WGN Listeners Raise $23,000 To Replace Chicago Animal League AC Units in 2.5 Hours

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WGN radio host John Williams’s on air fund drive raised over $23,000 yesterday to replace AC units stolen from the Chicago Animal League facility on June 30, with donations big and small coming in for two and a half hours. The group can replace the units and install security equipment with the money. The amount raised is over $29,000 at this writing.

Thieves stole two large air conditioning units plus additional copper piping, and destroyed two remaining units at Chicago’s Animal Welfare League facility on June 30, leaving staff scrambling to cool the building to preserve the health and well being of over 100 animals housed on site.

Yesterday, a week later, the radio host who has a rescue dog himself took to the air asking greater Chicagoland to pitch in and raise the money needed to replace the shelter’s air cooling system immediately, instead of having the League get by with a patchwork system while raising the funds themselves.

Individual members of the public, as well as area businesses and the Chicago Blackhawks organization all responded, and by the end of the 2 and one half hour drive the $20,00o needed for the cooling system had been raised, along with extra funds which may be earmarked for a new security system to insure that a similar theft will not happen again. The Mack company will install the new units free of charge.

WGN is known for its community mindedness, and the station has pitched in to help local businesses, organizations and individuals many times before. This particular effort was highly successful and has left everyone associated with it very happy with the level of support from the community and the successful outcome.

The total amount donated keeps rising and, as of this writing, has topped $29,000.

HSUS is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thieves.


Click the link below for video of the final 5 minutes of the broadcast, as the appeal meets and surpasses its goal. Animal Welfare League director Linda Estrada chats with John Williams and expresses her great joy that the goal has been met by the local community.

Video Broadcast of Appeal’s Final Minutes


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