UPDATE: Mr. Beef has been adopted!
“Mr. Beef has been a great addition to our family and has been so much fun. He is so eager to learn new things,” his new family said.
CHICAGO — In honor of a local Italian beef legend, a pair of companies and a shelter teamed up to try to get a “beefy” dog adopted.
Last month, the founder of Mr. Beef, Joseph Zucchero, died unexpectedly at the age of 69.
The longtime shop stands at 666 N. Orleans St. and was the inspiration for the hit FX show “The Bear.”
According to the Associated Press, the Italian beef legend was “elated” when Christopher Storer, creator of “The Bear” and a childhood friend of Zucchero’s son, centered the show on his shop.
“He was very proud of that,” son Christopher Zucchero said.
After his death, in lieu of flowers — family directed donations to the Chicago shelter One Tail at a Time.
One Tail at a Time wanted to pay tribute to such a generous gesture, so they got to work on finding a perfect dog to represent Zucchero.
“It was extra special to pay tribute,” said Director of Development Maggie Hudson. “We reached out to the intake team and said, ‘can you find an extra beefy dog to name Mr. Beef in Mr. Zucchero’s honor?’ His face was irresistible.”
Mr. Beef is a two-year-old mixed-breed who weighs around 68 lbs. Staff describes him like “a big goofy puppy that listens.”
He is housebroken and has been doing well with another dog in his current foster home.
Those interested in bringing Mr. Beef into their family will be doing so for free thanks to Figo Pet Insurance and Vienna Beef.
Figo is covering the adoption fee and will provide his new family with a “swag bag” of dog and pet parent essentials. To honor his name, Vienna Beef will send the adopters home with a $100 gift card for “beefy” treats.
“Figo is passionate about uplifting the underdogs of the world, and that’s why when we saw Mr. Beef’s story, we knew we had to help him find his forever home that will love him for all the beefiness he brings to life,” said Figo’s Head of Marketing Vanessa Yeh.
Even though Mr. Beef is bringing smiles to One Tail at a Time, the shelter is still facing hardships others are dealing with since the pandemic. Intakes rates are up while adoption rates are down, putting stress on the entire industry.
“Our biggest need is foster homes,” said Hudson. “Trying to get more dogs into homes.”
One Tail at a Time also provided relief for families with economic challenges when a pet becomes sick through their mutual aid program. It was launched in 2021, but they were doing it unofficially long before then.
“We have sat at CACC (Chicago Animal Care and Control) and say ‘anything we can do to help your pet today?'” said Hudson. “The goal is to keep pets out of shelters in the first place — it’s really for strays.”
To apply to adopt click here. All other animals are available here. One Tail at a Time’s adoption center is located at 2144 N. Wood St. A slideshow is below of some of the available pets.