Revisit the resolution reducing the stray hold for dogs and cats in the City of Chicago.
This petition had 15,318 supporters
Chicago Animal Care & Control (often called the City Pound) is publicly funded through Chicago taxpayers and is operated and controlled by the Mayor’s office Last November, Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced an ordinance to reduce the stray hold from 5 days to 3 days for dogs and zero days for cats. The resolution was introduced through the Budget Committee.
When we brought our concerns about the stray hold ordinance to several Aldermen last fall, they assured us that the ordinance would not be implemented until March 2015 in order for CACC to launch a public information campaign to educate Chicagoans. That has not happened. The reduced stray hold has gone into effect without the promised information campaign.
We believed issues regarding getting lost dogs and cats back to their owners needed to be addressed before implementing this change in the stray hold. We believe that this ordinance will REDUCE the likelihood of pets being returned to their families. Dogs with unknown ownership have a mere 3 days before they become property of CACC. Cats of unknown ownership will become property of CACC immediately. Yes, that's correct: from a 5 day hold to no-hold at all.
Last year Chicago took in approx. 5,300 stray dogs which is almost half of CACC's total intake of dogs and approx. only 1,400 dogs were reunited with their families. 3,700 dogs (approx.) were killed. CACC took in approx. 5,500 stray cats, which is more than half of their total intake of cats. Only 132 were reunited with their families and approx., 1,900 cats were killed.
Common senses dictates that getting lost dogs and cats back home frees up much needed kennel space, saves stress on the owner, owner’s animals, staff and volunteers (esp. CACC transfer team), other animals in the facility and most importantly tax payer’s money.
There are many, many facilities outside of Chicago that have over 50% return-to-owner rates for dogs including some Illinois counties (Dupage, McHenry and Kendall). Nationally – Washington DC, Chattanooga, Fort Collins, and Ashville to name a few have over 50% return to owner rates. Many have 3-9% return-to-owner rates for cats. Their progressive polices are working and they are saving lives.
CACC chose to take the easy way out to solve the issues at hand. As stated above, they could have brought in consultants from these facilities listed to increase their Return To Owner rates.
We request that the Mayor and City Council revisit this resolution. Hire competent leadership at CACC who can address the issues such as getting lost dogs and cats back home and increase the live release rate for CACC. The Mayor is now running election ads saying that he is going to listen more--he needs to hear from us. Your signature on this petition will generate an email that will be sent directly to the Mayor and Aldermen.
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