Saturday, March 15, 2008

City of Chicago Animal Care & Control

Today was my first day volunteering at the City of Chicago Animal Control (CACC). I chose to volunteer here because this is the shelter that has the most volume of animals, the least amount of funds, and needs the most help. Sadly, due to the incredible volume of animals that are brought in, this is not a no-kill shelter. However, CACC does everything possible to get every animal a good, forever home. That's where the volunteers come in. Volunteers walk and play with dogs, exercising and socializing them, and making hem more adoptable. Volunteers also assist the public in finding a pet to adopt. This shelter is run by the city, and therefore runs on very limited funds. If a dog is going to get walked, or a cat is going to be adopted, it is because of a volunteer. In that sense, the volunteers are literally saving the lives of these animals.

I attended orientation and learned about the process, the rules, and then was given free reign to take out some dogs! My first few walks were with another volunteer to show me the ropes. It's a little intimidating at first, and somewhat tricky in that the number one rule is to make sure no two dogs come in contact with one another. With the hundreds of dogs at the shelter, that can be somewhat difficult! My first dog on my own was a rambunctious dog named "Brandy". We ran around the large enclosed yard and then inside the "dog run" kennel where we played ball. There were enough volunteers today that I was able to spend a good amount of time with Brandy. There are other days when some dogs do not get walked at all due to lack of volunteers.

You can see animals at the CACC on pet finder if you are looking to adopt! Click here: PETFINDER.

The people I met today were really great. You can tell they are all obviously animal lovers. Everyone there wants to help these animals get a loving, forever home. I'm so glad to be a part of it!

Of course, Razzle was in my thoughts all day today. As I played with Brandy and said, "Good job!!" when we were playing in the dog run, I was reminded of how I would say that to Razzle when he was running on his wheel. I do credit Razzle as the reason I was at the shelter today. Even though the CACC doesn't have hedgehogs or exotic pets, Razzle really made me realize how many animals need our help.

I can't wait to go back tomorrow!!


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HedgieMate said...

It's so great that you're doing this. In our city (population of the city core is 2.5+ mil), the Humane Society is packed to the hilt too. It's a no-kill facility.

A good friend of mine has been a long-time volunteer there. She walks dogs, feed sick kittens, and fosters sick dogs and cats at home. She used to believe the no-kill policy was the way to go but isn't so sure anymore. According to her, a good number of seriously ill or chronical ill animals are kept alive just because of the policy. She thinks it would be a lot more humane to help those animals cross, instead of keeping them barely breathing on tubes. The facility is so crowded that they have no choice but to turn some animals away too because of the policy. It's a very sad situation...

I helped my friend feed sick kittens one day. It was absolutely heart-wrenching to see how many animals were there. I was in tears almost all the time I was at the facility. I couldn't bring myself to help her again because I was so emotionally disturbed by it all.

Again, I'm so glad you're doing this. I can't think of any better tribute to Razzle. I'm so sure of, he is smiling upon you and saying, "Way to go, mom!"

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