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In the Know – December/January 2017/2018

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What’s going on in Chicagoland’s animal community

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Chicago’s anti-puppy mill bill, which makes it illegal for pet stores to sell commercially-bred dogs, cats, or rabbits, has faced a lot of opposition—both in an out of the courts—since its enactment in 2014. One legal challenge, brought on by two local pet stores and a Missouri dog breeder, expanded outside of Chicago’s courts and into federal territory. Fortunately, in a major win for the city’s animals, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals officially upheld the city’s humane ordinance. And as one good deed begets another, the suburb of Crest Hill enacted its own ban on the sale of puppy mill animals in the wake of the bill being upheld.

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Chicago residents: Is your dog licensed with the city? City tags are mandatory for all dogs who live in Chicago, and yet many pet parents fail to comply. There were just over 12,700 licenses purchased for Chicago dogs this year—a major drop from 2011, when the number was closer to 27,000. And while it may just be a matter of a lack of awareness and oversight, the clerk’s office has stated their intention to remedy the problem. If you haven’t registered your dog with the city, expect a notice in the mail. (And don’t write it off as just a revenue-grab by the city. The more dogs who are registered, the bigger platform we have to promote big changes like dog parks and beaches.)

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It’s long been known that the south side of the city is seriously lacking in dog-friendly parks, but that’s about to change. Chicago’s biggest dog park is coming, and it’s going to be located in McKinley Park at 2210 W Pershing Road. The park will boast an amazing 15,000 square feet of space for dogs to run and play, and is the result of three years of planning by dedicated residents and a subcommittee of the McKinley Park Advisory Counsel. While plans are still in the early stages, you can find more information—and help the subcommittee’s fundraising efforts by making a donation—at McKinleyDogPark.org.

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Mundelein’s Reach Rescue has thankfully found a new home after receiving a 90-day notice to vacate their former location this past summer. The rescue organization, which consists of an adoption facility and a resale thrift store that funds their rescue efforts, has been lucky to find an even bigger space to do their good work. The new Reach Rescue location at 372 Townline Road in Mundelein officially opened in November, so go say “hello,” shop the thrift store, and maybe even consider taking home a new best friend!

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