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!
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.
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
What happens when a City funded animal control (City of Chicago Animal Care and Control), notfor profit organization (Lost Dogs Illinois) and a professional hockey team (Chicago Wolves) join together? They put on a Free Health Fair! Over 300 residents dogs and cats received FREE microchips, vaccines and ID engraved tags. Working together keeps families together!
We are sharing this reunion story because many dogs are not reunited with their owners . It comes down to timing issues (owners & finders stop searching for each other, or search in different places at different times), and because many people don’t have the slightest idea how to begin a search. This is exactly what happened.
In a unexpected turn of events, Duke’s owners were found and the family has been reunited! The owners were out of the country and didn’t have international service on their phones. Duke had been in the care of the daughter-in-law when he got loose. Unfortunately, her search efforts were limited and Duke ended up being unclaimed at animal control.
When Duke’s guardians returned from their trip they were devastated. Their baby was missing and they called animal control right away. The wonderful ACO, Dana, took the time to talk to the family and through several conversations, proof of vet records, and a home visit it was determined that this family was very sincere and had been taking wonderful care of their baby before this unfortunate accident.
Today we were able to reunite the family and it was truly heartwarming. They have had Duke since he was a puppy and he had been their baby ever since. His mom sews him clothes and he sleeps in bed with them. The icing on the cake was when they showed us the baby seat they have for him in their car. They opened the driver side door and told him to get in his seat. He jumped in, jumped in the back and hopped right in the baby seat and laid down. My heart melted.
This is a story we hear all too frequently. People go away and leave their pets in the care of someone else and end up getting loose. Please do your research about who will be caring for your pet, make sure you give them instructions on how to keep your pup safe, and contact info for who to call in the event of any emergencies.
Today we were able to reunite a dog with a family that missed him and loved him and in return, we had space to rescue a different dog who was at risk for euthanasia at a kill shelter whose owner passed away and doesn’t have a family.
Note from Lost Dogs Illinois: As Missing Pet Partnership has stated: More education is needed for owners, and for shelters advising owners on matters of lost pets. Improving TECHNIQUE and TIMING are two keys to improving RTO stats!
We want to thank Colleen from Perfect Pooches Adoption Agency and Dana Deutsch, North Chicago Animal Control Officer, for going the extra mile to get Duke back home to his rightful owners and allowing us to share Duke’s story.
LOVE DOGS? LOVE FASHION?
Combine these two loves while helping to support Lost Dogs Illinois in our efforts to get lost and found dogs back home to their families, provide low cost tag and microchips, and effect change at state levels, including but not limited to, reducing the number of owned “strays” in shelters and animal control facilities. To purchase our t-shirts and hoodies, or donate through the end of February visit: https://www.booster.com/