City Shuts Down 2 Animal Hospitals

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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  • Joann Butkus

    There are many more that need serious investigating, South Western Animal Hospital for one and it’s affiliate on S. Harlem Ave. Dr. Botros, years ago decided that he preferred profiteering to medical care for my then 3 yo husky mix who was later diagnosed with a torn ACL! by a REAL VET! thhis quack, Botros was squeezing me foe $100. month for “medication” he called an herbal that would cure her bad limp! after 7 years of her hair and teeth falling out, he admitted to another vet that he had been giving her steroids to mask the pain! I had her treated surgically and she got a little better after 7 yrs of agony! I confronted him and his response was “I didn’t think you could afford the surgery”! All I could do was walked out because I wasnted to kick him in the teeth! All those years that seet, wonderful dog suffered because of his greed!!!

  • logical

    This is beyond terrible. When a veterinarian or shelter/sanctuary lets the animals down, what’s left? There need to be more such inspections and closures. These people have no heart and the animals only suffer more at their hands.

    • Chicago12

      Wow, saying the people at Delta have no heart because they were cited for not having sharps containers – are you nuts!? Try putting things in perspective next time.


    I left my min pin at Delta for boarding for one week while on vacation. My dog has never been the same. This place has a horrible smell as soon as you walk thru the door. The front desk clerks don’t have a clue about animals. I have never returned to this place since………….and encourage others to do the same.

  • Jeannette

    ” Do unto others as you want them to do to you” comes to mind here….
    They should to to him and those that allowed it the very same thing, including those that work there and WATCH IT HAPPEN to these poor creatures who can`t speak for themselves .
    It`s heartbreaking. How disgusting.

  • Matt

    I had a feeling this was the Chicago Ave clinic.
    I think Dr. Luke cares about animals, it’s just not the cleanest place.
    It is about half the cost for what that’s worth.

  • annie

    This clinics should be shut down for good. The concern of all affected and their beloved pets are their health and their well being.
    Should animals be neglected or treated the wrong way? What about parasites.
    No wonder lots of dogs and cats are dying all over the place because of syringes left in tables without proper care and then inject other animals with the same needles and cause illnesses of all kinds to animals.
    This vets are making tons of money making animals more ill.

  • Julie

    I agree this may not be the cleanest of places but my pets have ALWAYS gotten good and caring treatment from Dr. Luka. He actually cares for the animals and provided honest service at about half the cost of many others in the area. He worked with families to provide care for their pets when others would turn them away without cash up front. I wish him all the best in his rehab and plan to continue to bring my pets there for years to come, I hope!

    • CP

      This vet is a guy who will not turn any pet away for any reason. This vet is operating on a shoe string budget so It isn’t as pretty as VCA or others but it is half the cost. I won’t take my pets there if they require a specialist but for the everyday situation, they do just fine.

  • David Matt

    I think you people r just being prejudice and ignorant against foreigners. Wow I can’t believe you so called Americans. This isn’t Arizona, this is Chicago.

  • Chicago12

    I’ve been here a few times and think they really do a service for people who can’t afford a more expensive vet. Sure, it’s not the cleanest or most up-to-date vet, but the prices are beyond reasonable. I love my pets more than anything, but we ARE talking about a vet here, not a doctor.

  • Chris

    Agree completely! Delta is a bare-bones operation but Dr. Luka and his daughter care for the animals and provide very inexpensive essential care.

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