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Paws and Claws Cat Rescue is a 501(c)3 foster centric rescue with an Adoption Center in Evanston IL. Founded in May of 2020, we focus on cats who are at risk of euthanasia in local municipal shelters as well as those in areas with fewer resources and higher euthanasia rates. Our goal is to provide every animal in our care with behavioral, emotional and medical care and to eventually match them with a family. We are a small, close-knit organization that believes in community, support and inclusion, responsibility, and kindness.


Paws and Claws Cat Rescue is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to preventing and alleviating the suffering caused by abuse, neglect, and overpopulation.  We help cats mentally and physically heal, and give them a chance to find love, a full life, and a forever home. 


We heavily focus on felines. Dogs and cats enter shelters at roughly the same rate but 60% of the animals euthanized in shelters are cats. We rescue all cats, from the tiniest orphaned neonates to seniors. We focus on those who may get overlooked by others, including  FIV+ cats, black cats, and undersocialized/shy cats. All have a special place within our organization. Upwards of 90% of our animals come from municipal shelters, many of which are legally obligated to take in every animal who comes to them regardless of space, time, or resources and thus forced to make euthanasia decisions. We hope that in partnering with these shelters we can pull animals out of their care and minimize these tough decisions.


  • COMMUNITY! Creating relationships with animals and the people who love them.  Building a strong sense of community for our volunteers, fosters, adopters, donors, supporters, partners is so important to us. 

  • Support and inclusion: of everyone! 

  • Responsibility: focusing on not only reacting to the pet overpopulation crisis but working to get to the root of the problem (affordable vet care and pet friendly housing for all, TNR, rehoming solutions outside of the shelter etc)

  • Kindness: listening to everyone from a place of understanding and compassion. 


Founded by Evanston resident Ashlynn Boyce and her family at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Paws and Claws is the culmination of a long-time commitment to fostering neonatal kittens, and under-socialized cats - with a specific focus on TNR for community cats. 


With 11,000 animals euthanized annually in Illinois alone (as of 2022 this number is now 6,000), the Boyce’s felt compelled to aggregate many of the best practices they had seen through their work with other rescues and build a nurturing environment for orphaned neonatal kittens, nursing kittens with their mothers, under-socialized cats, and cats who have been at municipal shelters for too long. 


In May 2023 the organization opened its first facility, the Paws and Claws Cat Adoption Center located in Evanston. This center is the heart of Paws and Claws' operations and houses free roaming cat rooms for adoptable cats, isolation space for sick cats, housing for new cats coming from other shelters, a surgical suite, storage space, offices and a hub for community events and gatherings. 


As of October 2023, the organization has rescued over 1,300 cats and dogs from 40 different municipal shelters across the Midwest and southern part of the United States. They have partnerships with 12 local veterinary clinics and a contract with an in-house vet tech and veterinarian. The rescue currently relies on its network of over 120 foster families in the Chicagoland area to open their hearts and homes to its animals until they are matched with their forever homes. Paws and Claws sees itself as a community of "crossing guards” for these vulnerable animals, helping them move from their past —whether that be from a traumatic home, a kennel, or a euthanasia list— to a safe and loving “forever home.”


Paws and Claws is based in Evanston, but serves all of Chicago and it’s suburbs including, but not limited to: Glenview, Northbrook, Morton Grove, Skokie, Wilmette, Des Plaines and Lincolnwood.




Founder/Executive Director 


President of Rescue Relations


Director of Development 


Community Outreach/Marketing Communications


Adoption Coordinator

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Graphic Designer and Brand Strategist


Senior Director 


Cat Care Manager


Adoption Counselor

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