Chicago’s Animal Care and Control: WGN Pulls Story

by Mary Haight on November 5, 2010

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When I think of all the filters that interfere with giving voice to important news stories, lawyers, layers of editors, opinion shapers all, is it any wonder we are so often ill-informed? It should not surprise then when stories get quashed, whether by threats to sue or through other types of coercion. Given that stations have in the past been asked not to air these reports, that may be what happened last night at WGN in Chicago. 

Marcella Raymond was supposed to have a news on Animal Care and Control that was to air last night, but it was pulled from the line-up.  There may be an explanation, it may air at another time and I hope that is so.  But the travesty here is there is only one reporter willing to speak up on the problems at Animal Care and Control. 

If cats were dying with regularity at any other shelter, wouldn’t you think the TV stations would be  all over the story?  If animals were being kept in temporary carriers for days on end, with no room to move around, no room for water or food or elimination…that would be deemed aggravated cruelty anywhere else.  Yet nothing is done and nothing is reported. 

Do we know if things have changed for the better at CACC? According to sources, it has not.  Has the question of why been answered on cats found dead in their cages? No. Has there been any attempt by the Director of Animal Care and Control to give the public answers on the overcrowding, the deaths, and what’s being done about it? No. Nothing beyond the statement refuting overcrowding that the paperwork shown on WGN clearly proved was true.

Even as the larger groups in Chicago are trying to help her do the job that’s needed to keep the animal population at CACC safe, the Director, perhaps feeling firmly entrenched in her powerbase, proclaimed to staff that she’ll be the last man standing while berating them for broadcasting management problems, according to sources. Instead of admonishing staff, why not go with transparency? CACC is paid for by taxpayers. Why not try to stem the tide of bad press?

Will more light be shed on what’s going on inside CACC? Stay tuned.

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