Now Every Dog Doesn't Have His Day

Animal Care Center cuts hours, reducing animals' chances of adoption

The old adage says, "Every dog has its day."

But the David R. Lee Animal Care Shelter will be seeing a lot fewer days, and consequently the dogs (and cats) there will have fewer opportunities to be adopted.

The shelter (2741 S Western Ave) -- run by the Commission on Animal Care and Control -- had to drastically cut its hours from 49 hours a week to 17 because of budget cuts and mandated layoffs.

The city also closed the adoption center on Sundays, which had historically been one of its busiest days.

"The fear among the volunteers is that more animals will be euthanized because people will not be able to access the shelter during the hours most convenient to the public," volunteer Katharine Wilson told the Sun-Times.

Volunteer Dee Brodlo added, "We're losing out on all those people [who showed up on Sunday] who were turned away. It's almost like they're making it impossible for someone to come and adopt."

Many pet owners have had to give up their beloved dogs and cats due to the current economic situation, unable to afford the extra expense. Voluntary surrenders of dogs are up at least 20 percent. But while the shelter is receiving more animals, the cut hours mean fewer adoptions.

"There's only so much room in the adoption pavilion," Brodlo explained. To prevent overcrowding, more animals may have to be euthanized.

Another volunteer, Marvin Feutz, said, "It's ironic that we're doing this to the dogs and cats of Chicago the year I'm paying $120 for my city [vehicle sticker] that has 'Dog Friendly Chicago' as the motto."

Sandra Alfred, acting executive director of Animal Care and Control, said that the volunteers' concerns have been heard, and a new schedule is in the works.

Matt Bartosik, editor of Off the Rocks' next issue, doesn't own any pets... yet.

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