Building a compassionate community
through the care of companion animals


Pawsitive Tails 

Animal Assisted Activities Program 

The Pawsitive Tails Program is designed to improve the quality of life of people through controlled interactions with specially trained and certified animals and their handlers. 

elderly_man_and_petThough dogs tend to be the most common species involved with AAA programs; cats, bunnies, potbellied pigs and even miniature horses have been highly successful participants.  Retirement facilities, schools, mental health facilities and a variety of other service organizations have clients who can benefit from AAA programs.

Pawsitive Tails partners with a variety of human service organizations throughout DeKalb County, providing scheduling of visits as well as training and certification of AAA pets and their handlers.  Don’t worry if your dog isn’t certified – we can do that for you!   

For more information please contact Michelle at 815-758-2457 x. 101 or

Do you know the difference between a service dog, therapy dog and an emotional support dog?

There is much confusion these days over the term “service dog”.  Claiming your dog is a service dog is no small thing, as it can effect the reputation of service animals everywhere.  We’d like to clear up some of the confusion about different titles for dogs.

Service Dogs:  A dog is considered a service dog under the law when the dog is trained to perform specific tasks that mitigate a person’s disability, whether psychological or physical. Not only must the dog be able to do a specific job, but it needs to stay under the handler’s control at all times and be able to mind it’s manners.  These dogs ARE allowed by law to go into public places with their owners.   Examples are seeing eye and seizure alert dogs.

Therapy Dogs: Provides comfort to people, particularly in hospitals, nursing homes and schools. While these dogs receive training on how to handle themselves in public and around people, they are not trained to help with a specific disability.  These dogs are NOT allowed by law to go into public places.  Our own Pawsitive Tails program works with these types of dogs.

Emotional Support Dogs:  Pets that provide a high level of comfort to the owner and do not need any special training.  These dogs are NOT allowed by law to go into public places.  However, a person whose doctor has recommended an ES dog can have their pet living with them, even in housing that has pet restrictions.  But you can’t bring you dog into grocery stores or restaurants.

For further info please refer to the following article:



This program is provided free of charge to all participants!



Tails is Hiring!

Do you have event/fundraising and grant writing experience? Enjoy promoting and marketing? We are hiring a full time Development and Marketing Manager! Apply through the link or email your resume to Michelle at

Thank you DCCF!

Thank you to the DeKalb County Community Foundation (IL) for awarding us a $1300 Community Needs grant! This will help offset the cost of new kennel doors in our behind the scenes dog room. The original doors are over 12 years old and badly need to be replaced after housing thousands of dogs over the years.

Thank you QLP!

We'd like to say thank you to our awesome friends at Quality Logo Products and everyone who participated in their #QLPHowloween event! By sharing posts of your animals in costume, you raised $1,000 for our shelter - we're howling with excitement here!

Last updated 11/14/17SavSavSavSave