Erin Noel Grennan takes a walk in her Oak Park neighborhood every morning, no matter what the weather. On a series of cold days last winter she noticed the same dog, a boxer mix, left out in its yard. In fact, the dog was always out, any time she passed the house, and when the weather turned truly bitter the dog's plight began to nag at her. Then she saw a man--apparently its owner--hitting it, and knew she had to do something. "I felt awful, but I didn't know what I could do," she says. Asking around, she heard about the Animal Care League of Oak Park and contacted them. "They called me back within an hour, and they took over from there." The Animal Care League, a no-kill shelter, got in touch with investigators, who confirmed what Grennan saw. The dog was taken from its abusive home and placed in another shelter, where it was eventually adopted. Impressed, Grennan went to the league Web site and saw that it could use some fund-raising help. "They raise money through bake sales and a resale shop," she says, "but it isn't much. Since my husband and I are actors, I thought we had access to a way to help." Grennan and her husband, Paul Slade Smith, organized Crooning for the Critters, a benefit cabaret performance. They induced 20 Chicago singers and actors to perform, including playwright Cheri Coons (At Wit's End) and longtime Forever Plaid cast member Steve Wallem. Each performer will present one animal-related song. The vintage Oak Park Arts Theater was donated as the venue, "so every cent collected from ticket sales will go to the Animal Care League," Grennan says. "Crooning for the Critters" is Monday, July 8, at 200 N. Oak Park Ave. in Oak Park. Cocktails are at 7 and the show starts at 7:30. Tickets are $20; call 708-488-9549.