By Jackie Borchew

It was seven years ago that the Levy family of Riverwoods (former Orphans adopters) had an idea for a fundraiser to benefit the local animal shelter, Orphans of the Storm®. The idea was to hold a dog walk. An event that could bring local dog-lovers together for an energizing morning walk and at the same time raise funds for a worthwhile cause.

The Levy family approached Orphans of the Storm® with the idea, worked out the details, gained the necessary permits, and a two-mile dog walk to benefit the shelter took off. It was a great idea that raised over $5,000 that first year.

Every year since, supporters have raised donations for the shelter’s work by printing out a pledge sheet on-line (the pledge sheet is available to download and print out at: and gathering donations from their family and friends towards their walking the 2-mile route with their own pooch in the Pooch Parade. Once the walker raises $100 they earn that year’s Pooch Parade T-shirt; once they hit $250 other prizes are earned. This year we’ve got a beautiful Trek bike courtesy of Deerfield Cyclery for the teen or pre-teen who raises the most pledges!

A new way to raise pledges this year

This year the addition of a fundraising site will make it easier than ever for anyone to join our cause, raise pledges and help the animals even more. When the walker goes to they are able to create their own personal fundraising page. They first set their fundraising goal (which the system then tracks and alerts them as every donation is made. The system even encourages the walker to write their own dog story and post their pet’s photos). The walker can share the personal page with friends and family through email or on Facebook to start the pledges coming in. The pledges arrive directly at Orphans of the Storm®; an email arrives letting us know who and how much was donated and a receipt is automatically generated and emailed to the donor.

The life-saving mission of Orphans of the Storm® is as valuable as ever for the thousands of stray and abandoned dogs and cats from throughout Lake and northern Cook Counties that arrive each year. Orphans is a rare place with a special mission that so many lives depend on.

Will you join us in support of this year’s Pooch Parade? Set up your own fundraising page at, or search the site for a page of a friend of yours who is planning to walk and make a surprise donation to them. Or come out with your pooch and join in the walk for a $25 registration fee. Every dollar raised will directly benefit the welfare and care of the animals at the shelter.

  • Orphans of the Storm Pooch Parade
  • Saturday, August 3 at 9am
  • Jaycee Memorial Park in Deerfield
  • $25 per dog to join in the two-mile walk through a shady neighborhood
  • Refreshments, raffle, lots of cool prizes and of course we’ll have some Orphans dogs on hand to meet!

A few of the pooches who will be looking for love at this year’s Pooch Parade include:

Sonny: Sonny had been adopted as a young pup but went missing five months ago. The adopter was never able to find his pup and ended up replacing Sonny with a new dog. Last week Sonny showed up at animal control in Delevan, Wisconsin. His chip led the control officers to contact the adopter, but the adopter was unable to take Sonny back in since he is only allowed one dog. That’s when Orphans stepped up, set up transportation and brought Sonny back to Riverwoods. What a nice big, but gentle dog! Rides in the car well and seems to have been treated right by someone during those five months. Sonny would make a wonderful addition to a family. He would especially enjoy a fenced-in yard to run and play with his new family.



Bailey: This beautiful Chocolate Lab/Pit Bull mixed gal is a total sweetheart. You may have seen her at the Big Dog Show’s adoption walk in July where she was handing out the kisses left and right. When her family went through an ugly divorce, she was given up to animal control. Lucky for her she ended up at Orphans of the Storm®, where she will have all the time it may take to find a new loving home. At 8 years young she has a long life ahead and lots of lovin’ to do. Please consider her.



Emilio: What a spunky guy! This five-year-old neutered male Jack Russell Terrier is as smart as they come. When his time was up we pulled him from another facility and he has been with Orphans since February. He arrived heartworm positive and has been through treatment and is now heartworm negative and ready to start his new life with a loving and active family. Emilio is great on a leash, loves car rides and especially loves to swim and play ball! Gets along great with all other dogs and people. Emilio is ready for a master to teach him tricks!

Emilio (right) and Sassy (left)

Emilio (right) and Sassy (left)

Sassy: There is nothing sassy about this girl. She is a spayed female Terrier mix. At six years old she was relinquished by her family because they had too many dogs. She is housebroken, leash trained, knows her commands and has been through agility training. She knows her jump targets. She was raised with small children and has never bitten or shown any aggression towards people or other dogs. She also gets along well with cats.

Half Pint: Half Pint’s kennelmates keep getting adopted. “Hey! What’s wrong with me?” Half Pint asks. “I love other dogs and I’m easy going, eager to please and ready to bond with anyone who will show me the attention I so deserve. Please consider getting to know me at least… You may fall in love.”

Half Pint

Half Pint

3 responses »

  1. says:

    Max A Pooch is sorry he can’t join you this year. He asked me to write a Chicago Animal Examiner article about the upcoming Pooch Parade. It is posted at We hope you have a great parade and please don’t forget to invite us next year.Max A Pooch and Keith

  2. […] a busy week it’s been on the blog, thanks to our guest post and info about the Pooch Parade! Now it’s time to meet some more […]

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