March’s Obsession

Schedule A Meet & Greet


Rover-Time loves Chicago Party Animals. This special event space gathers community together with the dogs they love so much. Josie Jendro and her partner/husband Tim own it and with the companionship of their two dogs – Mr. Big (a handsome Pug) and Diva (a pretty Rottweiler) – they works relentlessly to bring some of the best dog-friendly events to Chicago.

Chicago Party Animals was an answer to a problem. Five years ago Josie began the West Loop Dog Meetup. When that group began, Josie would regularly organize dog-friendly events for its members, but the group quickly outgrew all its options. She began looking for an alternative and found a very raw warehouse at 1133 West Fulton Market with nearly 2,500 sq ft of space on the first floor, with an additional 2,000 sq ft of bonus space on the lower level. Construction began and out of it came one of the first indoor, off-leash spaces for dogs to play. 

It only took three months of operation before Josie’s vision for the business expanded. Besides hosting many of the dog meetup groups in Chicago, Josie saw a creative facility to house fundraising events to support all the animal rescues she admired. She resourced her network of partnerships and relationships cultivated by the West Loop Dog Meetup to find event sponsors, and then hosted her first gathering to raise funds and awareness for the Puppy Mill Project. The response was overwhelming and took off. Chicago Party Animals now regularly hosts a monthly adoption mixer called Mutts and Mimosas, which brings different rescues together to showcase the dogs they work so hard to save. Each month a different group of organizations bring some of their adoptable dogs for an off-leash social event.  

And the list of exciting things happening at Chicago Party Animals goes on and on. Three nights a week, the space is open for local dog trainers to use for classes. On Wednesday mornings Josie gets in early and runs a food pantry for lower income families needing assistance to feed their canine family member. Private events are held both with and without dogs. Over the summer months, Waggin’ Wednesdays will return. Each month Josie’s venue opens it doors, pops a table up on the sidewalk that highlights a different animal agency and some of Chicago’s food trucks park nearby. It’s an opportunity to learn a thing or two while sampling all that the trucks have to offer.

I loved speaking with Josie. She’s a small business entrepreneur that has excitement and passion in her voice. It’s a familiar and happy sound for me; something one only gets when they love their work so much that it is their life, and that’s okay. I wanted to give her the space to share the other causes she cares so much about. Here are the top three that she hopes you take a minute to support or better familiarize yourself with:

1. Puppy Mill Project – We need to educate people of the horrors of puppy mills and buying dogs from pet stores and Craigslist only contributes to this.
2. Safe Humane Chicago and BARC – Assist court case dogs that would otherwise end up in the system. Also violence with animals leads to other forms of violence.
3. Educating the public on the importance of socialization & training and being responsible owners for all dogs. Change the public image of Pit Bulls and showcase this breed at Life’s the Pit’s our pit bull only playdate.

Check out more info on upcoming events at Chicago Party Animals. I’m already signed up to bring my canine kid to two events. I’ll meet you there.



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Comments (2)

May's Obsession | Rover-Time

[…] her at Chicago Party Animals monthly, if not weekly. She’s great friends with the owners, Josie & Tim, and she adores the great relationship she’s formed with the two over the last year or so. […]

November's Delight: Pets Are Like Family | Rover-Time

[…] year the event is called Pamper Yourself and Your Pooch. We encourage pet parents to come out to Chicago Party Animals on November 16th with their dogs and take advantage of massages, nail trims, hair trims, hand […]

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