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City Shuts Down 2 Animal Hospitals

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One of two animal clinics operated by Joseph Luka have been shut down by the city. (CBS)

One of two animal clinics operated by Joseph Luka have been shut down by the city. (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — They are hospitals licensed to provide medical care for dogs, cats and other sick or injured animals.

But now two of them have been shut down in Chicago, their licenses suspended by the city because of cleanliness issues and some even more dangerous practices, CBS2’s Mike Parker reports.

The clinics are owned and operated by Dr. Joseph Luka of Skokie. One, the Delta Animal Hospital, is in the 2100 block of West Chicago Avenue, the other is at 635 N. Western Ave.

“Sharps Containers” are designed for used needles and syringes, to keep them from injuring or infecting anyone.  The city’s animal care and control director says there were no such protective containers being used at either clinic.

 “There  were syringes that were left uncapped that had traces of blood and medicine on them that were not in a Sharps Container, which is the way it should have been handled,” Cherie Travis said.

 The city also says that dangerous drugs were not secured in locked cabinets. Also, Travis says the expiration date on some drugs was long past, leaving doubts about their potency.

Luka maintains that he is the victim of harassment by the city.

“I am doing this business for 35 years. There are no violations like that. They are harassing me. This is coming from higher-ups,” he told CBS 2.

Web-posters who say they’ve patronized the clinics have been complaining for some time. One wrote, “Please someone read this and save the animals in this disgusting place.”

Travis says she is unaware of those postings.

“We are very neutral and objective and our vet goes in with an inspector, and it is really what (they) are able to see for themselves,” she said.

CBS2 found what may be another violation at the clinics. The law says a large green and white sign reading “License Suspended” must be posted in plain sight. There were no such signs late Friday at either location.

 If Luka wants his license reinstated, he has to apply for re-inspection and then pass that inspection.

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