Who We Are

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Real Estate to the Rescue Mission

Our mission is to mobilize the real estate community to help homeless animals in the Chicagoland area.  We address our mission in 3 different ways:

1) Fundraising

RTTR raises funds via fundraising events, sponsorships and individual giving which are used to support smaller rescues and shelters throughout the Chicagoland area. We donate to allow these rescue groups to continue their mission of pulling animals in need from at-risk situations and placing them in foster or adoptive homes.

2) Community Outreach

RTTR works in conjunction with other organizations to provide funding and volunteers for free Veterinary and Chip and Tag events held in underserved neighborhoods in the Chicagoland area.

3) Advocacy

We believe in the more progressive models of animal sheltering that follow the No Kill model. In support of that model, we advocate for legislation at all levels of government that will advance animal welfare and lead to fewer animals killed in our community.

Our History

Real Estate to the Rescue was founded in 2005 by Suzy Thomas, a REALTOR® currently from Dream Town Realty. Originally, Suzy’s vision was to empower REALTORS® to find homes for animals in need and keep them from entering the shelter system. Over time the organization changed its mission to support shelters and pet rescue organizations who were better equipped to take care of homeless animals and find them foster and forever homes than RTTR was. An enormous boost came in 2009, when RTTR became an official program of the Chicago Association of REALTORS®. Through this partnership, and with the assistance of a strong network of volunteers, RTTR has broadened its charitable reach and magnified its successes.

Board Members

Suzy Thomas, Dream Town – Founder
Curt Kessler, Guaranteed Rate Affinity – President
Kathy Schrage, Redfin – Treasurer
Elise Elizalde – Secretary
AVAILABLE – Director of Shelters & Rescues
AVAILABLE – Director of Sponsorship
Maris Callahan, The Social Broker – Director of Social Media
AVAILABLEDirector of Events
Abby Kelley, Fulton Grace – Director of Communications
AVAILABLEDirector of Membership
Michael Decker, @properties – Members-at-large
Deb Maue, Jameson Sotheby’s – Past-President

Chicago Association of Realtors® Industry Partner

CAR partners with the local chapters of other real estate associations, in order to enhance opportunities for professional development, networking and advocacy efforts for our mutual members. Learn more here.

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