Thank you, Elaine, for sharing Minnie’s story.
Two years ago, Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey requested an audit by its Inspector General of Cook County Animal and Rabies Control (CCARC). Eight months later on August 21, 2014, Cook County Inspector General Pat Blanchard presented the summary of Operational Review of the Department of CCACC. This was just a 15-page summary of an 80 page report.
On September 25, 2015, Lost Dogs Illinois’s (LDI) director filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the President of the Cook County Board and the office of the Cook County Inspector General (IG) to receive the full and complete Operational Review of the CCARC from which the summary was prepared. The LDI Director was denied the full and complete report by the Inspector General’s office. The President’s office said they did not have the complete report in their possession. The LDI Director then filed for a review of the denial to the Attorney General’s Public Access Officer. The Public Access Officer upheld the denial.
On December 8, 2015, the LDI Director along with a LDI adviser, met with Martha Martenez, Cook County’s Director of Administration, who oversees the department of Cook County Animal and Rabies Control. A discussion was had concerning several issues and solutions in regard to the report.
A year after the IG released the Summary Report, the LDI Director made another FOIA request of the Cook County Board President’s Office and the Inspector General’s office to find out the outcome of all the recommendations in the report. Both sent back denials. The LDI Director then sent a request for review of the denial to the Public Access Officer who then contacted the President’s office. After several contacts, the President’s office sent the Public Access officer the 10/2015 letter that was sent to the Inspector General’s office (standard 90 day follow-up letter).
It has been two years since Commissioner John Fritchey asked for a complete study of CCARC. It took the IG department 8 months to do this operational review. Nothing has really changed.
Lost Dogs Illinois believes in change for the better for Cook County residents and their pets. As stated by our Director at the Cook County Commissioner’s Budget Committee meeting (11/3/2016) “I am not discounting the importance of rabies and public safety but I really believe it is time to reexamine the mission of this Department and reorganize CCARC to provide better services. Cook County is the 2nd largest county in the US, we should be proud to offer an efficient way for owners get their loved family members back.”
We also would to state that according to the Fiscal Year 2017 Preliminary Budget – Special Purpose Fund Outlook Cook County is showing approximately $8.6 million fund in the Special Purpose Fund. What is the purpose of the fund and how is it helping Cook County residents and their four legged family members?
If you are as concerned about this issue as we are, please contact your Cook County Commissioner. You can find out who your Commissioner is by clicking on the link below. Tell them that you want an Animal Control Department, which better serves the community and their pets.
In the past, before the advent of today’s technology, the internet and social media, we had few options when it came to looking for a lost pet. Putting up flyers around the neighborhood and checking the local shelters were among the few choices available.
Along with the obvious options of microchipping, purchasing ID tags, even getting your pet tattooed, there are also methods or ensuring you’re reunited with your pet should they become lost. When inserting a microchip, make sure it’s properly registered and keep the information current if you happen to move, change your phone number or other contact data. Especially if you lose your dog, be sure to contact the chip provider and ensure the info is correct.
Keeping this in mind, here are some other ways to help ensure you’ll be reunited with your pet should they become lost or stolen:
For animal lovers, many of us post pictures of our pets online and this could be helpful if they go missing. Keeping your online friends informed about the connection between you and your dog could come in handy if you reach out to them to help locate your pet.
Again, back in the old days, when a pet went missing one of the first things we did was post flyers around our community notifying our neighbors of their absence. This is still one of the most successful methods of finding a lost animal, but think about using the internet to spread the word online as well.
Many of our email and text contacts are friends and family that live nearby. Send a post to them with a picture of your pet and ask for their assistance. Then request they forward this message to their nearby friends and family. This way your message has the potential of reaching hundreds or even thousands of other recipients.
Other Avenues To Explore
Speaking of the internet, don’t forget other options like checking out the Lost Dogs of America website. Here you can put a online listing about the loss of your pet and check to see if someone has posted they have found your dog. They’ll also provide you with a free flyer and list it on one of their individual Facebook pages according to State.
Thank you Amber Kingsley for your article contribution.
At Lost Dogs Illinois’s request, Santa Claus made a very special visit to Petsmart (Belleville, IL) to raise funds for Monroe County Humane Society and Lost Dogs Illinois. Thank you, Santa, for taking time out of your busy schedule to do Photos with Santa.
We are sharing some of the wonderful photos!
Lost Dogs Illinois has been busy the last few months participating in Free Health Care Clinics throughout the Chicagoland area. The North Chicago Free Health Canine Clinic for Chicago sponsored by the Bryan and Amanda Bickell Foundation was a huge success!.
Over 300 dogs received Free engraved ID tags from Lost Dogs Illinois which were attached to their collar before their families left the clinic. Collars and leashes were donated by Realtors to the Rescue and Lost Dogs Illinois. The Bickell Foundation donated all the vaccines and microchips.
Pictures are worth a thousand words…..
Another busy Saturday in Englewood for Lost Dogs Illinois, Chicago Wolves, Realtors to the Rescue, Barriers Against Repeated Cruelty, Pals with Pawz and others. Over 380 dogs and cats received free vaccinations, food, toys, free microchips, free collars, harnesses, leashes and a personal engraved ID tag. This summer 1,616 dogs and cats in Aldermen Raymond Lopez’s 15th ward received these much needed free services.
Lost Dogs Illinois, Chicago Wolves and Realtors of Rescue joined forces this summer to help those who live in underserved areas. We believe in preserving the human/animal bond and with these Free Health Clinics it has given families and their four legged members hope.
In order to keep those momentum going, LDI needs your help. A small donation of $10.00 will purchase an ID tag and a collar/leash. You can donate by clicking here. http://www.lostdogsillinois.org/support-ldi/donate/
Pictures tell it all…….
Last Saturday in sizzling heat of 90 degrees-plus, approximately 100 dogs and a couple of cats received free vaccinations, microchips with free lifetime registration, flea and tick products, Martingale collars, leashes and an engraved ID tag that was promptly attached to each pet’s collar. Thirty-five volunteers from other organizations and Lost Dogs Illinois partnered together to work with North Chicago Animal Control.
Lost Dogs Illinois is one of the first organizations in the state dedicated to preserving the human/animal bond. We believe people want to do right by their animals. When you bring affordable services and resources to a community, they will come. So in that tone, we think these pictures says it all……
Photo credits….Amy K.
Several hundred people attended the Orland Park Township Pet Palooza in support of the Pet Food Pantry.
Lost Dogs Illinois offered free microchip scans. Each dog was scanned to see if the chip was working. Also the owner was given the microchip number and the Company’s phone number to check if the owner’s contact information is correct.
Lost Dogs Illinois and Realtors to the Rescue of Homeless Animals teamed to offer free microchip scanning at Chicago’s annual “Bark in the Park” celebration to benefit the Anti-Cruelty Society. Scores of “Bark” dogs and their owners, including many who walked the official 5K course on Lake Shore Drive, stopped by the LDI/RTTR booth to verify that their dogs’ chips were active and properly registered.
“One of the challenges of microchipping is that there are now at least 15 companies offering the product, and not everyone knows which company produced their pet’s chip,” LDI founder Susan Taney said.
“In addition, shelters, pet stores, veterinary clinics, animal hospitals – everyone has a different policy for registering the chip,” Taney continued. “Some will complete the paperwork and submit the registration for the pet owner. Some rely on the owner submitting the paperwork. Some chip companies don’t even keep track of to whom the chip is registered. So it’s always good for a pet owner to know exactly what he or she has purchased, and how it can help a lost pet return home.”
Booth visitors who took advantage of the free service thanked LDI and RTTR repeatedly for offering this kind of help. Even better, a number of dog owners said the service reminded them they needed to update the contact information on their chip registries.
“We changed our dog’s name after we adopted her, but we forgot to contact the chip company,” one woman said. “We’ll do that right away now.”
“We’ve moved recently but the chip still has our old address, in New York!” another woman said. “Wow, we’ve got to change that fast.”
Taney and RTTR member Suzy Thomas indicated afterwards they would like their two organizations to collaborate on similar events in the future that can raise the public’s awareness of the importance of microchipping their pets and making sure they wear ID tags with correct contact information.
“It’s all about doing what you can to protect the human-animal bond,” Taney said.
by Lydia Rypcinski
Dog and cat owners from across Chicagoland took advantage of the free microchip/ID tag clinic offered by Lost Dogs Illinois and the Chicago Police Department on Chicago’s Northwest Side April 9, 2016.
The three-hour clinic, held at the city’s 16th Police District headquarters in the Jefferson Park neighborhood, resulted in 121 dogs and cats getting chipped and receiving ID tags engraved with the pet’s name and owner’s phone number.
“This is like buying an insurance policy to keep your pet safe,” said Kathy Foley, who brought her rescued Rottweiler, Storm.
Logan Square residents Kestelle Wiersma and Scott Foster brought their cat, Elphaba, and dog, Boxcar.
“My brother’s dog got out last spring,” Wiersma said. “He found it in the next day or so, but that fear – we didn’t want to go through that if ours ever got loose, so that’s why we’re here today.”
“William” brought his Pug/Cocker Spaniel mix, Lucy, with him. He said his friend, a Chicago police officer, called him that morning to let him know what was happening.
“I’m glad she did,” William said. “My family would be devastated if Lucy ever got out and we had no way to track her to get her back.”
Lori and Courtney Jensen drove into the city from north suburban Deerfield with their Chihuahuas, Tigger and Missy. They learned about the clinic on the LDI Facebook page.
“They [Tigger and Missy] try to run away a lot,” Courtney confessed.
“We were at a friend’s house when the UPS guy arrived there,” Lori said. “Tigger went running when our friend opened the front door.”
The Pacheco family – Luis, Sonnet and children – from nearby Portage Park came with their 9-month-old pittie, Samson, and 150-lb. Great Dane, Sasha.
“We saw a flyer at the neighborhood library,” Sonnet said. “We wanted to do this because Samson is a puppy, and puppies like to run. We wanted to make sure he would come back home if he got out.”
Shari Grassmuck, a Chicago Fire Department paramedic who lives near Midway Airport, brought her rescue Dutch Shepherd, Marmaduke. Grassmuck found him “playing with a rock in a mud puddle” one night while on duty on the South Side.
“I think a free microchip event is a wonderful idea,” she said. “A lot of dogs and cats are brought to the fire stations. So many animals get lost, and people either don’t know they can chip them or can’t afford to. “
“If it’s free, they will come,” said 38th Ward Alderman Ald. Nick Sposato. “As elected officials, we can tap our social media networks to get word out about events like this. It makes it easier for people to do right by their pets – there’s no appointment time, there’s no cost to them.”
Sharon Rolek drove an hour from the far Southeast Side neighborhood of Hegewisch to get three cats chipped and ID’d.
“We don’t have anything like this on the South Side,” said Rolek, who learned about the clinic in an email from Tree House Humane Society. “I hope this event inspires someone to do this out my way.”
Rolek may get her wish soon. Police Lt. John Garrido, one of the linchpins of the April 9 event, said that two other city police districts – the 5th on the South Side and the 25th on the Far North Side – have contacted him about holding microchip clinics.
“If there is a need for this kind of service in this area – and there obviously is – then there is a need in every area of the city,” Garrido said. “Sometimes it’s just an issue of cost, and that can be helped through sponsorship of events like this.”
Garrido explained that as the afternoon watch commander for the 16th District, “I see so many dogs that get out and are brought to our station. I just can’t see them getting put down because we can’t find their owners.
“We have a large social media network in this area and post and share pictures of all the dogs brought to the station,” Garrido added. “We figure we get about 60 percent of them back to their owners.”
Lost Dogs Illinois provided the ID tags and engraving machine, which it was able to purchase through a generous donation from Chicago-based Realtors to the Rescue along with other donations.
Dr. Peter Sakas of Niles (IL) Animal Hospital and staff and volunteers from Chicago Animal Care and Control supervised clinical and administrative activities.
“We were very pleased with today’s turnout,” CACC Administrative Services Officer Sue Cappello said. “The 16th District did a great job of setting the event up for us, and we look forward to working with them again.”
Other event sponsors included Aldermen Margaret Laurino (39th Ward) and Anthony Napolitano (41st Ward); Illinois State Senator John Mulroe (10th District); The Garrido Network; The Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association and the Chamber of Commerce; Delightful Pastries; Midwest Dog People; The Puppy Mill Project; Earth Rated Poop Bags; Allstate Insurance: Jaime Morales; RAS Communications; and the UPS Store @Milwaukee/Devon.
To view more pictures of the clinic, click here
By Lydia Rypcinski