Lake Zurich nonprofit promotes shopping On Angels’ Wings
Karen Gallagher works at Lake Zurich's On Angels Wings, which uses proceeds from its resale shops to help rescue and care for abandoned animals. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 28, 2013 3:04PM
LAKE ZURICH — On Angels’ Wings is a good place to buy for oneself while also giving back to a good cause — two actions that are acceptable in excess during the holiday season.
The nonprofit organization was founded in Crystal Lake in 2007 by Jeannette Schulz, the organization’s executive director and acting chair, to help rescue abandoned domesticated animals and provide them with a safe haven. The animals are rehabilitated and retrained to better their chances of leading happy lives in humane conditions.
Schulz’s friend, Karen Gallagher, joined the effort while it was still in its early phases. She worked at the Crystal Lake Thrift Store and Pet Adoption Center until the Lake Zurich location opened two years ago at 737 W. Route 22.
The Lake Zurich location is a resale shop, but does not have a pet adoption center. Most of On Angels’ Wings’ cats and dogs are cared for by volunteers at temporary foster homes.
“All proceeds go to animals that are looking for a forever home; specifically, it goes toward veterinary care, medicine and food, to name a few,” said Gallagher, adding that the organization is hoping to eventually accumulate enough funds to purchase a van to transport the animals from the pounds to their foster homes.
The organization focuses on saving the lives of abandoned pets within McHenry County, and works with shelters from surrounding areas. The goal is to ensure that more animals are rescued before they are euthanized by pounds that don’t otherwise have the room or resources to care for them.
As an owner of many pets herself, Gallagher is deeply sold on the cause, though it’s difficult to spread the word because the organization’s focus is on saving the seemingly endless number of dogs and cats whose lives are at risk for a number of reasons.
The thrift store in Lake Zurich is set back, and not as noticeable as Trader Joe’s, though both stores are next to each other.
On Angels’ Wings volunteers also work hard to promote education about pet ownership and what goes into caring for cats and dogs. Lack of knowledge on the subject can oftentimes be a cause for pet abandonment, she said, as owners realize that a pet is not compatible with their living or financial situation.