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Midwest Animal Rescue Service
MARS logo 2015Welcome to Midwest Animal Rescue Service of Illinois!
MARS is a state licensed (#13839) no-kill rescue. 
(CLICK HERE for the Illinois Dept. of Agriculture Licensee Lookup)

Here is some helpful information about MARS, and some FAQ's
Where is our shelter?Kitty Corner

Our shelter is located in southern Illinois, just outside of Carbondale, IL, home of Southern Illinois University.
We schedule adoption events (information is listed on our home page and on PetFinder), which is where our animals are available for adoption. We accept online adoption applications in advance of events, and approved adopters are able to schedule meetings with animals they are interested in adopting.
Everyone is always welcome to attend a MARS adoption event to meet our staff and animals, and to see what we are all about.
pup at animal control Where do our animals come from?

The animals in our program are rescued from hazardous situations - whether that be neglectful households, raided puppy mills or over-crowded animal control facilities. We then quarantine them for health observation, then make them available in areas that have more adopters, like Champaign. 
Southern Illinois, and the surrounding areas, have major animal overpopulation issues that result in hundreds of animal deaths a week, including entire litters of puppies. M.A.R.S. hopes to alleviate some of the strain on animal control facilities by transporting adoptable animals out of the area to places where they have a chance at not just life, but a GOOD life!


The M.A.R.S. Team consists of 3 Board members (President, Treasurer, and Secretary), 3 Staff members, and a handful of dedicated volunteers. We are always looking for additional volunteers to assist at adoption events and foster dogs, puppies, cats and kittens while the animals are in our adoption program.


After working with other rescue organizations in Illinois, two friends got together with the goal of introducing a new no-kill organization to further assist animals in need in the midwest region. The two friends founded Midwest Animal Rescue Service with the intention of re-homing as many animals as possible. So far, M.A.R.S. has been very successful in working towards this goal and will continue to move forward, offering public education on adoption, spaying and neutering, and proper pet care.

Bingo and Family

We believe that animal rescue cannot focus solely on the adoption aspect. It has to be about awareness, fewer accidental litters, and community involvement. M.A.R.S. works hard to find matches for pets and people, so that our adoptions maintain a 100% success rate. The people of Illinois all have a responsibility to do what we can to decrease pet overpopulation and suffering. 


When you adopt a rescued pet from MARS of Illinois, you will get a FREE exam along with a 50% discount on your pet's spay or neuter surgery from the Animal Hospital at the Crossing in Champaign, IL! Make sure your pet gets the best surgical and post-op care! Click on the links to visit their page!

Our spay/neuter policy is based on both Illinois State law and our veterinarian's advice. State law specifies that all animals adopted out from animal shelters/rescues must either be altered, or be adopted with a spay/neuter requirement. 

In the case of young animals, we require that the animal be altered within 30 days of adoption (in accordance with new IL state law), and that proof of the surgery be sent to M.A.R.S. in the form of a veterinary invoice. If your veterinarian unveils a health concern (age is included in this category), and that concern prevents the pet from being fixed within 30 days of adoption, the surgery MUST be completed NO LATER than 6 month of age. 

In some instances, with larger breeds, the surgery can be performed a little younger, but our veterinarian handles these on a case-by-case basis.


We may be from MARS, but there is nothing scary about our adoption process! Our application is simple, easy to understand, and will only take you minutes to complete ONLINE!


Our team strives to make every animal as comfortable as possible during their stay at MARS, while they await adoption. We are undergoing a shelter remodel to provide even more on-site amenities to the animals in our care. Here's what we've been up to!
Exam Room1 Exam Room2

New Exam Room- we have refinished our old office into an exam room, and grooming table.

We are still awaiting the floors to be painted, and new cabinets put in.

Kitty Corner Kitty Korner before 

Cat Nap
New Kitty Korner- We transformed a storage hall (photo to left) into our new "Kitty Korner" (photo to right)! This CAGELESS feline enclosure features numerous catwalks, perches and scratching posts to give them more stimulation, and a window that looks into our office. We have done away with crates and cages for our feline guests so they can run, climb and play. We will be adding a series of thick ropes for them to climb on, and two hammocks for them to cuddle in. 

MARS ICU2018 MARS ICU New ICU remodeled and finished in 2018!


Steve and Larry Williams

Jamie Winkler

Jeff & Laurie Hecht

Julie & Alex Socorro

Amy Bagurdes

Ricky Crossley

Sally Malone

Kirstyn Tucker

Ray Loyd

Clay Guenther

Lyndsey Wiley


Articles of Incorporation file #66948323, Filed with the Secretary of State on May 24, 2009. ILState License# 13839.