In the Know – August/September 2018

Chicago’s rescue community came together early in July to protest the unexpected firing of Susan Russell, former executive director of Chicago Animal Care and Control (CACC), by mayor Rahm Emanuel. Russell oversaw CACC for two years prior to her forced exit, and was instrumental in shepherding in many of its recent positive changes, including facilitation of the Chicago Rescue Intervention & Support Program (CRISP) and initiatives that increased the live release rate for CACC’s dogs and cats from just over 70 percent to more than 90 percent. Despite vocal opposition to her firing, however, at this time the city has no plans to reinstate Russell. The next steps? Working together to make sure that someone as qualified and as passionate about the animals as Russell takes over her position, a goal our local rescue community hopes to play a large part in helping achieve. Tune in to our social media pages for updates on this ongoing story.

Efforts to expand local activism with a puppy mill ban in Naperville that would have been similar to the one in Chicago have failed once again. Earlier this summer, Naperville’s city council was asked to reconsider the ban proposal, which had previously failed to pass. And once again they rejected the humane model of requiring pet stores to sell only rescue animals instead of those who are commercially bred. The city council also rejected a proposal that would require pet stores to provide a four-year warranty on the health of the animals they sell. The city council did approve a number of new animal control ordinances, however, including protections against pets left outside in dangerous weather and a requirement for pet stores to promote microchipping. There will be increased fines for those who break these rules.

Local rescues are expanding in big ways! Here’s a quick look at some of the exciting developments, both near and far.

  • One Tail at a Time has received city approval to open a second shelter, a complement to their original shelter in Bucktown. The new shelter will be in Logan Square at 3579 W. Dickens Ave., and is expected to be able to house 20 dogs at a time, and eventually, kittens as well. Heather Owen, founder of OTAT, told Logan Squarist that the new space will serve as an isolation center specifically for sick or injured dogs coming directly from the city shelter.
  • Alive Rescue is opening up The Big Barn, a large shelter space in Salem Lakes, Wisconsin, that will operate in addition to The Little Barn here in Chicago. The new shelter space, located about an hour north of the city, will allow Alive to expand their reach to homeless animals in other localities. It will have about 20 to 25 individual kennels in addition to indoor and outdoor play areas and a training area.
  • Chicago’s Felines and Canines has broadened their reach from the Edgewater neighborhood all the way to Alabama. The new Felines and Canine Rescue Center in Madison County, AL, can house about 80 dogs and 50 cats at a time, and has a surgical suite on site. The shelter decided to expand down south as a way to lend additional support to an area with limited resources and funding for an ever-increasing homeless animal population. Animals will be cared for and then transferred to rescues across the country (including Felines and Canines Chicago shelter!) for adoption.
  • On August 4, Community Animal Rescue Effort (C.A.R.E.) cut the ribbon on its new adoption center in Skokie. The facility boasts space for up to 30 dogs and 20 cats, three adoption rooms for potential adopters to bond with their new BFFs, shaded outdoor dog runs, and more. Go check it out!

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