With the first week of September under our belts, the school year is officially underway.
Whether you're sending your kids off for the day (and noticing how quiet the house has become), or nose-deep in homework and in need of a study buddy, there's no better time to bring home a new friend from an area shelter.
And have we ever got some contenders this week--all these adorable cats, dogs and rabbits are available for adoption at a variety of Chicagoland shelters.
If this slideshow doesn't satisfy your cute animal fix, be sure to check out past features linked below the gallery either by scrolling down or clicking here. Many of the previously featured animals are still in need of "furever" homes.