Chicago Animal Care and Control: Care Out of Control

by Mary Haight on September 1, 2010

Chicago skyline
Image by Paraflyer via Flickr

There has been a lot of talk about privatizing Chicago’s Animal Care and Control (ACC) over the past year, no doubt due to operational costs. Many cities are divesting what they can in an attempt to trim budgets. ACC’s Director, Cherie Travis, had made it her mission to take ACC no-kill in three to five years, according to a Facebook page. But given this undercover report (video below) from WGN’s Marcella Raymond, I have to ask – do we have another out of control Toronto Humane on our hands here?

There have been rumblings about unhappy staff, volunteers, and too few vets for months. How were they filling the medical void when the long time head Vet got fired for putting a dog down by mistake; other vets had either left or were fired.  Were replacements at the ready? How many vets were on the premises after that? One? None? Hard to keep count and difficult to tease out the truth and sequence of events, but now that some fresh air is blowing through ACC, maybe others will step forward and provide a better picture of what’s been happening there.

We know that budget cuts have been so ridiculous that it was clear ACC would not be equipped to care for animals properly without outside assistance. Then, of course, the absurdity of fingerprinting volunteers inserts itself into this mix, followed on the heels of cutbacks to adoption hours that had volunteers up in arms. But budget cuts cannot be used as a scapegoat when cats and dogs with life-threatening illness are mixed in with the general population, or when cats are left on the loading dock for 72 hours in this heat and humidity. And that’s where management is clearly absent.

There are 25,000 animals that go through ACC annually according to this report. One of my many questions to be answered is how long has this been going on? We know that ACC is a tough place to work, but morale there is worse than it ever has been according to insiders. If you want to let those in power know what you think, you can phone the Mayor’s Office and ask for the complaints division.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by, Rod Burkert and Doggy Bytes, Mary E Haight. Mary E Haight said: Chicago's Animal Care and Control Out of Control | Dancing Dog Blog Is this Toronto all over again? […]

  2. […] been a busy holiday(?) weekend, and a couple of updates are in order. There was a follow-up to the Animal Care and Control exposed story  aired on WGN September 4 that was a written response from Animal Care and Control. Some of you […]

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