Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Overcrowding, understaffing at Chicago's Animal Care & Control

First we received pictures from inside Chicago Animal Care and Control taken over the past few weeks. The complaints were from longtime employees and a rescue worker, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of losing their jobs. There was also a veterinary intern who became overwhelmed by what she saw. They were concerned about the way the animals were being treated.

Earlier this month WGNTV went undercover inside Animal Care and Control.

Dogs were doubled up in cages because of overcrowding. Cats were living in small carriers because there wasn't a cage for them. Shelter workers tell us some stayed on a loading dock for up to 72 hours in sweltering conditions.

Cats were sick with upper respiratory infections. Their eyes were crusted over and they were sneezing.

Animals had open wounds; a dog with a sore on its back, acat with an eye infection, adog with the deadly and highly contagious parvo disease. They were all in cages next to healthy cats and dogs.

"Peter," a longtime employee, says he has never seen conditions at the shelter so bad. He says they don't have the staff to care for all the animals.

The director, Cherie Travis, agrees there is a staffing problem.

Travis is an animal rights attorney and an adjunct professor of Animal Law at DePaul and Northwestern Universities. She is the co-founder of CASA, an organization that wants to eliminate the needless euthanasia of Chicago's animals also known as no-kill. On her facebook page, she says her goal is to make Animal Care and Control no kill in 3-5 years. ] Although Travis doesn't really want to talk about it.

WGNTV gave her an opportunity to respond to the story and she chose not to. She called the news director and asked that the story not run.


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