It is believed robbers climbed onto the shelter's roof at night and stole two air conditioner units and the copper pipes. It is presumed that the suspects were after the valuable copper.
Now the staff is trying to keep the animals cool. Extras fans were brought in to keep over 100 animals comfortable.
The theft means that the non-profit facility that has served the Washington Park neighborhood for 75 years has to divert precious funding to replacing the air conditioning instead of on its mission of caring for animals.
"We will have to secure the units and this is money that was better spent, certainly we have to have them, but I would rather see it spent on the animals," said Diane Spyrka, Animal Welfare League.
The shelter hopes the community will help to fund the new air conditioning, which could cost $20,000. If they can't get air conditioning, shelter officials would have to transfer all the animals to their Chicago Ridge facility which is already full of pets looking for good homes.