Vector Borne Disease Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention & Education - 1514 dogs, puppies (and a few kitties) saved since October 2001.
Illinois Birddog Rescue, Inc (IBR) is a 501(c)(3) Charity and licensed shelter by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Tax-deductible monetary gifts can be mailed to: P.O. Box 364 Wood Dale, IL 60191

Our Newest English Setter Libby Needs Some Help

Libby is our new Lemon and White English Setter rescue. You can see her Facebook Recovery album HERE. I was contacted about her needing a rescue on May 30th and luckily we were able to move her to foster care the following Sunday. Libby was confiscated by the local animal control when a neighbor noticed she was being starved in an outdoor kennel. In spite of her neglect, Libby is a very loving Setter. We started her on a 3 time a day feeding routine, and we also did some worming and got her started on antibiotics for suspicion of tick borne disease and possible heart worms. She also had a bladder infection that is so much better. Blood work did confirm heart worms and she is now in our slow-kill treatment program. Libby will also need a dental in a few months when we do her spay. She is gaining weight slowly and learning how to be a proper house dog. Cage and house training is much better after a few weeks and she is especially loving with her foster daddy. We are looking for a Foster to Adopt home in the Chicago area so that we can get her full blood panel done and supervise her care. As Libby has a pair of suspicious mammary lumps, we will need to have those removed and biopsied too.

7-4-2024: Libby is doing amazingly well. She's gained about 8lbs and her energy level has also increased exponentially. Libby is learning to be a proper house dog and she loves cuddling with her foster dad. She will be in town on Friday the 12th for an exam, x-rays and blood work. We are still looking for a local foster home or a foster to adopt home would also be ideal. I will be taking new photos of her as well.


Rue Needs Medical Help Donations

Baby Ruth aka Rue, came into Illinois Birddog Rescue's program in July of 2022. She was a 6-7 month old puppy saved from certain death after being dumped by a local Pointer breeder in Tennessee. While in foster care, Rue grew to be a beautiful long-legged athletic Pointer. Sadly we couldn't find the perfect adopter for many months. For fun and to maybe find a working adoptive home, Rue was registered with the AKC and ran in a sport called Fast CAT becoming the fastest female Pointer in that sport in 2023. Her training in 2 other sports- Barn Hunt and Agility continued in her last foster home and then the perfect family applied to adopt her in April of 2024.

Everything was going well in her new adoptive home until Rue became very ill a month later. Our beautiful, barely 3 year old magnificent Pointer Rue, was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Addison's. The new adopters have been faced with thousands of dollars in vet bills and will face more in the future. Unfortunately, Illinois Birddog Rescue does not have thousands for emergencies to assist, so I am creating this fundraiser to see if we can help raise some vetting funds for her new family. Plus if you donate to help with Rue's medical care, you can write off your contribution. We'd appreciate any donations to help her new family with her care.


Rue aka IBR's White Lightning BCAT

Rue LOVES Fast CAT-- and with recent AKC confirmation, she is ranked 6th in the country for Pointers competing in this sport and TOP FEMALE!!! She also completed her BCAT-- Beginner's title.

Rue has been in IBR's Foster care program for over 15 months and I can't understand it. She's a fun, athletic happy-go-lucky Pointer that sadly came into our program with Rocky Mountain spotted fever, but she is feeling great now. She is amazing to watch in the yard, running and leaping over 2 to 3 foot fencing just for fun. She's also quite pretty and she loves to snuggle on the couch. While she is in foster care, I feel her talents are being wasted and she really should be training in Agility and maybe Dock Diving. My hope is if I get her out there doing some competitive sports, that I can find the best adopter that can continue her training. Paws crossed.

CONGRATULATIONS to Rue for completing her AKC BCAT title!!

Welcome Our New Lemon Pointer-- Cody!

Here is our newest Pointer rescue-- Cody. WHAT A NICE DOG!!!! Cody is the sweetest dog, super friendly and affectionate. He is happy to give Pointer hugs to anyone that will let him. Someone loved on him at sometime in his life, but my guess is he was dumped because he wasn't hunting. I tried some "whoa" training and techniques on his back and tail and he did not seem to know any of that.

He was found as an emaciated stray in early January and we pulled him from the kind folks at the Shelbyville, shelter in southern, IL. We do know that he has 2 tick borne diseases- Anaplasma and Lyme disease via 4DX snap, but sadly we also found Rocky Mountain spotted fever too. He is on antibiotics and he was treated for intestinal parasites but we are doing a little more Panacur just in case. He also started heartworm prevention.

He looks to be out of Elhew field bred Pointer lines but we'll never know. Cody also has a chunk of his ear missing and a little calcification on his front paw from a previous broken bone, but that doesn't seem to bother him. He is learning about house manners now and has already shown himself to be a proper Pointer couch potato. We are super happy Penny in Shelbyville, reached out to us and that we were able to line up a safe foster home for him quickly.

Donations for his care can be made via Paypal at the link to the left but we also accept donations via VENMO with @illinoisbirddogrescue and ZELLE with

Cody's Recovery Facebook Album

With all the new rescue dogs in need of medical help and nearly 100% of them fighting tick borne disease, we really need a lot of help with donations. Want to be an Illinois Birddog Rescue Sponsor?

Sponsor a pet in our program.

IBR's Life Of The Party **JH** ADOPTED!!


Xuma came into IBR's program BROKEN last May, covered in kennel sores and suffering from old injuries after being hit by a car. She'll never have the perfect gait and she still favors her right rear leg even after months of chiropractic care. She is also fighting horrible Lyme disease, that she'll have to fight the rest of her life. I've been saving Pointers for over 20 years-- helping many get back into the field, and doing what they love. Xuma is a special girl and it's been great seeing her do well in foster care.

September 23/24 2023: Xuma had the best time at the Fort Dearborn GSP and LaSalle Brittany combined hunt tests at Des Plaines Conservation area. She ran hard and pointed a few birds to pass 3/4 times. She had the time of her life and I even needed help catching her after her last run as she didn't want to stop.

CONGRATULATIONS to Xuma for completing her AKC Junior Hunter title!!

Drift Roasters- Birddog Blend Coffee Fundraiser

In the summer of 2020, a very handsome tri-color and white field bred English Setter Nick came into IBR's program. He was fostered by a wonderful family that also have a side business called DRIFT ROASTERS and they have come up with a special fundraising coffee called BIRDDOG BLEND. A small portion of every sale of Birddog Blend coffee will be donated to Illinois Birddog Rescue. It is available in whole bean or medium roast. It smells amazing!!! Thanks to the Tanzer family for their thoughtfulness in helping IBR and also for their care of Nick who did find a wonderful forever home.

From Pam- IBR adopter, "My kitchen smells amazing! My Bird-Dog Blend arrived a few days ago!!"

IBR's 20th Anniversary Fundraising Mug

How about a fun mug to go with your Bird Dog Blend coffee? My hope is to sell a few to help with the care of our senior dog population. I think it's super fun and the watermark is not on the uploaded image. You can order your mug HERE.

Olivia-- My Special North Carolina Rescue

It has been 6 years since I heard about Olivia's need for rescue from an over crowded shelter in North Carolina. She came a long way from that sickly emaciated Setter with the terrible skin infections and mange and fighting Heartworms and at least 3 tick borne diseases, but now she is 14 or 15 years old and struggling. Olivia is losing her sight and her hearing and I need to force feed her twice a day to keep going. Olivia also has a bit of dementia. Recent blood work also shows not only is she still infected with Ehrlichia, Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, but Anaplasma also showed up and I suspect she has been infected with the whole time. It's tough seeing her health decline, but I am committed to helping her until she tells me she is ready to go.

Olivia's Recovery Facebook Album

With all the new Setters in need of medical help and nearly 100% of them fighting tick borne disease, we really need a lot of help with donations. Want to be a Setter Sponsor? Please visit our SETTER SPONSORS FUNDRAISING PAGE. Any donation no matter what size would be appreciated. Would you consider a monthly donation to help a dog like Olivia or one of our other seniors? Take a look at our monthly sponsorship program.

Sponsor a pet in our program.

Donate with QuickPay with Chase by Zelle

Most every fundraising app takes a big percentage of the donation- up to 7% and added processing fees. Chase QuickPay by Zelle transfers donations without any fees and the transfer is automatic. If your bank has Zelle transfers- you can sign up with their app. Transfers can be done using IBR's email address:

The Lyme Quant C6/4DX Snap VS the IDEXX IFA Serology

The past 17 years nearly 100% of our incoming dogs, cats, kittens and puppies are showing tick borne disease infections. Why is this? Several years ago this rescue and me personally went on a quest to help find the best testing and diagnosis to help our rescue population. Because I suffer from Lyme disease, I understand how hard it is for people to be diagnosed properly, and the testing available for pets is often not accurate and sadly as Animal Hospitals are businesses-- many clinics use diagnostic labs that offer them better pricing. The worst thing about what I have learned is the best tool for diagnosis is not even in the IDEXX manual. The 371 IFA serology is most like the testing that is often more accurate in humans. The testing IDEXX promotes is their snap tests that use a Lyme Quant C6 approach to Lyme disease diagnosis which we have shown test after test, is not accurate. The turning point in IBR's tick borne disease testing was when a DVM adopted an infected Pointer from me, "Because he wanted to learn more about Lyme disease." Since then Dr. John Rimkunas has adopted a beagle also struggling with tick borne disease. Seeing both his dogs struggle physically and emotionally has helped him see what I have been seeing for years.

I will be posting more about this- but wanted to at least show the comparison between the IDEXX 4DX snap test and the IDEXX 371 IFA Serology that we ran on new rescue Pointer Shaun. Shaun came in with a fever and enlarged lymph nodes. Shaun was also limping from his left front wrist and had a large bloody seroma extending from the joint and another seroma on the right wrist too. Dr. John noted that he suspected tick borne disease and thankfully we did the better testing as Shaun is feeling so much better now that he is being treated. Many vets are taught that Shaun's Lyme titer of @1:800 and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) titer @1:200 would be "exposure" and not treat-- even if the dog is symptomatic. I will never understand this- and so frustrating. Note that the result for Lyme disease on the 4DX snap was negative and sadly the snap does not test for RMSF. Could Shaun had been vaccinated for Lyme disease- not likely and we will do follow up testing to see where his titers go. Because he also has RMSF, we can assume he has been subject to tick bites. I do hope some folks find my page and if their dog is struggling and only a 3DX or 4DX snap test was performed, that a better IFA Serology can be done for better diagnosing. Tick borne disease is epidemic in this country- and so many animals are suffering because of it.

Rescue Pointer Brady-- VINDICATED!!

***This is an older story-- but a very good story***

Brady finished his Derby season with first in Open Walking Derby at the Fort Dearborn GSP Club in September and a first in Amateur Walking Derby and another first in Open Walking Derby at the German Wirehair Pointer Clubs trial in October. Brady came into IBR's program in the worst health suffering from at least 3 undiagnosed tick borne diseases- Ehrlichia, Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Brady had chronic diarrhea and bloody stool and was a pointing training reject. Brady has made the most remarkable progress in foster care with his loving foster dad Hector Becerra and while he had a few medical setbacks, he has regained all of his natural scent pointing and hunting abilities. As we have Brady's FDSB papers, we know his Great Grand Pappy is Hall of Fame Inductee CH Erin's Southern Justice and his pappy is CH Erin's Brave Heart . While he has fine genetics, being infected with tick borne disease caused terrible damage to his health while affecting his confidence and drive in the field. I knew we could help him and thanks to many sponsors, after a year plus of medication- he is recovering very well and we are thrilled at his success in Derby this fall.

To date Brady's breeder has no interest in this puppy's health or welfare and was unwilling to test his mom and sold her :O(. This lack of responsibility for the dogs breeding programs is a HUGE problem with the the American Field and with back yard breeders everywhere. Rarely are any of the puppies micro-chipped for their protection and so many of these magnificent dogs wind up in landfills or shot dead when they don't perform. We have proven over and over that these dogs are so at risk for tick borne disease working and training in tick infested areas or being borne to infected Bitches that there is no hope for them to recover unless they find a rescue as dedicated as we are here at IBR to help them succeed and find forever homes. Brady's Vindication is one amazing little Pointer- he looks like a million bucks on point and has the sweetest personality. I can not be more proud of Hector and Brady and am grateful that he trusted me mentoring him in the field- but that was easy- Brady was such a natural once he got over his bad memories and fear. On his last run at Des Plaines Conservation area on October 26th- he ran hard, was incredibly smart and bold following the Derby course and was breathtaking in point. Hector handled him magnificently and as a newbie to field trailing and Pointers, and brought back so many memories of my own when I ran my first Pointer in field trials so many years ago.

THANKS TO ALL- that donated and sponsored Brady's medical bills and Field Trial entries to make all of this possible. We do GREAT work here at Illinois Birddog Rescue and we need as much help as ever. Lisa- IBR Founder and President.

IBR's Talk To Da Paw JH- A Very Special Deaf English Setter

***My sweet Gavin turned 13 in 2023-- but he is hanging in there.***

So many TO DO's on my TO DO list while trying so hard to raise funds and help save more- that I pushed Gavin's Story further down on that list. His story is an important one and I created his own Web Page. I never gave up on him- NEVER- even when it was suggested that he be put to sleep. I thank my own Setter stubbornness and my Setter guardian angel for helping him be the little over-achiever he was meant to be.

SLOW KILL Heartworm Treatment- A Safer Option

I have been in Pointer/Setter rescue for over 20 years now. I have seen many vetting successes and many vetting failures and once we started to see the high incidence of tick borne disease in our positive heartworm dogs and how so many of these dogs struggled with the Immiticide/Cyanide treatment we had to find a better way. After doing some research and hearing from vets that only used Heartguard or similar product and adding doxycycline for the Wohlbachia issue, then adding good blood work including the IDEXX 371 tick panel to uncover tick borne disease complications- we are happy to share the IBR's Slow Kill Method success story page. All the dogs that went through this treatment plan were examined by our attending vets and they in turn scripted out the Heartguard or Iverheart and helped us get the appropriate blood work done. Some dogs were treated out of state and to the surprise of their attending vets also did very well. As a rescue we never want to rush treatment in order to move a dog out the door for adoption and thankfully most of the dogs in the slow kill are in foster to adopt.

IBR in Upland Almanac

It is always wonderful to be recognized for all the hard work we do here at Illinois Birddog Rescue. It is especially gratifying when my hard work pays off especially when it comes to my special deaf Setter rescue Gavin. I will put fingers to keyboard soon and document his story as it needs to be told. This little dog is what makes all the hard work and sacrifice worth while.


Whoa Doggie! Slideshow

View the new Powerpoint slideshow showcasing our rescue legacy from the first nine years.
**You must have Powerpoint to view the slideshow. Each slide will advance on its own. This is a large file and may take time to download.**

Illinois Birddog Rescue wants to make sure all of our adoptable dogs stay healthy throughout flea and tick season. We welcome donations of Frontline, Heartguard, or any similar product. Email Lisa if you would like to help.

Monetary donations can be snail mailed to:
Illinois Birddog Rescue, Inc.
P.O. Box 364
Wood Dale, IL 60191

Please visit us at Illinois Birddog Rescue and IBR Facebook

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. --Ralph Waldo Emerson