“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.
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:
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.
Survivor cats and dogs lined up outside of the Anti-Cruelty Chicago from Lee County, Florida for Hurricane Irma. Credit: Instagram.com/anticruelty
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:
- Adopt a pet
- Microchip your animals
- Neuter your pets
- 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.
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.