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Animal Control Director: Facility Has Improved Dramatically

Inmates Clean Animal Shelter

Cook County Jail inmates clean kennels at the Chicago Animal Care and Control shelter, as part of a new program. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The city’s Director of Animal Care and Control says onetime problems at the sprawling facility at 27th Street and Western Avenue are well under control these days.

As WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, director Cherie Travis argues the situation was better than it appeared, but she doesn’t deny news stories over a year ago that portrayed the administration’s facility as filthy and with some ill animals.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

That was just after she took over, she says.

“We were short-staffed at the time. We were down veterinarians. Our shelter manager was gone for two months, and summers are peak time for animals coming in, so it was a very difficult time,” Travis said.
Today—she says—the facility is fully staffed, and 16 inmates from the Cook County Jail clean animal’s cages every day.

“I think the place is incredibly clean,” she said. “I get nothing but good feedback from people – even the volunteers, who say, ‘You walk in here, you can’t even smell that there’s hundreds of animals here,’” Travis said.

Managing Editor Julie Mann talks with Travis and takes a tour on WBBM Newsradio’s “At Issue” program this weekend, and you can hear more Sunday evening at 9:30 p.m.