2019 Events


ISR Reunion

Save the date! ISR Reunion will be held September 8th from 12 pm - 3 pm at Busse Woods Net Meadow Preserve. Bring your ISR dog to this fun event. There will be food and games. More info to come.

What Happens when a gsp comes into rescue?

read walker's story and see why we do what we do

Walker's Journey

Walker made his way to ISR in the typical way, via a downstate shelter. He’d been picked up running loose near Aledo, Illinois. His owner “didn’t want him anymore” so he spent a few months in the shelter before ISR stepped in. Young, confused, and shelter-shocked, Walker was quickly neutered, vaccinated, wormed, and transported to a temporary foster home. He tried to settle in, welcoming the attention of his new caregiver and her dogs, but he couldn’t stay there. Days later he found himself in the car again, heading to his permanent foster location in Libertyville, Illinois.
Walker was both exhausted and exhausting. Adjusting to a suburban setting after living in a rural outdoor kennel for most of his life was hard on him. He paced compulsively from window to window, frantically knocking down anything in his path. Every unfamiliar noise made him bark. Car doors. Kids playing outside. Neighbors chatting. Bicycles. The smell of a skunk drifting in through an open window was terrifying. (Clearly in his past life he had been trapped in a kennel with no escape from a spraying skunk.) He craved exercise, but he was nearly impossible to leash-walk because of compulsive circling behavior. The only time he could settle and rest was late at night when the sounds of the world quieted and the darkness made it too hard to see outside.






But behind all of the pacing and frantic energy was a sweet, gentle boy. Walker loved to chase his GSP foster sis around a fenced-in baseball field. He loved greeting his foster people when they came home after an errand, and gently taking their hands in his mouth to lead them around the house. He loved soft dog beds, cushy couches, and having regular, filling meals. He loved having a routine. He learned about sitting nicely before he gobbled his food. He learned about crates and leashes, bones and shared water bowls, and baths and nail clippers. And he even taught his foster family a few things about caring for their very first special dog, and appreciating each small sign of progress. But Walker still needed a forever home with people who understood that a quirky, challenging dog—a dog with some baggage—could be a good dog too.


Then along came Anne and Howie and their dog, Tally. And guess what? Tally had been a nervous rescue dog herself. A pacer. A chaser. A skinny-minny with weight to gain, just like Mr. Walker. And Walker felt good around them. He felt good in their yard, with its tall fence and plenty of room to run. He felt good in their home, with its warm beds and a mama who works from home, and a daddy who likes to run, and a doggie sis who could show him how to be who he is, only calmer and more confident. Walker had found his home. We hear (lovingly) that he is still a work in progress, but he is getting calmer and more confident...and even less skinny each day. And in this environment—the right place for Walker—he has so much potential.



Prevent Heartworm year round

Preventing Heartworm:  While not an actual "event," preventing heartworm should be a year-round activity! Sadly, ISR is seeing a marked increase in heartworm positive Shorthairs. We recently had FIVE such GSPs in rescue, and each one deserved to be cured and have a good life with a forever family.  f you would like to help us, your donation is tax-deductible because we are a non-profit organization.  To aid their cause, just click on the "Donate Paw" on any page.

Treating heartworm is a long, expensive (between $950-$1300 per dog) process, and it's painful physically and emotionally for the dogs. Active breeds like Shorthairs have a tough time because they must be kept mostly crated and always quiet for many weeks after the injections that kill the adult worms. The heartworms (which are actually quite large) are dead, but they remain in the body until they are reabsorbed. Any activity that gets the blood pumping may cause the dead worms to break off, travel through the bloodstream, and damage the heart or lungs, or cause a stroke or embolism.

Preventing heartworm is this simple: Get a yearly heartworm check for your pet, and then maintain your dog on inexpensive, monthly preventative year round. These two easy steps will save you and your dog from needless expense, pain, and emotional trauma.

Read these stories about the successful treatment of Heartworm

We hope you'll consider adopting a heartworm positive dog, and to give you an idea of what happens "after" treatment, here are the stories of three of our orphans who suffered from heartworm, were successfully treated (at ISR's expense), and found their forever homes.

Pepper's Story

When Pepper's mom adopted her in 2009, Pep was her first GSP and first dog ever.  Pepper was found wandering around some farms in rural Illinois, and weighed next to nothing.  When she was diagnosed with heartworm, it was an eye-opening experience for her mom, and a tough time for Pepper.  (Her mom even set up a webcam so she could check on Pepper while she was at work.)  Luckily, Pepper was a model patient.  Today, Pepper is 100% healthy.  Her mom has a message: "I urge potential adopters to please don't discount a dog just because they are heartworm positive.  It isn't their fault, and they deserve love and will appreciate you even more!  If you need proof that a heartworm positive dog can live a happy life, just look at the smile on Pepper's face!"








Jessie's Story

Jessie came to ISR at the end of July, 2011 after being dropped off at a high kill rural shelter.  She was a very sick girl.  She tested positive for heartworms and had several other health problems including whipworms, an ear infection, and a urinary tract infection.  Jessie's heartworm case was serious, but her mom, who adopted her soon after she came in, cared for her during her difficult journey.  Now, she's heartworm free and a normal, healthy dog.  Jessie has been to obedience class and is starting agility training.  She's an ambassador for ISR, and as you can see, quite the fashionista!  Go Jessie!