Paula Fasseas of PAWS Chicago
Paula Fasseas with her three rescue dogs (from left): Josephina, Sandra, and Scotty P.  Photo: Dan Busta

Twenty years ago, adopting a homeless dog or cat wasn’t a badge of coolness. So in 1997, when Paula Fasseas founded a nonprofit no-kill shelter called PAWS Chicago, she had to work hard to convince her high-profile friends and deep-pocketed donors to get behind the cause. Fortunately, she’s very persuasive. Today PAWS operates two adoption centers and a low-cost animal clinic, provides door-to-door spay/neuter service in low-income communities, and is a national leader in the no-kill movement. Thanks in large part to Fasseas’s efforts, animal euthanasia in Chicago has dropped by 80 percent—and one day soon, this will be a no-kill city.