If you follow our Facebook page, you will see that I spoke to one of the people responsible for the wording of this bill – the administrator of Macoupin County. She, Senator Andy Manar and the Department of Agriculture all worked together to create a bill that stipulates that any stray/found dog or cat must first go to animal control before going to a shelter. Even if an animal is surrendered to a shelter, that shelter must turn the animal over to animal control by the next day.
You can check on the status of the bill here.
This bill came about because a rescue organization seized a dog, claimed it was ill and not receiving the care it required and refused to return the dog despite pressure from animal control and the Department of Agriculture. Documentation of the dog’s state of health did not support their claims yet it took 23 days to get the dog back from them. This is a terrible story and there is no doubt that there are a few irresponsible, misguided people in animal rescue. The response to this incident has been much too broad, affecting all of the rescues, shelters and animal controls in the entire state of Illinois. This is a low-population area of Illinois and they do not deal with the volume that the rest of the state handles.
Update - As many of you may have heard by now, this bill has been tabled. This link points to an article that describes what happened.
- Most animal controls use rabies tag funds to support themselves, not tax dollars (limited income, not expected to increase).
- The litter of kittens found under a bush, the friendly cat that someone abandoned, the 10-year old cat from an 80 year old former volunteer who has died – NONE of these cats could be surrendered to a shelter without that shelter having to turn around and send it to County.
- County has limited space, money, people. The system in place has been working, gradually reducing the number of animals euthanized, more animals are being placed with the networking done directly with shelters, and Animal Control has been benefiting greatly.
Read the detail, contact your Illinois House Representative by phone, e-mail, Facebook and keep it up until you hear that amendments have been proposed and/or implemented. Senator Manar can also suggest amendments to this bill, even tho it has already passed. We can only give you the information, it takes each and every one of you to act on this and prevent our animal welfare in the State of Illinois from going backwards to huge numbers of animals being euthanized.
Rock and a Hard Place
It can take several days to write these letters. I started it on Friday and here it is Monday. We finally trapped a female after trying for several weeks to finish up a colony. Got her on Saturday. PAWS is typically insanely busy on Mother’s Day, so, thinking she was not too far along in her pregnancy, I didn’t really worry that we wouldn’t be able to get to PAWS until Wednesday at the earliest.
This morning I went into the garage to the sound of impatient yelling. Kittens wanting to nurse. Four black & white and white & black little guys. This is the fourth time this year and each time I have really wanted to cry. They are now in a dog crate with a litter box and food, hoping for a quiet garage to move them to, to be fostered for the next five weeks – my garage is way too hectic and can get very warm.
I called Judy to let her know we needed another spot for these guys. She had just picked up a litter of seven and had a trap set for the mom – the kittens were in a hollowed out willow tree and with the severe weather coming, it just wasn’t a good place for them. Called back a message on our voicemail – they have two litters, one of three week old's and another of six week old's.
- Foster space for the moms & babies
- Foster for the kittens when they are five+ weeks old
- 48” long wire dog crates that pop up (much more secure than post kind)
- Kitten chow
- KMR powder
What is different about this year? People are calling us, seeing the kittens and wanting to do something about it! They have an idea of who the moms are, how old the cats are, they are working harder to resolve the situation they find themselves in!
We will be moving the kittens on to shelters as soon as they are old enough or the shelters have fosters. Please help us, help them!