CHICAGO (CBS) — During the coldest days of this winter, Chicago Animal Care and Control failed to respond to dozens of calls about possible inhumane treatment of pets.

WBBM’s Steve Miller has the story.

“Spike!” the owner whistles.

He calls him several times.

Spike the dog lived in a wooden lean-to outside a West Side business. Spike’s owner told us Spike kept thieves away.

When we visited it was 11 degrees.

WBBM: You think he’s all right?

“Oh yeah.”

A lean-to where Spike the dog lived. (Credit: Steve Miller)

A lean-to where Spike the dog lived. (Credit: Steve Miller)

Chicago Animal Care and Control visited before we did after at least one neighbor complained that the dog was “living outside for long periods on a chain out in the cold.”

We were there three weeks after Chicago Animal Care and Control marked the case “completed.”

We found Spike still in the lean-to that barely kept out the cold. Spike was lethargic.

“Spike!” the owner called.

WBBM: Do you think – is it warm enough, do you think?

“I think it’s warm. I think it’s warm in there,” the owner responded.

But it was apparently not.

The next day, the owner voluntarily gave Spike over to a not-for-profit animal welfare group.

Spike. (Credit: Steve Miller)

Spike. (Credit: Steve Miller)

Should Chicago Animal Care and Control have done more? We don’t presume to answer that here.

Whether the city did enough or not, it took only a week for them to mark the case “completed.”

That was after WBBM alerted the city that we were looking at open cases.

They sent us more than 400 – a backlog of calls about the possible inhumane treatment of pets that went all the way back to August of last year.

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