Chicago Animal Care and Control Exposed

WGN-TV, Channel Nine's Marcella Raymond's report on condtions at Chicago Animal Care and Control. I've been asking, 'How is this allowed to happen?' for some time. Outraged? Contact City Hall.

 

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  • No kill is a great idea but at some point you must be realistic. Give AC&C time to get it together. They need more volunteers, they need to lower their adoption fees, some of the vets in private clinics should start volunteering their time instead of criticizing. 1 day a week by 7 vets or techs would help a great deal.

  • In reply to Moshucat:

    wonder why no one wants to work there...time? No, not what they need there....

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    A good place to start in terms of need:

    There was a comprehensive study published by in March 2010 based on statistics gathered from and the City of Chicago. It provides 40+ pages CACC system's efforts compared to 15 other metropolitan cities. It also provides policy and revenue suggestions in the areas of improvement.
    http://las.depaul.edu/chaddick/docs/Docs/Companion_Animal_Final_Report_030310.pdf

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    Yes - but (sadly) the foreclosures and evictions have been going on for over a year....

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    Cherie was an integral part of a meeting that addressed the issues of how to handle foreclosures and evictions and the animals that are displaced due to this circumstance. Their were specific details on how this can be handled. This process is an annual issue for CACC and they are equipped to handle it, as they have year after year. Sady, Ms. Travis missed much of the meeting, as it was before it was her problem and shortly before she took her current post, but the resources and panel of experts are all in her circle of people that are in frequent contact with Cherie.
    She is smart and has the knowledge, and resources, but rejects them.

    More on the FOIA process. Do FOIA City Hall to review what the procedures and investigations process they currently have in place for overcrowding at the shelter. This will force the powers that be to be brought into the loop of change and oversight. Also is putting known biter dogs back in the community safe? Public safety, while there are some great rescues prepared to screen and help owners manage some forms of aggression, does CACC have the ability, resources and expertise to make those determinations

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    I find it to be much more productive to support and focus on the positive. Get behind what is working and expend the energy there for improvement. the bad stuff will be forced to get better.

    http://network.bestfriends.org/golocal/chicago/15961/news.aspx

  • In reply to Moshucat:

    My adopted dog spent some time at ACC, so it's so hard for me to think about these conditions there. As an animal lover, it's difficult to know how to help and change this situation. I know this report will stir up a lot of controversy. Hopefully, it will also get people to start talking about spaying and neutering, pet food banks, and other measures that prevent animals from ending up in shelters in the first place.

  • In reply to sdavis:

    Sasha, thank you for adopting from CACC. We need more people like you. You are a huge part of the solution to the overpopulation problem. Thank you, and you are a true angel!!

  • In reply to Moshucat:

    Sasha - spay/neuter, yes, yes...food banks (we do have some) and preventing or dealing with behavior issues (a primary reason for giving up pets) and spay/neuter ALL important...but not the issue with ACC per se. All those things were an issue some time ago as well, and things weren't like they are now.

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    I'm definitely contacting City Hall, too. I hope you'll keep letting us all know how we can help.

  • In reply to sdavis:

    THE MAYOR'S OFFICE PHONE NUMBER IS 312.744.3300

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    Isn't this a union shop?

    I've been there. These 'employees' are disgruntled now because they don't like cleaning the cages and were just fine with the S.O.P. of catch and kill.

    If people really are concerned they should contact city hall, kick the union out and do everything they can to help with volunteering and adoptions.

    It won't work just to point fingers. The citizens of Chicago need to take responsibility for the plight of the animals. Cheri Travis didn't create this problem. The people of Chicago did.

    Spay and neuter your pets and commit to them for their natural life. Then you won't need the shelter so much.

  • In reply to topscratch:

    Topscatch, you don't quite have it right. Union employees are hardly perfect...but they've been there and previously no enormous issue like this. it's not a matter of unions. Besides, many caring people there, and veterinarians - well many couldn't take it anymore and are gone.

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    Steve -
    I think your answer here says it all about what really you are really after and that is getting Cherie Travis. There have been huge issues there for years. They have been killing thousands and thousands of animals. You don't think that is a huge issue, amongst many others. One person, Steve, does not take down an organization. You seem to have made it your personal war against Cherie Travis. How can that even be considered fair. In this war you are waging, you are going to hurt thousands of innocent lives. You have made this about you and that disgusts me. I have been through this Steve. I have had employees speak out against me and leave because they weren't doing their job and I was on them because the care of these animals matters more than anything else. I was also personally attacked. Again, I have been there multiple times and know Cherie very well. And I stand behind her and what she is doing. Steve, I think you need to get over your personal issues, because you are hurting lives in your vendetta.

  • In reply to Danakay:

    Beg your pardon Miss Dana, but one person can take a shelter down, very Quickly. In our County the board of Directors at our intake facility decided to hire Bonney Brown of No Kill Advocacy . She sits on Winograds board. We have free cats old cats sick cats and feral cats, boy howdy do we have cats. No room for citizen surrender of dogs, cats reach to the ceiling, animals stored in a building deemed to be in need of destruction five years ago. The Nevada Humane Society was one of the finest agencies in the country and today, thanks to No Kill it's an overcrowded pigsty that smells like cat urine a mile away. Oh yeah, one woman can take down a shelter.

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    You are right on Steve, Our Washoe County Regional Animal Services was the best of the West, still has plenty of fine ACO's, but the manager who had been there for years retired and the new guy is an idiot who runs around the country pitching No Kill for Winograd. Now, Washoe county is NOT a No Kill community, there seems to be some confusion on that. The Nevada Humane Societ is No Kill and has lost all credibility, and tries to lie that the whole county is behind them, but we are not. if we could ditch Winograd's flunky's and get them out of our building a whoopee would ring for 5 states. Your readers can Google Washoe County says No to No Kill if they need proof. I also recoment Advice From Oreo, No Kill Sucks and No kill No Way. Take your shelter back while you are still solvent enough to do that.

  • In reply to topscratch:

    I have to say I'm saddened but not terribly surprised. I suspect it might be a case of another agency trying to do more (much more) with less. Combine that with what might be an unrealistic commitment to "no kill" and there's bound to be problems.

    And it's not like this is the only area in which city services are lacking--My bride and I were out for a party in Chicago this weekend, and as we got to the gin mill a crowd had gathered. A German shepherd mix was running around in traffic--no collar, tags, nothing--and nearly got hit by cars several times. Me and another guy were able to grab the dog and hold onto him, and a good citizen brought some water and a rope for the dog to control him. Calls to 311 for animal control were useless. I ended up putting the dog in my car and bringing him back to our kennel in the suburban PD I work for--it was better than letting him go and watching him get whacked by a car.

  • In reply to topscratch:

    Thank you for saving the dog, Joe....and yes....its rather disconcerting now what's happening relative to many Chicago city services, though I need to take out a loan to pay to park at a meter. Can't even see a movie, or have a nice dinner because the meter will expire. None of this, though, has anything to do with ACC. In fact, I will say - free parking there.

  • In reply to topscratch:

    I'm inclined to agree with Joe about ACC trying to do more than less. There have been a lot of good comments left in this conversation and there's probably bits of truth and merit to them all. ACC knows the full story and they probably won't feel like sharing anytime soon. Regardless of how the animals got there, they are there and under the care of ACC. Proper, ethical animal care guidelines need to be followed. Any organization with an animal first mentality would never allow some of the reported wrongdoings to occur and any excuses offered to the contrary resonate more with preservation and not accountability. I did try to call City hall and that was a bit of a waste of time. I did talk with someone in the Inspector Generals's office and they could not confirm or deny that they were investigating. If they were investigating, they made it pretty clear that it would not be public information. Love to have more info if anyone has any.

  • In reply to CDignan:

    Hey Chris - you're dead on about ACC's responsibility to caring for the animals but don't expect the city to jump in anytime soon to fix things. There is a great deal that's broken at CACC. What I do know is that "no kill" for a shelter run like this is a recipe for disaster.

  • In reply to CDignan:

    Hmmm...I never said I was at Save-A-Pet "Anonymous". You must know me and at least I have the courage to identify myself. Yes, all the great management in the past has really done wonders for the city of Chicago in lowering the kill rate! For so many years, we tried to take animals from this facility and the animals were so sick that it became a liability to our own shelter. Now with Cherie, they are spayed/neutered and healthy, and yes Save-A-Pet has taken many dogs and cats from CACC recently...ones that would have been dead right now if not for Cherie's efforts. And now they are in loving homes. Again, I challenge any of you to try to turn around a large municipal facility to break the killing cycle that has existed for many, many years...without pissing people off!!! One of my favorite sayings, "Well behaved women rarely make history!"

  • In reply to rappaportk:

    Oh yeah, Karen, well Paws Chicago published a list of who takes animals from CACC and you (Save-a-Pet) weren't on it. Yes, I am a well known FEMALE rescue volunteer in Chicago too, and we all know that Cherie Travis appears to exhibit tendencies towards anger, abruptness and challenges just about everyone that she does not wish to be friends with. That is a separate issue, but it probably has contributed to this, and, yes, a director has to be nice to her volunteers, employees and the public.

    No-Kill is about quality of life. Period. There is a place for no-kill shelters and large municipal pounds have a whole different set of challenges and obligations. I challenge you to spend just one day in the front doing intakes, lost pet walks and adoptions with Charles and his VOLUNTEER wife, Marilyn. You'll see just how challenging an open door facility/process is, something that almost every no-kill is not. CACC is mandated to be an open=door place.

    And, I would give my name except for the fact that a few years ago Cherie threatened to call the police when I didn't return a phone call about a PACT foster fast enough for her. Frankly, I am deeply afraid of her. She is the only person that I am afraid of. Also, if you really wish to know my identity, you can comb through the Homeward Bound sign-in sheet. I am a regular on that list.

  • In reply to anonymousvolunteer:

    Karen, I forgot to mention, our organization has dealt with distemper, calici including that super-awful strain few years ago, animals needing amputations, ring-worm, occular ulcers that have ruptured, the mysterious and fatal green pukies (although that one seems to have disappeared too), and a host of upper respiratory issues. It has never stopped us, a no-kill group as well, from taking in animals from CACC. I am sad to hear that it did stop Save-A-Pet. It really shouldn't have if you really believe in the no-kill philosophy. The alternative for all the animals that Save-A-Pet turned away likely was DEATH. At least I can say that I never said no.....

  • In reply to anonymousvolunteer:

    What kind of person are you that you have to continually attack another person or organization trying to save animals? Save-A-Pet has never stopped saving animals. CACC is not the only place that Save-A-Pet has saved lives. They have worked with numerous kill shelters and saved thousands of lives. You are a classic example of what is wrong with animal welfare advocates. You are all about you and the work you have done. We are all in this together and should be trying to work together to come up with solutions to problems. Yet it is not enough to attack Cherie but to attack another organization on something that you "heard". Another example of you talking about something you really have no first-hand knowledge of. Save-A-Pet always saved those that others wouldn't take and I could go on and on about animals that places like other large Chicago shelters turned away. Please, stop trying to destroy others in a quest to prove yourself and your beliefs.All the good that you do is ruined by the bad that you are attempting to do to others saving lives. Shame on you.

  • In reply to Danakay:

    I am a volunteer for CACC and two no-kills, I have been a volunteer for CACC for over ten years. I have been through numerous changes, mostly good at CACC. I have gotten my feet dirty. I have witnessed everything on the video personally and then some. I knew that Cherie was the wrong person from day one, and frankly I was surprised because Friends of CACC had pushed for Charles Craft, who remains a dedicated employee and advocate for the animals there. I am not attacking anyone personally, I am only challenging those that are in support of what is going on at CACC to 1). stop saying that the sort of change brought by Cherie, the sick animals dying in their own feces, literally, is an acceptable part of change, and 2). challenge no-kill groups like Save-A-Pet to work with the Homeward Bound rescue program established prudently two directors ago.

    I have been around the block, and so Dana, when I see a Karen R. speaking out in SUPPORT of he attrocities that I have personally witnessed, then I will call them on it. And yes, I have never, ever said no to a rescue request from CACC. Never and never will.We also make sure that all of our sick intakes are vet evaluated and treated as required by IL law. This is not personal, it is about the animals and their welfare. Nobody wants suffering, at least I hope that is the case.

  • In reply to anonymousvolunteer:

    Anonymous, I never asked for your credentials and honeslty don't care. You attacked me by saying I hadn't been in rescue long enough. I have more than gotten my feet dirty and seen things I pray I never see again. I know when I work with someone who truly cares about the animals and someone who has a personal agenda. Cherie is 100% about those animals. I also know when someone is all about blowing their own horn as you seem to be. And I truly can not stand it.
    Not only is it not enough to go after Cherie but you had to attempt to go after another no-kill, that has done amazing work. To me that is very self-serving and very damaging to the animal welfare community. Save-A-Pet has worked in the homeward bound program. I have gone down personally every trip that was made this year and spent a great deal of time in CACC and saw Cherie walking that floor every day and if she saw something not right, she was on it in a heartbeat. I am surprised about what you say about Charles. I like him personally but can not tell you how many times I called, left messages at CACC and on his phone (all before Cherie came in) trying to save animals lives and never once got a call back. I callled on over 10 animals over time. I have heard that complaint many times by other rescues. Yet this is who you think should be running the place now?
    You are attacking personally. Please go back and read your posts. Good luck in all your work. It's obvious none of us can hold a candle to you. So why should we even try. Maybe we should all just quit and let you save all of them. You seem to want to alienate everyone and every other shelter.

  • In reply to Danakay:

    I never attacked your tenure in rescue, I was simply commenting that I knew that a certain Karen R making similar comments both here and at Cherie's Facebook page (as Karen Rappaport) were likely one and the same and I knew that Karen was at Save-A=Pet. Charles has always called me back. If you recall, there was a time when Anne or someone else had prevented Charles from contacting rescues because of some internal issues of which the specifics I can't recall. Those cleared up and we resumed getting calls and pulling regularly from there. You know that you don't need his permission, if you are registered with Homeward Bound, you can walk the pavilions and pull any time. And yes, Friends of CACC was pulling for Charles to run the place, and I do hope that they put him in charge or at least higher up. He has understanding and ability to work with the staff and public. He truly does care and he has been a huge part of Friends for quite some time as well as an employee. Cherie's new policies aren't working for the positive welfare of the animals and she just has a lot of personality problems. She didn't even handle the story on camera like a true professional, no like her typical self getting up angry and walking away from the reporter.

  • In reply to Danakay:

    A few questions to posters
    Dana and Karen
    You both keep mentioning that Cherie is "for the animals" and doing this to help them, but isn't the question at hand, "Is this working?" Hoarders are "doing this for the animals" but really the end result does not work. The question is not moral code, but is the job done correctly?
    Anonymous- Why is the problem 100% Cherie? She got the job when plenty of people were pushing for others, and continues in the job, while the public was made aware of this recently, pretty sure it is not the first public officials have heard this. Seems like this problem may just be bigger than one director.
    Sadly my experiences with CACC are not huge, but the dogs that i have pulled from there have seem to come to me progressively worse. I don't expect perfection when I pull a dog, but it takes a lot for me to tell the foster to vet the dog asap, even though it saw a vet a week prior which was the case for the last dog.

  • In reply to imagine663:

    Sadly, the problem IS Cherie and her change in management. She is micromanaging everything from the Homeward Bound Program (according to the coordinator she has to get her permission to allow a transfer) to who gets euthanized and apparently where. If you visit PAWS's website under interim and Anne Kent's leadership in 2009, only 10,000 animals were euthanized, that's half in only a few years and a fifth of what was being euthanized 10-15 years ago there. She is not getting the job done and yes, there was a first news story that was quashed by higher-ups, WGN was the second news story.

    frankly, it is my opinion that Cherie likely has a mental problem, something like a personality disorder, and I am not the first to think or say this.

  • In reply to Danakay:

    Karen R. you know me - and I find it surprising you simply haven't called to ask questions. Various reasons I can't put everything I know here. I will say it is very political and very sad.

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    Steve, I will call you, don't worry!

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    I am very curious Steve. Since you seem to know so much about what is going on at CACC, when was the last time you were there? Since you avoided it earlier, have you been there to offer help to Cherie in any way? Have you volunteered? Have you transported dogs? I am just asking becasue we have and have never seen all of this. But you seem to know about all the goings on, and I assuming this is all first hand? Because you know how unreliable second and third hand can be as a "journalist" pf sorts correct?

  • In reply to Danakay:

    Dana - if Anonymous is blowing her own or his own horn, how about the legion of others who have come to me? Some are volunteers, some employees - and all were apparently threatened, that if they 'ever talk to Steve Dale' (now for a guy who has helped ACC - that is bizarre, but whatever) and they should never talk to the media.....not clear why people who are - their words 'sick of seeing this' are doing that for their devices. And others in the business of animal control or animal welfare or rescue have also come to me. I go back to 5 directors of ACC and never heard anything like this.. . Not to mention all the photos and video - how can that not be compelling?

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    Steve as I have said in almost every post, but you continue to ignore..those pictures say nothing without knowing the animal and the story. The sick cat could have just come in the door brought in off the street, kennels and cages can look pretty bad in the morning when they need to be cleaned. If you had taken pictures when I was in there taking cats, you would have seen 13 crates lined up on the floor with cats in them. They were getting ready to leave. You keep ignoring my comments and asking the same thing over and over. Pictures don't always say everything I am afraid.
    And again, everyone knows you don't like Cherie. People could find her difficult to work with. You are the perfect person the come to because they know you will take this and run. You are in the media. Aren't you supposed to try and look at both sides. You are so biased, it's even obvious to me. People wanting to get to Cherie or get rid of Cherie would find you the perfect person to come to. Sorry, Steve, that I ever came on here. We know Cherie and know what she is trying to do. I have walked those halls with her and without her. I have seen her react to situations immediately. You just want her gone and it is a waste of time trying to talk to you. Take care

  • In reply to Danakay:

    I am not attacking you, Dana, I am simply pointing out that the rescue community is rather small, we all know who everyone is. Karen R. made the same comments as Karen Rappaport on Cherie's Facebook page, one can only assume that it is Karen Rappaport of SaveAPet. I am not questioning you or trying to discredit you or your credentials.

  • In reply to topscratch:

    Steve, I have to admit, I am extremely disappointed that you are running this with the title, Chicago Animal Care and Control Exposed". I was always lead to believe that you were an animal welfare advocate. This leads to some confusion on my part. If that is so why are you so against the work that Cherie Travis is trying to do over there? There is no way to identify these animals, in this clip, and explain if they are new, if they are being treated,or what. Why didn't they include that? Because there was a reason that could be explained? But you, like so many others, are quick to jump all over this, to attack the work of someone that you don't personally like. This woman is trying to make Chicago a no-kill. She realizes this is not possible right now but why would you not be supporting this move as an animal welfare advocate? This is part of the problem in the animal welfare world, "advocates" attacking each other. I have been to CACC multiple times this year to rescue animals, that would have been killed. I have been all over that shelter and seen every single animal area there and was surprised at the amazing work she was doing with so little to work with there. You do realize that the other option to Cherie trying to save these animals is death. Why do you support that? Every animal we rescued was there longer than would have been allowed in the past (those are the ones we wanted to save). So, look at these faces. They would be dead right now if Cherie wasn't doing what she is going. It appears you support the other option for these animals....death. I am extremely disappointed and sadden by this, Steve. People need to keep their egos and personal likes and dislikes out of this. It is supposed to be about these animals Steve. One large step backwards for the no-kill movement in Chicago. Thanks Steve.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/danakay/sets/72157624858591540/
    Dana Deutsch

  • In reply to topscratch:

    Dana - many of us have known - the veterinarians and nearly every shelter and many (including volunteers) who have departed there and have contacted me....I don't believe we are all wrong. Absolutely, fewer animals killed (sometimes euthanize is too kind a word), the better. Less suffering the better. What about that video and photos - that's suffering. The WGN Report was not fiction. Not hardly. In fact, in some ways - it was kind. And you're right about the ego's -

  • In reply to topscratch:

    Sorry Steve I still think you are doing more to hurt the movement than to help it. Every single shelter has volunteers, staff and vets that will say something against them. Shoot Steve, any business you can find people that will speak out against it. It is the way of the world in this movement. People are very passionate and often disagree about the best way to go about something for the animals. Plus, you have made it pretty clear that you have personal issues against Cherie. So I would think people would seek you out for something to go against her. At any given time you can go through a shelter and take a picture that would shock people, if they don't know the context. There are times you will find uring and feces all over a kennel at the shelter I ran. Especially in the morning when the first crew came in to clean the kennels. You can walk into an iso room and find sick cats, but they are being treated. I can go on and on, but what I am saying is, what are the stories behind those pictures? Why did they not include the situation or story if it is so horrific? Or maybe it is something explainable. How does this report help the animals Steve? It doesn't. If there are stories behind the pictures, why weren't they told? If those people hidden in the dark feel so strongly, why are they hiding? Again, I am sorry that you feel this is the way to handle this situation Steve. Again, the other option is that these animals are killed. I know Cherie. I have been there and seen the shelter. Is there feces sometimes, yes. Is there urine sometimes, yes.But, again, you can walk through any shelter at any time and find that at least once most likely. They are understaffed and take in a tremendous amount of animals. These people want the animals killed instead Steve and I feel you,with backing this, are supporting that. I can give you 20 people that would stab me in the back and the work that I do this minute. I also have 100 that support me and know me.Those 20 have personal issues with me and don't like me and that fuels their fire, not my work with the aninmals. Steve, you support this and attack Cherie and her work and you are hurting the animals and the no-kill movement. I guess you are ok with that. By the way, what have you done over there at CACC to help out?

  • In reply to Danakay:

    Dana - without going into detail, ask any of the previous past directors what I have done. But this is really not about me. You seem to ignore that I am hardly hardly hardly alone concerning my view....and also ignore what thousands saw on TV.

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    I asked Steve, what you have done now for CACC except sit here and bash and attack Cherie. I am not ignoring what thousands saw. Again, what are the stories behind this. Obviously you did not read my post. I have seen similar situations to many of those pictures in many shelters. But, there was always an explanation; a sick cat that had just come in the door getting medical treatment but still looking sick, a dogs kennel full of feces because it was from overnight and was about to be cleaned, a cat with a UTI who peed alot in her cage and staff had to try and keep up, dogs brought in from an abusive situation many pounds underweight, but also being treated. Tell me the stories behind these pictures. I don't trust people hiding in the dark and I don't believe pictures with no context. I have been there Steve and have seen what Cherie is trying to do. It is not an easy job and she is trying to change a city and it's mindset. Even on here people are ok with the alternative and that is these animals lives being ended. She is going to piss people off. She wouldn't be successful at what she does if she didn't. Cherie is trying to change years of killing, employees not having to work as hard to save lives, and so much else. I wouldn't take her job in a million years.But she wanted to make a difference for Chicago and took on this challenge. I dare any of you to go in there and decide that an animal is going to be killed and then be the one to do it. Look in their eyes and tell them, "sorry nothing personal, but no-kill just won't work here".
    Another quick point Steve, I remember, in the past, you saying that Chicago didn't have a problem with killing animals. You said they weren't killing that many animals a year. It was all exaggerated. Now you are saying that CACC has a huge problem. Which is it?

  • In reply to Danakay:

    Dana, there are many, many employees that are dedicated and have been at CACC for years, none of them are for euthanasia. Nobody wants to do it. I have walked the pavilions many times with some ACOs and medical staff begging me (many times in tears) to take one or another that I ultimately find room for, even if it is with another rescue that I have to drive on a saturday night for. The mindset of Chicago has been no-kill for some time, and it will take years more of continual spaying and neutering and education the public. I believe that last year's stats under Anne Kent's leadership was down to 10,000 euthanasias at CACC, that is more than half from when she started there. It takes a lot of time and effort, what Cherie is doing is inhumane and there are no quick and dirty overnight solutions, you know that, I know that and she does too. This is not personal, it is 100% about the animals. They don't deserve this at all. The no-kill movement is not about warehousing animals, it is about quality of life, and no the sick ones are not all being treated, under the conditions present it is a physical impossibility to care for all the sick animals there. You just can't go no-kill overnight or even in 9 months. It just doesn't happen that way at large municipal ac's.

  • In reply to Danakay:

    Extremely heartbreaking video to watch. Unfortunately, it doesn't come as a surprise. The only experience that I had with CACC was NOT positive. My home was broken into and my dogs were let out and picked up by ACC. Despite having tags and chips ACC never contacted me. I called them to see if my dogs may have been picked up but they wouldn't give me any information. So I went to ACC a day or two later with everything possible to identify my dogs since I hadn't been successful searching for them. After waiting for an unreasonable length of time I was allowed to look around the kennels to see if my dogs were there. I found them almost immediately in absolutely filthy cages; full of feces and urine. The dogs had just been to the groomers 2 days prior to this but they were disgustingly messy and smelly. I was enraged at the site of this and frustrated that after identifying my dogs with more than adequate proof I had to wait almost another hour to get them free of those horrible conditions. Most of the reason for the wait was finding an available kennel person to bring them out. My dogs were shut down for weeks after their experience at ACC. It is unfortunate that this is the only experience that I have to draw from concerning ACC because it left a very negative image in my head. Granted, the number of animals that are taken into the facility is astonomical and would be difficult to maintain with a full staff, multiple vets and hundreds of volunteers daily. However, this is not a job to take if you don't have compassion for animals. The city also shoulders a great deal of responsibility for the shortcomings at ACC because humane care of strays is not a high priority for a corrupt political machine. Richard Daley has stuck his foot in his mouth more than once about his views on animal welfare. I spend dozens of hours each week volunteering at shelters and humane organizations. I've seen things at well known shelters that makes my blood boil so it's not just ACC that has problems. But I think that "no kill" for a facility like ACC is only going to compound the suffering of the animals there unless the entire infastructure of that place is changed from the employees to the processes. The animals didn't make these problems; careless, neglegent people did. But the animals are paying the price. Being able to call yourself "no kill" loses all nobility when the result is endless suffering.

  • In reply to Danakay:

    WHAT IS GOING ON AT CACC IS WRONG, WRONG, WRONG AND NOT WHAT ANY SANE NO-KILL ADVOCATE WOULD RECOMMEND. ALL OF THIS STORY IS SADLY TRUE AND IT DOESN'T TELL THE WHOLE STORY. I PICK UP ANIMALS FOR RESCUE REGULARLY AND HAVE KNOWN THE DIRECTOR, CHERIE TRAVIS FOR YEARS. MS. TRAVIS TO PUT IT LIGHTLY IS A VERY CHALLENGING PERSON TO WORK WITH AND I AM SURE THAT ALTHOUGH HER EFFORTS ARE NOBLE, SHE HAS UPSET A LOT OF PEOPLE AT CACC WITH HER DEMEANOR. NEEDLESS TO SAY, HER PRACTICES ARE UNACCEPTABLE. SHE IS A LAWYER, ADVOCATE AND ADJUNCT FACULTY AT DEPAUL AND NORTHWESTERN. SHE KNOWS THE ILLINOIS HUMANE WELFARE LAWS BUT IN HER ZEALOTRY AND EGOCENTRIC MANAGEMENT, SHE HAS COMPLETELY FLAUNTED THEM. SHE NEEDS TO GO NOW AND WE NEED REAL MANAGEMENT AT CACC. SOMEONE FROM THE OUTSIDE WHO CAN GET THE JOB DONE ON A SCHEDULED TRACK. NO KILL DOES NOT HAPPEN OVERNIGHT AT PLACES LIKE THESE, KAREN, YOU KNOW THAT, AND ALSO, WHY DOESN'T SAVE-A-PET, YOUR ORGANIZATION EVER TAKE ANY RESCUES FROM CACC???? YOU DON'T GET IT, KAREN, WHAT CHERIE IS TRYING TO DO NEEDS TIME, A PLAN AND A LOT OF ELBOW GREASE AND PROBABLY A LOT OF STRATEGIC HELP FROM ORGANIZATIONS LIKE YOURS. BETWEEN YOU AND ME, WE BOTH KNOW CHERIE, SHE NEEDS SOME SERIOUS HELP IN HOW SHE EFFECTIVELY MANAGES PEOPLE, SHE CLEARLY HAS A DISCONNECT THERE.

  • In reply to anonymousvolunteer:

    Anonymous - you obviously aren't reading posts above. Save-A-Pet has taken many animals from CACC this year. There is a linked posted with pictures of just a few that were taken from there this summer.
    I always love when people make such strong statements, but aren't strong enough to post under their real name. Hmmmm....I am also curious how seeing Karen R leads you to one person in this huge city. My guess is that somehow you have access to the names on this site. Maybe not so anonymous.

  • In reply to Danakay:

    BTW, Steve, I applaud your efforts at telling the truth as to what is happening at CACC. It takes guts and courage to do the right thing. I know that you have have probably alienated some important people (like Paula at Paws, who pushed Cherie into the job), but this is the right thing. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I pray that we never slip back to the days in the 1970's and 80's where no-kill was largely just a bunch of quasihoarders where holding animals alive with little or no consideration of quality of life was acceptable. It isn't anymore. The no-kill movement is about saving lives and bringing enrichment and quality to the animals, not what Cherie Travis is doing at CACC. Thank you for speaking out rightly for the real no-kill tenets and philosophy.

  • In reply to Danakay:

    anonymousvolunteer, thank you for posting...you are not alone (OF COURSE!!! And you know that - others should too), I have heard from many...most, just leaving to help other shelters or taking a break from the shelter world. Employees too...I don't know, maybe some weren't doing their jobs - but I know some, and believe they care. And probably worked very hard. One phoned me several months ago in tears, not only about the treatment of animals (which kind of surprised me then) but the treatment of people. I sincerely wish this wasn't the case....And everyone I've spoken says pretty much what you said - and much more.

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    right anonymous volunteer...who happens to be able to know who someone is just by their first name and last initial on a blog. that is curious. almost like they had access to people who signed up on here and their personal information.

  • In reply to Danakay:

    Dana, if you do rescue long enough you will get to know who everyone is. I believe in no-kill philosophies too from spay/neuter to TNR to working with rescues to creative thinking, but what is happening at CACC is horrible. Animals are dying on their own in cages. Employees literally come in the morning and find dead animals in cages. It is insane and cruel. Towels over cat cages in stiffling heat so they not only get no air when they are sick but to light either. This is not a matter of understaffing, it is a matter of poor management by Cherie. Nicki and Anne, the previous directors working with PAWS brought the euthanasia rate down tremendously. It takes time. What Cherie is doing is counterproductive to their previous efforts and not to mention against the law. Sick animals require treatment or euthanasia, she's not doing either. I'm all for treating animals, but it isn't happening. And I do read the cage cards......

  • In reply to anonymousvolunteer:

    If I do rescue long enough? hahaha. Really?? I love when people speak about someone that they have no clue about. You lost all credibility right there. I have been involved in rescue probably more than you will ever know. You are just someone else with a personal agenda against Cherie. You also lose all credibility when you obviously have an axe to grind also. You and Steve are all about personal issues with Cherie and it's very disappointing to use the animals as a way to go over her. Sorry this isn't a personal issue to me as it obviously is to y'all so it's not worth wasting anymore time on this with the two of you. I have animals to save, even if I don't like the people that I might have to work with to do it. First priority in rescue....save the animals. Oh, but I haven't been around long enough to know that. Darn

  • In reply to Danakay:

    Again, there is no ax to grind, conditions are horrible there, and if Cherie has nothing to hide, then why did she ask WGN not to air the story? Clearly, she is aware that what is going on is wrong, cruel and inhumane.

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    Happy to see that there are a bunch of people who care about this issue. I really wish I had more info and some first hand accounts of what the real story is inside ACC...besides the video that is. Probably best to keep it professional and not get too personal with the comments. Already a boat load of emotion surrounding this topic anyway. Just my thoughts. I'd like to hear more about the problems and what types of solutions are in place and/or being suggested to help.

  • In reply to CDignan:

    Your professional and sane comments are appreciated (and in rescue very rare), but sadly, the reality is that Cherie needs to go and Mayor Daley needs to conduct a national search for the right person to run CACC. The last person, Anne Kent, was transferred over from Streets and Sanitation albeit she was a more or less dedicated director. Anyone and everyone who has dealt with Cherie must have encountered her anger and directness, which is apparent in the video, at some point. She needs to go, and she needs to stay focused on her own no-kill, PACT Humane Society. Solving the kill problem can not be done by Animal Controls alone, it takes community coordination and working with no-kills like PAWS Chicago and PACT to make it work. What Cherie is doing is inhumane and not at all representative of the no-kill movement. Please know that anything you do to improve the life and quality of an animal through volunteering to clean or show animals at an adoption event or to foster or transport animals helps and is part of the solution. Strength is in the little efforts that add up to big solutions. There is not much anyone can really do at CACC right now, sadly. Cherie is the first person who needs to step up to the plate. She has walked by the cages and animals countless times and not even looked in once to see how they are doing. She seems to only care about herself. She needs to change things, since she is the one who made them worse.

  • In reply to anonymousvolunteer:

    P.S. I am a first hand observer, the video actually was kind in its rendition of what has been happening. Cats that can't stand up due to being deathly ill and untreated, cats in carriers for days without a litter box, dogs dying in their cages, feces everywhere because of diarrhea. You have no idea. I even considered taking clandestine pictures and video myself, but I am quite afraid of Cherie and her perceived power. I have never seen things like this before. This isn't even the first news story, the first one was stopped. The problem is 100% Cherie Travis. She needs to go asap. Period.

  • In reply to CDignan:

    Chris - you want real people? How many?

  • In reply to CDignan:

    I don't think I personally know any of you and I am extremely new to this field. For what it's worth...here are my thoughts. It is a given that there will always be strong emotions involved when animals are suffering or being euthanized. Nobody wants to hear about it, never mind see it. To be honest, I have no idea who is correct in this situation. I'm leaning towards one direction but that is only the way I am perceiving the whole thing. What I do know is that this conversation has degenerated into one of defensiveness and blame. I think it's OK to be passionate but so often that passion can manifest itself in the form of provocation. I think we can all agree that there is a problem there and we diminish the potential magnitude of that problem by taking the time to defend yourself or blame others. Developing a dialogue based on solutions is probably the way to go. Like I said, pretty new to the field but happy to talk more with anyone in this thread.

  • In reply to CDignan:

    Chris, as you are new to this field please understand that the no-kill movement is not about warehousing animals so that they die of natural causes rather than be euthanized. It is about providing quality of life and making decisions that take into account present circumstances as well as the big picture. Unfortunately there are some organizations and people that believe that the warehouse philosophy is acceptable, but it isn't. It isn't any different than an individual hoarding animals in the name of saving them, which is also against the law. Welcome to rescue, we are all passionate advocates for the the animals and we want what is best, hopefully that includes quality of life too.

  • In reply to CDignan:

    Steve, can't you call Paul Faseas and the Mayor and work this all out? Nicki was transferred out for a lot less BS. Cherie is clearly the wrong person for the job. You have a lot of power in this city too. A bad decision was made and now we really need to fix it bad and quickly. Someday I will reveal myself as we both know each other but until then I can't because I am terribly afraid of Cherie. She's crazy and I believe capable of going after individuals viciously. I am actually afraid of her, very afraid of her. She's threatened me personally in the past and before her tenure at CACC too. She just doesn't belong there, period.

  • In reply to anonymousvolunteer:

    I read this an actually started laughing. You have absolutely no professionalism. Scared of Cherie? Oh, ok. Both of you, especially you Steve, putting that type of thing in print is absurd and so unprofessional. But, seeing how the two of you are on a personal mission against Cherie I guess it shouldn't surprise me. Steve, how have you tried to help Cherie and CACC now (not previously)? Neither of you is even trying to help, you just want to attack. What a waste of time and energy.

  • In reply to Danakay:

    Dana,
    " (ChicagoNow bloggers are paid based on their local traffic.)"
    That's all I'm going to say ....

  • In reply to Danakay:

    Dana, this is not about Cherie, although we all know that she needs to improve her management style, it is about the animals and their welfare. Indefinitely caging them while sick without enrichment is not part of the no-kill philosophy, and as it sounds like you are with Save-A-Pet, I hope that you are not endorsing Cherie's methods as legitimate. I don't believe that Save-A-Pet endorses these methods either, at least I hope not.

  • In reply to Danakay:

    Dana, in another news story by ABC about the puppy mill auction last October, you are listed as the Shelter Director for Save-A-Pet. I truly hope that Save-A-Pet does not endorse the position that sick animals kept in filthy conditions in the name of no-kill is acceptable.

  • In reply to Danakay:

    I will attempt to answer several questions here....and then go on with my work. And not reply here any further on this post. It's not that I don't appreciate your comments, I do. But one person here is attempting to drag me into this - and I'm not taking the bait...it's not about me...If you do have doubts about what I've done for ACC simply ask any of the past directors, even going back to Dr. Gene Mueller.

    Yes - I am paid by ChicagoNow.com based on local traffic. Having said that the difference between 50 hits and 500 might be $5, probably not that much. I could never write this blog for a living, or even as a second income. That is the truth, unfortunately. Though many of my posts - and I am grateful for this - receive many many hits, in the Chicago area and around the country. Many of those are non controversial, like the recent post about a dog who swims with a wild dolphin. The suggestion apparently is that I am intentionally stirring controversy to make money. Besides, initially, all I did was embed the video which appeared on TV.

    This morning I posted comments by an employee who requested to be anonymous, but I know who wrote it - though I don't personally
    know the author; the author does works at ACC. (otherwise I wouldn't have posted). I think that is reasonable, and it is actually a common practice in journalism, particularly when I also believe people have been threatened. And more than just threatened with a loss of a job. Just as voices and faces may be altered in TV reports, in print anonymity can be quite acceptable.

    As for being intentionally in tandem with the Volunteer who is posting here - I'm not. Truthfully have no idea who that is...except the comments are consistent with what I hear from people I know.

    And as I have said repeatedly, I've heard from many volunteers and many employees, and employees from other facilities who go to ACC (well some no longer do go) and what they've told me is consistent with what anonymousvolunteer says here, and what that other post indicates...not to mention seeing video and photos.

    I said myself, 'How do I know it's real?' after receiving email with similar photos/video...but when confirmed by the Ch.9 crew my doubts were erased... I mean questioning, the footage taken by the TV crew? You really think that is made up?

    One more thing - despite two people or three here who are defending ACC, on my Facebook page, and moreover in private email....the numbers are nearly 100 per cent expressing huge concerns, from people who have volunteered there or work in the industry to the general public.

    And one more thing - you said I want to attack....where have I attacked?? I have, in fact, been careful not to. So it's fascinating you take that posture.

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    I know how much they pay ChicagoNow bloggers - $5 per 1,000 hits. Not enough to even mention, I guess. However, I'm wondering if there will be a follow-up to this shocking article? You brought it to everyone's attention as Chicago's "Pet Expert." You have media connections that others don't. Are you just going to let it drop?

  • In reply to harpercollie:

    Harpercollie, you can call the Mayor's office at 312.744.3300 and let them know how you feel. I believe the person handling the issue is Ashley. Fortunately, I do think that the city is finally taking the issue seriously.

  • In reply to anonymousvolunteer:

    Already did that. I suspect that many others have as well. However, Steve Dale Steve Dale, "pet expert and certified dog and cat behavior consultant, [who] reaches more pet owners than any other pet journalist in America." has connections and clout that the ordinary Chicagoan does not. He put a provocative headline on this video and blogged about it in ChicagoNow...it's my opinion that he should follow up with something of substance.

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    Thank you, Steve, and yes, Dana, enough is enough, you need to stop the personal attacks and stick to the facts.

    I have pictures too (taken after the story aired), and I will get more. Nothing has changed there yet, but believe me, it will. The evidence speaks for itself.

    And where was Cherie today? She called in sick. If I were in her shoes, I would have been there even if I was dying. That just confirms with me that she just doesn't care.

  • In reply to CDignan:

    Anonymous...You obviously don't know much about Save-A-Pet, who is known for taking the animals all the other places left behind. Save-A-Pet is the organization who comes in after every one else has had the media spotlight after a big story (hoarders, Katrina,etc..) and takes the ones the others left behind. I used to personally make trips to CACC and fostered numerous litters at a time in order to save their lives...they were scheduled to die that afternoon, including a litter with parvo. I have been doing this for 15 years and I have heard many "sides" and perspectives of what is going on at CACC from many people in the movement. Unfortunately since Cherie works for the city, she can't speak out the way she probably would like to inform everyone of things that aren't being said or shared. And to end, I am through wasting time having a discussion with an anonymous person. You can always contact me directly as I am always happy to talk. Being anonymous yet having so much to say leaves me with little respect for your opinions. I have gone up against powers that be in many situations where I felt threatened, but that never stops me from speaking up for the animals out in the open. I think they are worth it. buh-bye.

  • In reply to rappaportk:

    Karen, Cherie Travis is the only person that I am actually afraid of, and I have personally dealt with gang members, drug lords and all kinds in my work with animals. I am glad to hear that you are pulling from CACC, please keep it up and make sure that PAWS recognizes it when they publish it at their website and in their magazine. Save-A-Pet has a lot to offer in terms of strategic help, but advocating hoarder-like conditions with minimal care and consideration of the animals is not help. I will call you when this incredible problem gets fixed, until then I am afraid of Cherie and will remain anonymous.

  • In reply to CDignan:

    That's the problem Chris, I knew Dana when she was at save-a-pet, & that's why she is not there any longer. It was always someone else's fault not hers. Her yelling & swearing at volunteers & potential adopters had nothing to do with "her". The story about the animals is heart breaking. but some people have to make their own personal lives more important then that of the animals.

  • In reply to reality21:

    Reality really?? Please.I actually read this and started laughing. You have no idea why I am not there anymore. Swear at volunteers and adopters, really?? Thats why so many volunteers stood up for me and adopters also? Please, get your story straight before posting behind an assumed name. That is absolutely ridiculous. And saying the things you are saying is called, "slander". Also, what you are saying are lies and I can prove it in so many many ways. I love people like you who always want to tear down others. Go ahead, please continue, my attorney is keeping an eye out for that. Also, you say you knew me, you do not know me at all. I wonder what you do for the animals...oh, that's right, you don't have time because you are too busy trying to make others look bad. Sounds like a serious personal problem to me.

  • In reply to topscratch:

    I don't believe it is at all productive to "go after" a person who is trying to make a huge impact on the numbers of animals killed in Chicago. Cherie started her own successful humane society many years ago and worked hard to get her law degree to protect animals. This is not a person who would let animals suffer (You know that's true, Steve)On the contrary...She goes after people who cause suffering to animals. But she can't do this alone. Until any of you to personally watch innocent animals be killed on a daily basis, you have no right to judge. I challenge you to spend a day behind the scenes at that facility. Things are transitioning for the better there and sometimes things have to get worse before they get better...and yes, there will be bitter people who don't like the direction things are going...because it's more work for them. I know how stories get slanted. The alternative to 2 dogs in a cage (which happens at many shelters..sometimes more than that) and injured cats waiting to see a vet or be picked up by rescues which Cherie is doing a phenomenal job of working with? DEATH!

  • In reply to topscratch:

    Do you personally know Cherie Karen. She does not appear to be doing a phenomenal job.

    I suggest everyone contact your Alderman. The conditions at Animal Care & Control are disgusting. Make you Alderman investigate.

    I also plan to call May Daley directly.

  • In reply to Mwpartist:

    AGAIN, THE MAYOR'S OFFICE IS 312.744.3300

  • In reply to Moshucat:

    Their adoption fee is $65, that is one of the lowest in Chicago, and why would any vet volunteer there with union rules and Cherie's egomaniacal management????

    The few vet techs that are left there really do care and are there for that reason. They take a lot of s**t from Cherie and they sigh and keep going because they care about the animals, something Cherie does not appear to. She's the problem, let's be clear about that. These problems didn't exist before and the euthansia rate was falling drastically before her leadership....

  • This is an extremely sad and unfortunate situation and I'm a little surprised that there isn't a conversation in progress as a result of your post. In the past, I've spent a considerable amount of time at ACC but have not been there for about 9 mos now. What I can say is that the conditions I witnessed were inconsistent with what I saw on the video. What's changed(besides the obvious management change)? I don't pretend to know the inner workings of ACC but what I do know is that anyone who truly cares about animals entrusted to their care would probably not allow something like this to happen. I'd love to hear more of the other side of the story beyond what I saw on the video. If some of the more serious points brought up in the piece are true, then something needs to happen there...yesterday! I'll take your advice and contact city hall. Hope it helps but I think more media and social pressure is still needed. They didn't seem to care to change when left to their own devices. Thanks for posting this.

  • Chris, you can provide social media - and more. You know, I know more than I can say here for fear, perhaps of my life....literally. That's the problem. Happy to speak with you privately. In any case, very sad situation. I'm grateful for Marcella Raymond's report, and that she didn't back down when intimidated.

  • This is as much about Cherie Travis as it is about the animals make no mistake.
    Media propoganda is partially at play here, but only partially.

    Cherie Travis:
    What are her credentials to run a municipal shelter aiming at a high standard of humane initiatives while maintaining public safety?

    Does she live within the city limits? ( a must for a Chicago job )
    What is her experience with animal shetering, herd health and public safetey?

    Does she have any paid supervisory experience?

    What was the criteria and job description and minimum qualifications she had to meet to be eligble for the position???

    The answer zero,,a rescue in area stores and fostering,,while commendable is not experience with animal sheltering.
    Does she understand Herd Health to maintain all of the animals?
    Or understand animal enrichment within a shelter environment to reduce stress and in turn reduce illness. (cramped carriers, was there even a litter box somehow squeezed in there)

    Dangerous dogs is the responsibility of CACC.

    What does she teach as an adjuct professor of animal law. (how to beat animal control laws....conflict of interest !)

    Since she previously represented dangerous dogs in court against animal control this must a conflict of interest, if not an ethical dilemma for Cherie.

    Why is Cherie making medical decisions instead of the veterinarian? Is she practicing medicine without a license?????

    Chicago has some very dedicated staff that kept the place going without oversight for ever and a day, welcoming rescues, being realistic about sick and injured animals as to PREVENT SUFFERING while reducing euthanasia of adoptable animals.

    Cherie has alienated the rescue community, they will only be bullied so long. She may have Paula Fasaes for now, but PAWS can't carry her forever.

    I have to wonder if Tom Dart is going to wage a criminal investigation??? He is tough on animal cruelty and neglect.

    Where is the department of ag. ?? They may not have big teeth, but it is there job to get in there and enforce the minimum standards of care.

    Cherie Karma is a powerful thing. This expose' makes Pet Rescue in Bloomingdale look like a spa. The poor dead cat in CACC looked left to rigor by you,,,.

    Lets see you were paid about $10,000 for Operatio Mia, but stepped away when the money ran out,,,,another ethical dilemma. An activist or Lawyer...must be quite hard to decide...!

    Cherie has never quite found her niche' in the animal community. While she is imbalanced there is a place for her that can serve the animal community, but that place is not a municipal shelter. Better to discover that sooner than later.

    I wish she would take the help that is offered to her an all of the points I have mentioned. She has been extended all the resources, but refuses the help, and simply refused to acknowledge others expertise.

    I hoped she would bring the good she has to offer to the table in Chicago. I hope she recognizes that this isn't her niche !

    She has waged war on so many, karma truly does exist !

  • In reply to karma:

    I apologize for my spelling and grammatical errors. It seems that when emotions run hot my internal spell check runs low. LOL

    But this is no laughing matter. I hope the Mayor and Paula Fasaes are dealing with the facts and devising a stragegy for Cherie to step away from the animals and back to being an Animal Acivist as she fell miserably short with hands on Animal Welfare.

  • In reply to karma:

    Can you tell us what proof you have that Cherie got money for her involvement in the Operation Mia case? When did she get it? Who gave it to her? Before or after her appointment as Director of ACC?

    it is also interesting that Cherie cannot practice law right now, as she did not renew her license. Look it up! So if she gave legal advice to whomever, she is practicing without a license.

    The States Attorney also needs to look in to possible Official Misconduct, a Class 3 Felony in Illinois. Cherie might also not be the only one responsible for things at ACC.

  • In reply to karma:

    I am volunteer at ACC too. I thought I would weigh in here because this is such an emotional topic. I feel like I have to come forward because it is my moral obligation to do so. Leaving Cherie out of this, lets look at the current situation and use triage to help the animals who cannot talk or speak for themselves.

    First of all, I have personally witnessed the conditions on the video. These are not photoshopped images, all of the animals are from ACC. The shelter is overcrowded, overcrowded shelters breed diseases, shelters that are not clean and don't have proper isolation areas, spread disease. Animals get sick because of the stress, the lack of cleanliness and the large numbers of highly contagious diseases in the building. Animals come into the shelter very sick or injured and spread their diseases if the place is not cleaned/disinfected regularly and if there are too many animals crowded in a room/cage, etc.

    ACC is very quiet, there are NOT ENOUGH people in the building to take care of the sick, injured and dying animals, or to clean there cages, rooms, litter boxes properly. As a result the animals are left to die alone in their cages from diseases or their injuries. An animal in the throws of Parvo, or severe pneumonia or other disease should be euthanized in this situation because they are suffering and should not be left by themselves to die alone not being able to breathe or in excruciating pain. I would imagine the paid union workers, vets, vet techs etc. are overwhelmed and sicked by the situation as well, and possibly Cherie herself feels the same.

    There is simply not enough staff to take care of the sick animals. One day I was there and there were 2 staff members to take care of 4 of the pavilions, which by my estimate is approximately 200 animals.

    I also want to know how ACC's euth numbers are on the decline? Is it strictly because they have relationships with rescue groups? Are rescue groups pulling animals from ACC and do they have to euthanize them? I don't know the answer to this question, but I would like to. This is not an attack on ACC either regarding this topic. It is a legitimate question that needs to be answered.

    You can argue all you want about whose fault it is, but it doesn't do the animals any good. You can quote Nathan Winograd until you are blue in the face, but that won't help the situation that is going on right this MINUTE over there.

    It would be nice to see ACC respond by putting together a plan that it made public, a written strategic plan, that shows how to improve conditions and continue reducing the euthanasia rate. The results should be quantified, measured, to see if what they are doing is working. Vets should volunteer their time to help fill the gaps.

    Someone, who is a skilled negotiator and consensus builder should negotiate with the unions to allow volunteers to help with cleaning the cages and the rooms. Someone needs to repair and mend fences with rescue groups that are legitimate and have been alienated. Veterinarians need to step up and volunteer their time there to help out. It would be great if ACC could employ interns (MBA students) to help solve some of these problems, and to keep track of the statistics and measure whether a strategic plan is working or not (by euth rates and number of animals being pulled).

    ACC should develop an army of volunteer pet educators to get out into the schools and neighborhoods, and talk to residents about the importance of spay neuter and pet overpopulation. Vets should educate their clients on pet overpopulation and encourage people to go to shelters to get their animals not breeders and pet stores. Legislation could be enacted to help support these initiatives.

    There are many aspects to this problem that I have not listed here. These are just some ideas, I am trying to focus on the solution, which is complicated.

    There I feel better now getting this off my chest.

  • In reply to karma:

    I think we need to recognize the fact that some changes need to be made at ACC, starting with Cherie Travis. Yes it true that every single shelter has volunteers, staff and vets that will say something against them, but in this shelter, EVERYONE can say something against her. This is a representation that animals are badly cared for, and Cherie Travis is allowing animals to die in their cages. I have seen many sick cats at ACC. It is ridiculous for her to allow dying animals die in their cages instead of humanely euthanizing them. That is just plain cruelty! The city fines and arrests people for cruelty. The city is blind at what really is going on.

  • In reply to Pat00:

    It is also interesting that every single supporter of Travis has gone after those who spoke out, including the employees who spoke up, and called them lazy, not willing to do their jobs, or got in to trouble with Travis. Something tells me these words are coming from Travis and are being parroted by her minions.

  • In reply to AnimalDefender:

    I wouldn't call them her minions, I knew Dana when she was at save-a-pet, she acts like she is for the animals, but her attitude towards the volunteers there & the potential adopters told a whole different story. Also when she was let go, someone called her out on her facebook page when she was saying she was so worried about "her" animals and asked her why she didn't adopted them, she never did give a straight answer. Hmmm, maybe because it wasn't about the animals.

  • In reply to reality21:

    I always love when people post without their name. If I was so bad to volunteers and adopters maybe you can tell me why so many left just recently when I left? As far as adopting my babies, you obviously have no idea what you are talkinig about. I am at my limit in my village right now and have one dog aggressive dog that is separated. EVERYONE that knows me knows that I am for the animals. I am doing everything I can to get at least one of my dogs out of there, but she is also not good with other dogs. Maybe you want to find somewhere for me to live bigger than 800 sq feet to separate four dogs into separate living areas. But, I will and I will adopt her, if they let me. The shelter was supposed to meet me up there to try and introduce my dogs and the Board wouldnt. So it is also difficult to bring dogs home that, so far, dont get along. I always love people that talk bad about people annoymously on a public forum. You have questions about me or what I do for the animals or what I believe in, do it to my face. As you see, I don't hide behind assumed names. I have nothing to hide and know in my heart that I have always and will always do what is what is best for the animals. That is exactly why I support Cherie. I know her and I know she is trying to the best she can. Reality 21, I really have no respect for someone who has so much to say hiding behind a fake name on the internet. Whatever.

  • In reply to Danakay:

    People may have left when you left, but I know a lot more left when you came back after leaving the first time. And the reason I use a fake name is because people like Karen R put a threatening message up after you left the second time on your facebook page saying we know who you people are that are jumping up & down. So why would I want to add my name to her list. I would rather make her wonder who has her number. By the way Karen Rappaport, you better watch what you post on public website in regards to threatening people, that can be considered a public & open threat & people can go after you for it. Also Dana I don't care if you respect me or not, I saw how you treated people at the shelter, you may respect animals, but you have no respect for people, so again if you don't have any respect for people who hide behind fake names, that's nothing new coming from you.

  • In reply to reality21:

    I wish you the best reality21. You would find it interesting what we have learned about you who have been posting. It is a very very small number of people and most of them are staff. I know myself, I know what I do. I guess you are right, I dont respect people. Thats why I was a personal trainer for almost 20 years. Thats why I was a firefighter and a EMT. Thats why I volunteered at Covenant House and Habitat for Humanity for years. Yeah, I obviously care nothing about people. Karen threatening people now too? The lies just grow...and we know who was able to see those posts and again, it was a very small number of people.
    Annoymous posts on a public website, your parents must be so proud of you. Take care.

  • In reply to Danakay:

    Actually, I would find it interesting to see what you would have learned about me, since you don't know who I am & I keep my head down there, hence not using my name, I am unknown there & like, because unlike a lot of people I'm not there for the publicity. I'm sure by now Karen has removed that post, & since I am no longer associated with either of you on fb, I can not prove it, but I saw it & saw many others comment on that threat. And again, since I saw how you treated people at the shelter, the past is the past, it's the present that counts, & when it comes to one on one dealings with individuals, you came up short. What the people who left were a small amount of people & mainly staff, sorry, again if it was mainly staff, that only goes to prove what I said about how you delt with staff there, also I know of several outside volunteers who left after you came back & the number to you may have been small, but I know of at least 10 for offsite activities that left. And don't go insulting my parents, what you say about me, I don't care, insult my parents, & that's another matter, again showing how low you can stoop.

  • In reply to reality21:

    to go along with the above,
    Are you threatening people now too?
    and we know who was able to see those posts and again, it was a very small number of people.
    I also want to point out again, though I have only pointed out what I feel you have down wrong at the shelter, you have not only tried to insult me, but brought my parents into it, I have not brought any of your family members into it, why did you have to bring mine in? Maybe because I'm hitting close to home with what I'm saying?

  • In reply to reality21:

    I just wanted to say, reality212, thanks for the laugh today. I appreciate it. Obviously you have nothing else to do. We have lives to save :-). And to you and your parents, good luck. Sounds like you need it.

  • In reply to Danakay:

    Obviously Dana, I have hit the nail on the head, & you can not refute what I have said. So, good luck to you too, think you need it more then I. & again, keep family members out of it, typical ignorance to always bring up something about the parents.

  • In reply to reality21:

    Reality..what on Earth are you talking about? Anyone who actually knows Dana knows she is ALL about the animals. Why would you come on a forum an anonymously slam someone? There are some people who are great at being critical and passive aggressive, and then there are those, like Dana, who are out there working for the animals every day and who have enough integrity to put her name behind anything she writes. The animals need more people like Dana..stop wasting so much time on criticizing people are are out there busting their butts for the animals. Why don't you all spend your energy trying to be a part of the solution.

  • In reply to rappaportk:

    For your information Karen, I sometimes spend more time during the week helping out Save-a-pet then I spend time at home. I already said why I said that about Dana & will not repeat myself, though I like how you immediately came to her aid, again, just like always protecting her & not caring what she says to other people. I also find it strange that now that she is gone & the financials came out, that Save-a-pet is in such dire straights, & after being at an event for save-a-pet this weekend & talking to various people there, they are all kind of wondering the same thing.

  • In reply to reality21:

    hahahaha....more laughs. thanks again. take care.

  • In reply to Danakay:

    Again since there is no educated response, I must have hit the nail on the head. Also the fact the shelter where "your" animals are is in such dire straights & you can laugh about, tells a lot about your character.

  • In reply to Danakay:

    "Condtions at Chicago Animal Care and Control. I've been asking, 'How is this allowed to happen?' for some time."

    Let's talk about the "some time".

    Long before Cherrie took over, the CAC&C was a horrible place. At least some new policies have been implemented to change that. It was hopeless then. I remember when a friend's feral cat colony got decimated by AC&C who came and grabbed all her cats (all 23 of them, confirmed by phone check - all cats had microchips). Neighbor complained, despite the fact that cats were in enclosure, cat proofed, never or almost never getting out on the street. These days AC&C doesn't come to feral colony. At least that. Then they did. My friend asked me for help to retrieve the cats and to my eternal regret I agreed. We came for the cats within 24 hours of their abduction. We retrieved 15 cats. 8 were lost. Permanently. They were all scanned by the AC&C employees, we had proof of that (the chip number) but they couldn't be found. We saw cats escape from the trucks as they were brought in, so no wonder. Worse thou, we thought a buncher was working for the AC&C and nobody cared. But then we saw a mayhem, the end of the world type of mayhem so how could anyone care? On that day I called every person I knew or remembered that I knew to help me get some cats out of there. That day broke me. We retrieved huge numbers of animals on that day but, for gods sake, it was a horrible experience.

    So, why is this suddenly an issue? It wasn't for years. Is it because the new chair doesn't believe in mass killings? At least she instituted some changes. The video actually looks much better than what we saw on that day. So, perhaps work with her and not against her? Because there is some hope when there wasn't any? For years? And nobody cared. Because cats and dogs were put to death so that made it good.

  • In reply to Danakay:

    Hello, I actually applied for an animal animal care aide position back in September with CACC. Then I was called in for an informational session along with 4 other candidates in October. I went in expecting to leave very disheartened and depressed, but I drove home feeling hopeful like I had so much to offer to the animals there, as I'm the type who can work with very little resources, and do better in situations that aren't quite so comfy. I have not been contacted with any updates on when they will actually be able to fill the 2 positions they said they would. I leave voicemails, and emails for the admin., but only until I left a message with the front desk did I get a return phone call stating that this dept. was hit by the hiring freeze. That last piece of info, I received at the end of January. Still waiting......Just wondering if anyone might know if they have actually hired new people yet, or what is up? I know they are desperately understaffed, and I am a person who actually wants to work there......so let's go already, right? :) I also noticed they posted positions for veterinarians, and an operations manager. What is the hold up? Does anyone have any information? Any info at all would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks so much!

  • In reply to Danakay:

    K, I answered my own question.......it seems this is an old discussion, but just in case anyone is still talking about this......................There might be plans to hire a private organization to care for the animals at ACC. I learned this from an admin. and Cherie herself. Does anyone know if Rahm Emanuel is on board with the Daley idea of privatizing? Will it ultimately be up to the new mayor? Does anyone have any opinions on this issue? Also, my own thoughts on this crushing problem.........how much is put into community education? I think there is more than one solution to this huge and depressing injustice to our animal friends. Wow, I have so much to learn about ACC. Any schooling is welcome. :)

  • In reply to Danakay:

    I don't live in Chicago, I do live with the failure of the No Kill concept. Washoe county has been under attack from the greedy devils for 3 years, we are not No Kill, we are not even low kill, we just lie a lot. We lost our minds when we signed with the Nevada Humane Society to be our public intake shelter, they are so poorly run, the animals end up at the county anyway. It is a lose, lose situation, and very harsh on the animals trapped until they die or go crazy in their cages. Please don't go there,it's not fair to the citizens or their animals. Institualized hoarding on your tax dollar.

  • In reply to Pat00:

    No one has mentioned our failing economy as a factor in the overcrowding problem. Why not? During the last year or so an increasing number of pets have been given up (or abandoned) by people unable to afford to care for them any more. Maybe Travis is incompetent or maybe she is perfect for the job...but she certainly arrived at a bad time.

  • In reply to harpercollie:

    Oh yes...absolutely! People are getting foreclosed on or evicted from their rental properties at an alarming rate, or they just cannot afford to simply feed their pets. It is a contributing factor....big time!

  • In reply to karma:

    Dept of Ag? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Seriously tho, the Dept of Ag is a weak agency. It seems as long as the animals have food and water, everything is okay. They do not look at the care of the animals, if they are sick, are they getting vet care, are they sick ones isolated from the healthy ones, etc.

    They also tend to rubber stamp their ok on inspections. They will forewarn ACC before they get there, causing mass chaos to get the place clean.

  • fb_avatar

    Ok I can concede to the neglect these animals face @ the CACC due to over crowding and mismanagement . BUT WHAT FRUSTRATES ME IS THE LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY OF ALL THE PEOPLE THAT CAUSED THE OVERCROWDING OF THIS AND EVERY SHELTER. if you go through and read how these animals wound up @ CACC it's so sad.... owner surrender, strays, loose on the streets! some of these animals are young and could be rescue and for the old that where thrown away it's heartbreaking! when are people going to realize the reason this problem exsists is because of people! And for all the "Animal Activists" who are ready to throw blame... if you don't like it STEP UP!!!! GO VOLUNTEER @ A SHELTER AND CLEAN CAGES, WALK A DOG, BRUSH A CAT, FOSTER AN ANIMAL! UNTIL YOUWALK THE WALK STOP BITCHING!!!

  • In reply to Toni Ruiz:

    that is not what we need at CACC, sir. These problems - at least NOWHERE to this extent never occurred, 'till the new director took over. By the way, many many many will not volunteer there because of her, many employees - good people - have departed. THAT is clearly the issue, based on the evidence I see and news reports. And many of us know at. I can't explain why Daley did what he did, at least not in this venue. Of course, CACC requires more $$, and help. I will stop there. Thanks for your comments.

  • fb_avatar

    Ok totally missed my point. There needs to be more awareness for responsible pet ownership. I do not know the history of CACC, I'm not from the Chicago area, but I have worked with groups that rescue dogs from CACC. When I saw this news report I was angered by the number of pets they receive, it's disheartening how so many people throw away their animals. If I lived in the area I'd volunteer regardless who ran the shelter because there needs to be good people advocating for these animals. One last thing Toni is the feminine version of Tony.

  • In reply to Toni Ruiz:

    the last words of your comment dropped off....Of course, i am more responsible pet ownership - but the issue there has nothing directly to do with that. People have not become more or less responsible, but the place - in my opinion - has changed. And with it, lives for the animals. I think you are missing my point.

  • fb_avatar

    How sad that almost TWO years after this link was started, the conditions are still terrible at CACC and the number of animals being killed are still way too high. I guess many of the good employees/vets/volunteers have left. Because now, you walk on eggshells, not wanting to offend anyone about the conditions or what is or is not being done because you NEED those same people to help you get the animals out, and they have the power to make it good/easy or hard as hell. I know change takes time, but I was hoping the new director would be able to instate new procedures immediately. My daughter (who volunteers with a rescue there) filled out an application to work directly with CACC to do nothing but clean out the kennels. Over a month and no has even bothered to call....

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