Woman with her dog
Photo by Michaela Hoover

Sanctuary: Chicken Nugget and Gang Offers a Safe Haven for Small Animals

When you walk into the new location for Chicken Nugget and Gang, Rock may plop down and rollover onto your feet, trapping you from exploring the rest of the rescue and sanctuary. Rock is a 156-pound therapy dog, and he would enjoy a good pet before you visit the smaller and more exotic animals at the center.

Giant white fluffy dog on a wooden floor
Rock the Therapy Dog chilling (photo by Michaela Hoover)

Now open at 117 West Elm Street in Lebanon, Chicken Nugget and Gang is a resource center for adoption meetings & small gift shop.

The rescue welcomes doves, chinchillas, hamsters, bunnies, hedgehogs, and domesticated ducks and chickens, just to name a few of the critters. The rescue occasionally helps with puppies and kittens, but does not take in adult dogs or cats.

The rescue takes in small animals that have been abandoned or surrendered, and works with the Johnson County Animal Shelter and the Humane Society of Boone County, specifically in urgent cases.

Black guinea pig in a cage
Just one of the teeny residents at Chicken Nugget and Gang (photo by Michaela Hoover)

Keir Schutte and her husband, Fritz, started the rescue out of their garage in 2015, after realizing how many small animals are abandoned each year by owners who were unaware of how to take care of them. It’s named after Chicken Nugget, a bantam rooster the couple fell in love with while touring another rescue. The rooster, who typically didn’t like to be picked up, promptly fell asleep on Keir’s shoulder.

“I was shocked at how much of a need there was for a rescue to help with these types of animals, and not just cats and dogs,” Keir Schutte says. “We provide temporary housing, and facilitate fostering and adoption for these animals that are given as gifts for Easter and then surrendered to local shelters, left at parks or dumpsters, or for those whose owners no longer want the sweet animals.”

Entrance to Chicken Nugget and Gang rescue
New entrance to Chicken Nugget and Gang Resource Center in Whitestown (photo by Michaela Hoover)

Chicken Nugget and Gang also assists with veterinary bills, pet food and other unexpected costs that may arise for pet owners, but the rescue is not limited to pet-related assistance; the team strives to be a support system for the entire community by teaming up with other rescues and shelters to provide the resources necessary for the animals of the region to thrive.

“Besides assisting with animals in need, we have helped folks who have fallen on tough times and needed pet food or litter,” Schutte says. “We’ve also collected and donated to other nonprofits like the Refuge teen home. We consistently volunteer and are committed monthly to The Waters of Lebanon Nursing Home, and fit in other locations when we can.”

To integrate further into the community, the rescue holds events like Bunnies and Beverages, a fun event with a silent auction, bingo and opportunities to meet some of the available bunnies. Schutte and her team also frequent local establishments and farmers markets to spread the word about the organization and the animals.

And now, Schutte is asking the community to give back. The rescue is in need of volunteers to join four specific areas in order to move Chicken Nugget and Gang to the next level: bookkeeper, volunteer organizer, fundraising specialist, and donor and volunteer appreciation specialist.

“If we could get support in these areas, I can focus on the big picture on how to grow the rescue,” Schutte says. “We are very easy to get a hold of through Facebook, email, or calling the center. We are always looking for consistent volunteers.”

For more info, visit chickennuggetandgang.com, call 765-481-2133, or email contact@chickennuggetandgang.com.

Comments 1

  1. Keir Schutte says:

    I am SO very grateful for this article, thank you!!! Important note, we do not house all of those animals in town at our public location, there will never be chickens, ducks, etc. here. Those types of animals are only housed on our personal property. They are not allowed in town;) Also, we only have a small percentage of the animals in town. 117 W Elm St. is used as a resource center, for adoption meetings & small giftshop, at this time.

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