Sammy Shelter Project: Illinois author helping Illinois animal rescues.

*** All content published with the express permission of Author Tracy Ahrens – thank you! ***


The Sammy Shelter Project is assisting nine Illinois animal shelters and rescues with the sale of children’s book, “Sammy Sparrow’s First Flight,” by Tracy Ahrens (from Momence, IL.).

Order “Sammy Sparrow’s First Flight” through the author’s website and a donation of the ENTIRE book cost will be made to the rescue you select.

In “Sammy Sparrow’s First Flight,” (Guardian Angel Publishing; Dec. 25, 2014; ages 2-8, $9.95) a young sparrow named Sammy quickly learns why parents set rules. He was told not to fly alone at night. His wings are weak and Sammy falls into a bush below. The world looks scary from the ground. A friendly owl flies Sammy back home to sleep under his parents’ wings.

Visit to download a book order form (or print the one shown here) and don’t forget to select a shelter to help!

Creative since childhood, it wasn’t until I attended college that I learned I could draw.  “Sammy Sparrow’s First Flight” (ages 2-8) was created within 1 to 2 weeks during a holiday break when I was in college. I sat on the floor in my bedroom at my parent’s home with my drawing pads and chalks flaking dust up to my elbows. The book images came to me first and years later I fine-tuned the words.

While in college a self-publishing company was interested in printing my book, but being a poor college student I could not move forward. I put “Sammy Sparrow’s First Flight” away in scrap book sleeves until now.

I initially went to college to be a veterinarian. I changed my major to English and still help creatures with the written word, my art and volunteering with humane organizations.

It is only fitting to finally let this project fly from the nest, like Sammy. And it is fitting to help humane organizations that I have grown to know and some I have volunteered with.

Most of my books and art have assisted humane charities while hopefully making people smile with the text and images.




It’s a Pittie Rescue, based in Peotone, IL. is dedicated to rescuing, re-habbing, and re-homing the Pit Bull breeds and educating people about one of America’s most loyal and kind breed, one dog at a time.

396902Illinois Horse Rescue of Will County is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with offices and barn facilities in Beecher, IL and Peotone, IL.


3766745In April 2010, the Kankakee County Humane Society and the Kankakee County Animal Foundation merged together and formed a new larger organization. The new organization was named the Kankakee County Humane Foundation (a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization). The Kankakee County Humane Society began in 1963 as a no-kill animal shelter. From 1963 to 1976, there was not a central location to house unwanted or abused animals. These animals were boarded at local veterinary offices. In 1976, they opened the current facility in St. Anne, IL. The Kankakee County Humane Foundation shelter is staffed daily. They believe in teaching children the proper way to treat and care for animals. They also urge the spaying and neutering of companion animals and believe that animal guardianship is a privilege for those who wish to love and be loved by faithful friends.

4317035B.A.R.K. (Because Animals Really Kount) was formed in 2000 by a group of people who wanted to improve conditions for animals and staff at Kankakee County Animal Control and Adoption Center (KCAC), Kankakee, IL. B.A.R.K. is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Fund-raising is a primary focus, along with pet adoptions, microchip clinics and other events. B.A.R.K. wants to help KCAC build a new, properly equipped shelter that houses Kankakee County’s homeless animals. The organization also assists KCAC with operational expenses of maintaining the shelter, and assists in promoting animal health and welfare education.


Iroquois County Animal Rescue was created in 2008 in response to many domestic animals that were left displaced by the floods of January and February 2008 in Watseka, IL. They have since expanded their scope to include all of Iroquois County. ICARe is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

9171518Hospice Hearts (based in Urbana, IL.) is a foster-based rescue specializing in re-homing cats and dogs who have lost their owners due to terminal illness or the owner passing away.  They take in animals whose owners have entered hospice care, nursing homes, or are otherwise unable to care for their companion animals due to serious illness or injury.  They are dedicated to providing thorough and quality vet care to adoptable pets, respecting the strong bond owners had with their pets, aiding animals in their own grieving process, and finally finding forever families for the adoptable animals.  

9403118Cache Creek Animal Rescue is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charity organization dedicated to rescuing stray and abandoned animals. They are located in Union County, IL. and rescue animals in 11 counties throughout southern Illinois. They have 150+ animals in their shelter at any time. They transport these animals to the Chicagoland region for adoption. Recently they opened a new adoption center in Joliet where animals can also be viewed for adoption.

9468618Although River Valley Animal Rescue is new to Kankakee County, IL. the rescue team is not. They started working for National Animal Welfare Society (NAWS) in March, 2010. They rescued 307 animals in 22 months. In February, 2012 they decided to leave NAWS and focus only on the Kankakee County animals in need. River Valley Animal Rescue, Inc. began


New Beginnings for Cats, located in Bourbonnais, IL. is a cage free shelter for cats rescued from abuse, neglect, indifference and homelessness. New Beginnings wants to make a difference in the lives of cats in the community.  They wish to help cats overcome the situations that have hurt and damaged them and watch them bloom into wonderful family pets curled on warm laps contentedly purring.


Tracy is also the author of children’s books and non-fiction books, and her poetry has appeared in chapbooks and magazines across the country. See a sample of her poetry and view some of her artwork on her website:





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