Back in September a reporter for a TV station in Chicago went undercover at Chicago Animal Care and Control. I didn't post anything at that time, thinking I would shortly. So today I started to research and guess what? Everything has been taken offline but I did manage to find this cached version. I wonder if Oprah had anything to do with it since she jumped in and had the director, Cherie Travis, on her show trying to deny everything. I don't care for Oprah anyway but I did write and give her a piece of my mind.
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:5JrLaEBIhY4J:www.wgntv.com/community/newsletter/wgntv-chicago-animal-control-conditions-aug30,0,1606541.story+%22cherie+travis%22%2Bwgn%2Bundercover&cd=9&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us CHICAGO - One of the missions of Chicago's Animal Care and Control, the largest pound in the city, is to assure the humane treatment of animals. There is a strong push from many groups to make that shelter and others in Chicago no-kill. No one's saying that's not a noble idea but is it at the expense of the animals' basic needs?
WGNTV went undercover to find out.
First we received pictures from inside Chicago Animal Care and Control taken over the past few weeks. The complaints were from longtime employees and a rescue worker, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of losing their jobs. There was also a veterinary intern who became overwhelmed by what she saw. They were concerned about the way the animals were being treated.
Earlier this month WGNTV went undercover inside Animal Care and Control.
Dogs were doubled up in cages because of overcrowding. Cats were living in small carriers because there wasn't a cage for them. Shelter workers tell us some stayed on a loading dock for up to 72 hours in sweltering conditions.
Cats were sick with upper respiratory infections. Their eyes were crusted over and they were sneezing.
Animals had open wounds; a dog with a sore on its back, a cat with an eye infection, a dog with the deadly and highly contagious parvo disease. They were all in cages next to healthy cats and dogs.
"Peter," a longtime employee, says he has never seen conditions at the shelter so bad. He says they don't have the staff to care for all the animals.
The director, Cherie Travis, agrees there is a staffing problem.
Travis is an animal rights attorney and an adjunct professor of Animal Law at DePaul and Northwestern Universities. She is the co-founder of CASA, an organization that wants to eliminate the needless euthanasia of Chicago's animals also known as no-kill. On her facebook page, she says her goal is to make Animal Care and Control no kill in 3-5 years. ] Although Travis doesn't really want to talk about it.
WGNTV gave her an opportunity to respond to the story and she chose not to. She called the news director and asked that the story not run.
"Earlier this week, WGNTV went undercover at Chicago's Animal Care and Control with video showing questionable conditions.
Dogs living in their own feces and urine, cats dead in their own cages were just some of the overcrowded conditions at the city's largest animal shelter. When there aren't enough cages cats are kept in carriers. Insiders say sometimes they're there for up to 72 hours with barely room to move.
Cherie Travis, the commissioner of Animal Care and Control, refused to discuss the conditions at the time.
Thursday, Travis still refused to answer questions but issued this statement through the city's press office.
"While the WGN story presented a case of overcrowding at the facility... This is simply not the case. In fact, during the tour the reporter admittedly stated that examples of overcrowding or poor treatment were not found."
But documents show that there is overcrowding.
The statement also said Animal Care and Control takes the condition of the animals housed at its facility very seriously and that the organization is conducting an investigation regarding the animals in the photos presented during the piece.
Paula Fasseas is the founder of PAWS, the largest no kill facility in the city. PAWS takes 200-3000 animals a year from Animal Care and Control. Employees and volunteers are there daily. She says she supports Cherie Travis and her vision to reduce euthanasia through spay and neuter programs and getting rescue groups to come take animals out for adoption."
This Examiner also confirms that there was a story. Strange how everything has been taken offline regarding this expose by Marcella Raymond.
"One theory behind the overcrowding at the shelter is that the shelter's director, Cherie Travis, wants to eventually make the shelter "no-kill", specifically within 3-5 years. Although this is a compassionate idea, it may not be practical for the volume of animals that are housed within the shelter." Honey, that ain't no theory, that is "No Kill"!!!
This blog says that the story was pulled - WHY? http://www.dancingdogblog.com/2010/11/chicagos-animal-care-and-control-wgn-pulls-story/
"Marcella Raymond was supposed to have a news on Animal Care and Control that was to air last night, but it was pulled from the line-up. There may be an explanation, it may air at another time and I hope that is so. But the travesty here is there is only one reporter willing to speak up on the problems at Animal Care and Control.
If cats were dying with regularity at any other shelter, wouldn’t you think the TV stations would be all over the story? If animals were being kept in temporary carriers for days on end, with no room to move around, no room for water or food or elimination…that would be deemed aggravated cruelty anywhere else. Yet nothing is done and nothing is reported."
Oprah is a heavy hitter in Chicago. She wields a lot of money and a lot of influence. Could it be that she has used this influence to put these animals at risk? Judge for yourself.
"Oprah has apparently caught wind of the story and will be doing a show in the near future with the Director of CACC, Cherie Travis, as a guest. This can't happen. There is a real chance that Travis could gain some credibility from the appearance and that could potentially make matters worse for the animals at CACC."
I do know that Oprah is misguided about animals and supports "No Kill". If she did indeed do this, then she has the blood of these animals on her hands.