Smokeball employees recently made their way to the Chicago chapter of the Anti-Cruelty Society to volunteer their time making dog toys out of T-shirts. Smokeball employees donated the T-shirts as well, and so many were accumulated that Smokeball was able to deliver over 100 extra shirts for other volunteer groups to make toys.

Between making toys, the Smokeball team spent time playing with several furry friends staying at the Anti-Cruelty Society facility. In total, the Smokeball team was able to create 44 tug toys for dogs staying at the Anti-Cruelty Society and its affiliate organizations. These donated toys help the organizations by allowing them to spend donated funds (of which Smokeball donated an additional $150) on the most important equipment and supplies for the animals’ health.

The toys are important because they give the dogs something to play with, however, the interactions with people at a young age for the puppies and kittens is also invaluable, as it helps the animals acclimate with people and their environment. Playing with puppies and kittens is crucial for their growth, but it was also an obvious perk for the Smokeball group!

The Anti-Cruelty Society was a wonderful host to Smokeball volunteers, providing a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility that included viewing important medical procedures performed on animals new to facility. Andrea Valle, an Onboarding Specialist at Smokeball, pointed out how impressed she was to learn of the extent of the Anti-Cruelty Society’s reach in the community: “Not only does the Anti-Cruelty Society provide adoption services, but it houses an impressive clinic for pet families that cannot afford certain vet services.”

Emily Wood, Smokeball’s In-House Counsel, organized the volunteer session and holds the Anti-Cruelty Society near and dear to her heart. Emily found her dog, Riley, about a year ago while volunteering as a Dog Adopt adult volunteer at the main adoption center, the same site Smokeball visited. “The reason I think the ACS is fantastic is because they offer a plethora of ways to give back,” she said.

“You can adopt a pet or foster one, donate your money or donate your time in a myriad of ways. There is truly something for everyone here, even if you just stop in after work to take a dog in a quiet room. It is a very stressful environment in a kennel, so anything that can be done to put the animals at ease is appreciated,” she added.

As the Anti-Cruelty Society states, and as Emily and Riley can certainly attest to, the dogs and cats they serve are more than pets – they are family. Smokeball looks forward to a rich and continuing relationship with the Anti-Cruelty Society to ensure that Chicago-area animals are properly cared for and find their forever homes.

To learn more about the incredible work that the Anti-Cruelty Society does and how to get involved, visit their website.

Or learn more more about Smokeball’s recent award win for being selected as one of  Inc Magazine’s “Best Places to Work in 2018.