property for startup money once more and working to save the animals and the dream! Obviously the first alternative was not acceptable. Instead, they chose to tough it out and a full year later, moved all the animals into their brand new building!

Then the founders set about reclaiming and repairing the considerable damage done to their home in the interim. The year was something of a nightmare, but with interminable work, help from wonderful people, and considerable personal debt, they were able to save the animals, the dream, and open the county’s first no-kill, cageless shelter!

The Assisi Animal Foundation is very proud of that, and of their numerous programs that serve the community. We are a not-for-profit, 501(c)3, charitable organization with dreams of broadening our work, our space, and the number of innocent lives we save. Please contact us and help save a small life today. Thank you.

Last updated November 6, 2009    
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