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In the Know – December 2018/January 2019

Here’s what’s happening in Chicago’s animal community

Kelley Gandurski has officially been named the new executive director of Chicago’s Animal Care and Control. Gandurski had been serving as interim director since last summer, when previous executive director Susan Russell was fired without warning from the position. Prior to joining CACC, Gandurski worked in the city’s law department, overseeing misdemeanor court cases and drafting and reviewing ordinances for CACC when needed. Since she took over she has focused her efforts on obtaining funding for medicinal heartworm treatments, increasing microchip scanners to assist with lost pets, and starting a dedicated cat enrichment program at the shelter.

Recently, One Tail at a Time (OTAT) made big strides in their efforts to rescue more animals by opening a temporary ISO House. The ISO House allows the organization to safely pull animals from Chicago Animal Care and Control who need to be isolated from others due to exposure to shelter ailments. The ISO House is a temporary solution to address the unexpected delays on updating the zoning restrictions on their permanent ISO House, which is due to open in 2019. This space—which features both indoor and outdoor space for dogs to relax and play in—allows OTAT to pull animals while they wait for their permanent ISO center to get final approval.

You’ve heard of police dogs, but how about a police cat? The Chicago Police Department recently recruited Gizmo, an 8-year-old cat, to their team. The kitty, who is part of a police family, joined the 14th District as part of their community outreach program. The department decided to bring him on after hearing from a student who wondered why the police force only worked with dogs, and not cats. Welcome to the PD, Gizmo!

Good news for animals in Chicago and beyond. National pet supply retailer Petco announced that it will stop selling dog and cat food and treats with artificial flavoring, colors, and preservatives. The move is a response to changing consumer preferences, as more pet parents opt for natural foods for their furry ones. The store plans to eventually expand the ban on artificial ingredients to food for other pets as well.

Dinosaurs count as pets, right? Sue, the T.rex skeleton who has spent decades amazing Field Museum guests, has been on hiatus for almost a year after being moved from the central hall for the museum’s 125th anniversary. But as of December 21, Sue will be back in action (sort of) in a new 5,100 square foot display on the second floor. In addition to her massive skeleton, the exhibit will also include additional information and interactives designed to help visitors better understand who she was. Welcome back, Sue—the city missed you.

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