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

WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller continues our series of reports.

Why does it take Chicago so long to check out reports of possible animal mistreatment?

For one thing, Chicago Animal Care and Control receives a lot of calls; approximately 58,000 requests for service a year.

Brad Powers, assistant to the director, said only 8 percent of those requests are about possible inhumane treatment. The department’s staff of 19 animal control officers focuses on separating more glaring complaints, such as a possible public safety concern, from service requests that might not be so pressing.

“We’re not going to handle that more quickly just to get someone present at every single address where someone has filed a complaint,” he said.

Approximately 2,500 calls about possible inhumane treatment came in between August of last year up to February of this year. By the Feb. 1, 16 percent of them had not received a response.

For part one of Steve Miller’s series, click here. For part two, click here.