Pet Homelessness in Chicago By Jessica Larocque & Jessica Letona

“This whole thing with homelessness of animals it’s you know, this multilevel concern that affects us in more ways than just money.” – Elliott Serrano, Community Programs Manager for the Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago.

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As an animal lover and educator, Serrano unravels the details behind the reality of pet homelessness and how pets are kept under control throughout Chicago.

The pets taken in are not only Chicagoans. The Anti-Cruelty Chicago never turns down any animals, taking in any animal including out of state pets. They are a no-kill facility, which allows many owners who have older pets to get them euthanized so they can pass peacefully. This spacious shelter has plenty of room for animals and will transfer them all over state, to ensure that the shelter is  never overcrowded or packed. People can come into the facility directly, check out the pet catalog online or visit an adoption event.

The Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society strives to uphold its mission of, “Building a community of caring by helping pets and educating people.” One way the shelter implements this mission is by hosting educational seminars to educate children on how to care for a pet. “With our education programs here, we believe that children really develop empathy through those first relationships they have when they are young and one of those first relationships are with pets,” says Serrano.

Serrano emphasized that by showing children at a young age how to treat animals well, they will want to adopt and help animals in the future. By targeting children, this strategy helps prevent the mistreatment of pets at a young age, so animals will not have to end up in a shelter. Throughout the interview Serrano touched on the moral and ethical thought process that goes into preventing the mistreatment of pets. Majority of homeless animals end up in a harmful situation due to the actions of humans.

Serrano gave an example of the phenomenon of breeding animals. This is one breed that was on the verge of being on a “breed ban.” Throughout the past couple of years pit bulls have been hyped up in Chicago. The stereotyping of this breed has led to controversy in regard to the way people treat their animals. By spreading awareness of how to treat pets one will be able to prevent pet homelessness. Check out a bit from his interview below:


Youtube video:

The Anti-Cruelty Society is focusing on increasing services for pet owners to keep pets in their homes while facilitating the re-home process. The Home-to-Home Shelter Bypass Service helps owners of pets find new owners by listing them on their website and promoting them on their social media profiles. There is an online option where new potential owners can reach out to current pet owners, making it easier to transition their pet into a new home. This is for people who are looking to get rid of their pet or can no longer take proper care of their animal. This is a great program because it allows for fewer animals to be put into shelters and allocates their resources in aiding the animals that they already have.

serrano 2.pngSurvivor cats and dogs lined up outside of the Anti-Cruelty Chicago from Lee County, Florida for Hurricane Irma. Credit:

Susan Taney, founder of non-profit group, Lost Dogs Illinois, said, “What people don’t understand is after a few days they go into survival mode, feral mode,” Taney says. “Every time they get chased it builds a wall and they see humans as predators.” There are easy steps to take in preventing a lost pet. Putting out food, water, or an article of your clothing, while also calling your local animal shelter.

Ways you can help with pet homelessness:

  1. Adopt a pet
  2. Volunteer
  3. Microchip your animals
  4. Neuter your pets
  5. Foster pets

Statistics show that more than 4,000 pets are adopted each year at the  Chicago Animal Control and Care center. Located on 2741 S. Western Ave Chicago, IL  60608, it is another safe haven for people who have lost their pets, need a new friend or can no longer take proper care of their animal. Housing over 500 animals, this facility differs from a shelter because here they only accept animals from Chicago residents.

Their mission states, “Chicago Animal Care and Control (CACC) works with community partners toward the common goal of minimizing the number of homeless and abandoned animals that come into the City shelter, and saving all healthy and treatable animals as our resources and capacity for care will permit. CACC is committed to transparency and accountability regarding the animals that come into our care.”

At CACC, veterinarians spray and neuter 8,000 pets a year. As Serrano stated in the previous interview, “See here in America, we have poor quality control”, and he isn’t wrong. Animal Care & Control Data & Statistics show the quarterly results for animal intakes, deaths and adoptions. The most important impact that lessens the issue of homeless animals is spraying and neutering dogs and cats. To help this issue of pet homelessness you can adopt today by clicking here or check out the map below to find a shelter to adopt a pet in or near Chicago.   

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Lost and Found Pets:

If you have LOST an animal, please check with the City of Chicago’s Animal Care and Control facility, 2741 S. Western, Chicago, IL, (312) 747-1406 or The Animal Welfare League, 6224 S. Wabash, Chicago, IL, (773) 667-0088.


Top Drunk States in the US

Some argue that alcoholism is a disease, a disease that has 10 states struggling to find Alcohol Anonymous. The Centers for Disease Control and Men’s Health Magazine come together and lay out the facts.  Click on the link here to check out where people are drinking most.



10 Must-See Landmarks in Nova Scotia

The East coast is filled with wonders. There are a number of breath taking views to see and historic landmarks to visit. In my experience of visiting Nova Scotia for the past three years, here is a map of places that are worth your time.

Photo by: JML

Kayne West vs. Global Warming


By Jessica Larocque

For the past 50 years researchers have been studying the progression of global warming and the effects that it will have on the world. This includes a higher increase in temperatures all over the globe and devastating weather events. A huge factor that could make or break our lives in the future. But what seems to be more important to the United States population is Kayne West becoming bankrupt for trying to pursue his fashion career. One tweet states, “I write this to you my brothers while still 53 million dollars in personal debt… Please pray we overcome… This is my true heart…” One would think that this topic would be more relevant to our country, but think again. Take a look at the Google Trends chart to see the details.


Sources: Kayne West, Global Warming  


Does “America really Run on Dunkin’?”

By Jessica Larocque

It’s Monday, and you didn’t get as much sleep as you wanted. You’re already dreading the next eight hours before you even get up from under your covers. Doing anything else other than getting your daily dose of caffeine is unthinkable. The one thing that keeps you and I from falling apart, crashing and burning after one heck of a weekend is that fresh brewed cup of dark, embodied goodness that gets your blood flowing. Both coffee powerhouses, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, have been in competition for the past 10 years after Dunkin’ Donuts decided to focus more on their beverage quality instead of the quality of their donuts.  Starbucks proceeds to take the upper hand, owning almost twice as many stores compared to Dunkin’ in the United States. The stats show that DD sells 1.8 billion cups of coffee annually. Let’s also consider the fact that 4 billion Starbucks cups are accumulated annually as well, found through efforts of recycling. Our world population is around 7.5 billion people, meaning the amount of Starbucks cups is almost half of the world’s population. Ultimately, it’s clear here whose dominating the coffee industry nationally and globally. So the real question is, who does America run on? Click the link to see more details on Google Trends.




Practice Post

Editor’s note: This story was originally posted on Dec. 12, 2012 and is housed at It’s been repurposed with permission for this assignment:



By Bob Smith


Gov. Pat Quinn visited DePaul University’s Loop campus on Wedsenday to discuss how pension reform is harming the Monetary Award Program (MAP) college scholarships and access to higher education in Illinois.


“This is so important to our state, not only in the past, but certainly now and in the future,” Quinn said.
“We want everyone to have the opportunity to go to college that has the ability to go to college.”


MAP grants are need-based college scholarships that allow merit students who are in need across the state and do not need to be repaid by the student. Quinn said that due to cutbacks and having to pay more money in the pension amount, almost 18,000 students lost their MAP grant scholarships this year.

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