Better Business Bureau Report for
Animal Welfare League

Better Business Bureau Report issued February 2013
Better Business Bureau Report expires February 2015

Does not meet one or more standards
This charity does not meet one or more of the 20 standards for Charity Accountability. Find out more...

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Charity Contact Information

Name: Animal Welfare League
Phone: 708-636-8586
Also known as:AWL
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Better Business Bureau Comments


Year, State Incorporated: 1935, Illinois
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: Prevent cruelty to animals. Provide quality homes for animals through our adoption program. Promote respect and compassion for all creatures through humane education. Provide shelter and care for homeless and unwanted animals. Reduce pet overpopulation through our low cost spay/neuter clinic. Provide veterinary care for low-income pet owners. Relieve the suffering of all animals.

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Evaluation Conclusions


Animal Welfare League does not meet the following 3 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Standard 4: Compensated Board Members - Not more than one or 10% (whichever is greater) directly or indirectly compensated person(s) serving as voting member(s) of the board. Compensated members shall not serve as the board's chair or treasurer.

Animal Welfare League does not meet this Standard because:


  • The paid chief executive officer also serves as the chair of the board of directors.
  • The chair of the board is compensated either directly or indirectly.

Standard 6: Board Policy on Effectiveness - Have a board policy of assessing, no less than every two years, the organization's performance and effectiveness and of determining future actions required to achieve its mission.

Animal Welfare League does not meet this Standard because:

  • The board of directors does not have a written policy stating that, at least every two years, an appraisal be done assessing the organization’s performance and effectiveness and determining future actions required to achieve its mission.

Standard 17: Web Site Disclosures - Include on any charity websites that solicit contributions, the same information that is recommended for annual reports, as well as the mailing address of the charity and electronic access to its most recent IRS Form 990.

Animal Welfare League does not meet this Standard because the organization's website, WWW.ANIMALWELFARELEAGUE.COM, does not include all of the recommended information for those charity websites that solicit for donations. Specifically, it does not include:

  • Electronic access to the organization’s most recent IRS Form 990.
Animal Welfare League meets the remaining 17 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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The Animal Welfare League was founded in 1935 by compassionate humanitarians to “relieve the suffering among animals.” Today, the League operates two shelters in the Chicago area. Our facilities care for more than 20,000 homeless and abandoned animals each year. Our founding shelter, located on Wabash Avenue in Chicago, receives unwanted and stray animals in an extremely impoverished area of the City. The shelter also conducts cruelty investigations, rescues animals and picks up stray animals in the community. Our state-of-the-art facility in Chicago Ridge is a full-service shelter open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to receive stray animals. This shelter can house more than 600 animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, ferrets, small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, wild and farm animals. Both facilities accept all species of animals who come through its doors. In accordance with our mission, no animal is ever refused. The League believes that all animals deserve a second chance at life with caring and compassionate owners.

For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2012, Animal Welfare League's program expenses were:

Salaries and wages 2,742,081
Animal care supplies and maintenance 1,040,876
employee benefits and related taxes 454,210
donated supplies 207,843
depreciation 167,088
repairs and maintenance 104,086
utilties 90,419
animal disposal 88,924
insurance 49,574
office and computer supplies 35,438
telephone 17,004
employee training 15,405
recruitment 9,250
membership dues 8,697
miscellaneous 3,942
postage and shipping 1,585
interest 1,236
security 1,230
printing 1,060
Total Program Expenses: $5,039,948
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Chief Executive : Linda Estrada, Executive Director

Chair of the Board: Linda Estrada, President of the Board of Directors
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Executive Director

Board Size: 9

Paid Staff Size: 117

*Compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts, and other allowances.
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Fund Raising


Method(s) Used:

direct mail, invitations to fund raising events, print advertisements, grant proposals, internet, planned giving arrangements, membership
Fund raising costs were 8% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $1,445,688, are donations received as a result of fund raising activities.)
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Tax Status


This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.
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The following information is based on Animal Welfare League's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2012.

Source of Funds  
Service Income 4,050,583
Contributions, grants and legacies 1,140,182
Investment Income 390,262
Donated Supplies 207,843
Special Events 97,663
Other, included forfeited deposits 47,120
Total Income $5,933,653


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 90%  Fund Raising: 2%  Administrative: 8% 

Total income $5,933,653
Program expenses $5,039,948
Fund raising expenses 115,180
Administrative expenses 467,712
Total expenses $5,622,840
Income in Excess of Expenses 310,813
Beginning net assets 14,252,967
Ending net assets 14,563,780
Total liabilities 265,382
Total assets $14,829,162

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An organization may change its practices at any time without notice. A copy of this report has been shared with the organization prior to publication. It is not intended to recommend or deprecate, and is furnished solely to assist you in exercising your own judgment. If the report is about a charity and states the charity meets or does not meet the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability, it reflects the results of an evaluation of information and materials provided voluntarily by the charity. The name Better Business Bureau is a registered service mark of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.

This report is not to be used for fund raising or promotional purposes.

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