Rescue Dog Accidentally Killed at Chicago Animal Control: BGA

Another dog may have recently been choked to death, BGA says

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Chance, a 5-year-old mixed breed was brought to Chicago Animal Care and Control as a stray last month just waiting for a rescue. Instead he was accidentally euthanized because he wasn't put on the "do not kill list," according to an investigation by the Better Government Association.

    It's not the only incident the BGA is reporting. In recent weeks, an Animal Care employee may have choked a dog to death by using a "catch pole" while bringing the dog into the pound.

    "This is a sad situation," Andy Shaw, president and CEO of the BGA, told NBC 5. "Two dogs killed unnecessarily, one of whom would have been adopted and given a good home but was mistakenly euthanized. The other possibly hanged as a way of killing him, totally unacceptable."

    Shaw said it's "unacceptable" for dogs to be killed inhumanely or unnecessarily, and "this seems to be happening over and over."

    "This is one of several investigations we've done that almost seem like carbon copies of one another," he said. 

    The city released a statement Friday about the cases, calling them "very unfortunate and rare incidents."

    In Chance's case, a city spokesman said he was held for the statutory five-day period after being brought in on April 16. During that time, his photo was posted online and accessible to potential owners. When no one came forward, Chance's stray hold ended and he was placed in rescue status, making his information available to rescue transfer partners.

    He stayed on the list until April 25, the city said in a statement, and was humanely euthanized.

    "At no time during this animal’s nine-day stay did any of the 200 rescue organizations that CACC partners with place a rescue interest hold or a firm hold on the animal, tools available to our partners to indicating a willingness to take the animal from our facility."
     
    In the case of the second animal, the city described the dog as a "highly aggressive, unaltered large male dog" identified as a pit bull. As he was brought to Animal Control to be given up by his owner, the dog became aggressive. Three employees tried to calm him down, the city said, and he passed away.

    "CACC immediately initiated an investigation, identifying personnel rule violations and disciplining three employees."

    But the BGA is demanding more.

    "It's dogs and not people, but the same principles of good government apply," Shaw said. "This agency has to be run effectively and humanely. It's got our tax dollars and these kinds of mistakes have to stop.”

    This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, according to the Chicago Inspector General’s Office. The office said Animal Care and Control has a list of reports from prior years.

    The Executive director of Animal Care was not available for comment but told the BGA "the staff could have acted more appropriately than they did."

    The Better Government Association promotes reform through investigative journalism, civic engagement and advocacy. We're a watchdog, shining a light on government and holding public officials accountable.