Hire A Qualified Director For Animal Welfare League (Chicago Ridge)

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From July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 more than 14,000 animals passed through the doors of Animal Welfare League (AWL), Chicago Ridge, IL. Many of those did not leave alive.   Nearly 5,000 animals – 35 percent – were killed by AWL during that time period. The vast majority of the cats and dogs killed were healthy or had treatable conditions.

 In contrast, hundreds of large and small communities in the United States have achieved No Kill status in their shelter operations (in which they save 90-99% of the animals taken into the shelter).  This demonstrates that they can truly fulfill the animal sheltering mission by finding homes for all healthy or treatable pets. In communities from Austin, Texas, to Charles City, Iowa, all animals are saved unless they are irremediably suffering or hopelessly dangerous. The citizens of Cook County, IL, in which the Animal Welfare League operates, believe our county’s people and our pets deserve to join their ranks.

Now, the top leadership position at Animal Welfare League, the post of Executive Director is vacant

This transition is a unique opportunity to transform Animal Welfare League into a place where lives are saved. The signatories to this petition ask that the Board of Animal Welfare League:

 1. Make the job description as inclusive as possible. Rather than limiting consideration of candidates solely to those having prior experience running a shelter, the job description should also list management and practical skills that can be transferred to the shelter environment. Too often, prior experience running a shelter means a history of killing.

2. Actively recruit successful shelter directors; meaning AWL should look at those communities where shelters have save rates (save rates include adoptions, returns to owners, transfers to rescues and intervention programs) between 90 and 99%: http://www.saving90.org/ contact their directors and assistant directors and lobby them to apply for the job.

3. Convene a community panel of animal welfare stakeholders, particularly No Kill advocates, rescue groups and volunteers, to interview potential candidates and recommend their preferred candidate. 

Cook County faces a choice.  If we adhere to the current model practiced by Animal Welfare League, innocent animals will continue to be killed. Instead, the taxpaying citizens of Cook County demand that the county’s largest privately funded animal shelter becomes a place of life, hope and love.