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In the Know: 7 Things Happening for Chicago’s Animals

1. The Shedd Aquarium’s rescue dog program has a new resident: Peach, a 1-year-old Daschund/Terrier mix. Peach was rescued from a dumpster in the South, where she was found with burn scars lining her back. She was brought to Chicago through The Anti-Cruelty Society and is now living the good life at the Shedd! Peach is the sixth dog rescued by Shedd, which houses, trains, and cares for the dogs, while also employing them as ambassadors to promote the power of rescue animals and positive reinforcement training to aquarium visitors. Two dogs have moved on from Shedd’s program to loving forever homes. Congratulations Peach—we know you’ll make a big splash at the Shedd!

Shedd Aquarium rescue dog, Peach

Peach makes herself comfortable in the aquarium’s dog lounge. Photo credit: © Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

2. It’s a win! After months of waiting, Chicago finally got the go-ahead to enact The Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Ordinance, which requires pet stores to only adopt out rescue animals instead of selling dogs and cats from cruelty-ridden commercial farms. “For the puppy mill industry, Chicago is officially off limits,” said City Clerk Susana Mendoza, who along with The Puppy Mill Project and other local animal welfare organizations helped lobby for the legislation. The ban, originally scheduled to go into effect in March 2014, had been on hold during a battle in federal court. The ruling has gone into effect immediately, and the city is currently deciding on a date for enforcement. Says Cari Myers, executive director of The Puppy Mill Project, “We think this is the strongest ordinance in the country, and a win for the mill dogs and the consumers of Chicago.”

3. If you’ve ever flown with your pet, you know that finding a pee spot requires leaving the airport entirely to locate the designated pet area— generally tiny, concrete, and located somewhere between an alley and the end of the parking garage. And even though you may have just been screened, when your dog is done you are forced to endure the long lines and go back through security before returning to your gate. No more though, says O’Hare. The airport has added a pet-relief area right inside the airport, located past security checkpoints in Terminal 3. And forget the smelly concrete—the new spot features artificial grass, miniature fire hydrants, and a pop- up sprinkler system for easy cleaning. It’s a welcome relief for pets and pet parents!

101 Reasons to Get Out of Bed cover4. While we’re constantly bombarded with doom and gloom stories of a planet in peril, there are millions of people across the globe actually doing something about it. Dr. Barbara Royal, of Chicago’s Royal Treatment Veterinary Center, is one of those people. Royal’s new book, 101 Reasons to Get Out of Bed introduces us to everyday earth advocates, asking each one three simple questions: What gets you out of bed and why? What are you doing about it? What we can we all do about it? From a 10-year-old boy’s lemonade stand to Jane Goodall’s fight against poaching, this inspirational collection of ideas offers up hope and offers ways for each of us to take small steps toward becoming big planet heroes. BONUS: Proceeds from the sale of this book go to charities directly represented by contributors. For more info or to purchase the book, visit 101ReasonsToGetOutOfBed.com.

5. Up to 65% of domestic violence victims are unable to escape their abusers due to concern about what will happen to their pets. 71% of women with pets who enter shelters for domestic violence report that their pet has been harmed, threatened, or killed by their abuser. Stepping up to help is The Safe Haven Network, a program started by animal advocate Jessica Katz with ongoing support from PAWS Chicago, the Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline, the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network, and others. The Safe Haven Network is a referral service that works with local animal shelters to facilitate temporary boarding for pets of domestic violence victims while they seek help. Not only does the program allow more victims to escape from their situations and provide safe places for pets, it also builds up community support and education around the topic. Eventually, The Safe Haven Network hopes to grow nationally so that women all over the country don’t havetodecidebetweenprotecting themselves or protecting their pets.

6. Bentley’s Corner Barkery has been a go-to local spot for natural pet food since 2008. Now, thanks to CNBC’s The Profit, the store received a major makeover and a huge opportunity for growth. Lisa and Giovanni Senafe, owners of Bentley’s, have partnered with Marcus Lemonis, entrepreuneur and host of The Profit, to expand their presence in the natural food market. They bought out Chicago-based pet store chain Pet Stuff in early November and have plans to add seven more locations to their current seven. In addition to selling wholesome pet products, the Senafe’s are dedicated to rescue awareness and treating pets like family. They will continue to host ice cream doggie socials, pet nutrition seminars, and adoption events—now they just have more space to do it!

7. Stuck out-of-town on short notice? Delayed due to excessive traffic or caught in a snowstorm? Or maybe you just hate going out in the cold to walk your dog? Whatever the reason, Wag! has got you covered. This on-demand dog walking app—think Uber for dog parents—has found success in LA and NYC and is now offering peace of mind for our dog-loving city. The app boasts insured, bonded, and loving dog walkers who can be summoned with as little as 30-minutes notice (or scheduled regularly). Walks can be GPS tracked on users’ phones in real-time. We love that Wag! uses its platform for good— rewarding people who rescue and adopt. It has partnered with select shelters in the city to donate walks to new pet parents who have rescued. In addition, for every mile a dog walks with Wag!, 10 cents is donated to the Best Friends Foundation.

Wag! dog walking app

 

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