What is happening at CACC

It’s Tuesday, which means there’s not a whole lot to say. The weekend is far in our review mirror and yet not on the horizon. Sigh. A lot has happened at Chicago Animal Care and Control since I last wrote about it. It can be hard to keep up with all of the news so here’s a quick rundown on what’s been going on.

You may have seen a few posts of mine regarding the number of animals at CACC. They have so many wonderful animals sitting around waiting for a foster or forever home. If you can foster or adopt, please consider so. You can see all the adorable, adoptable pets here.

New Director

The last time we chatted, Susan Russel had just been fired as the Director of CACC. Since it’s a governmental facility, the Director is appointed by the Mayor, and conversely fired as well. Susan was given no warning and her dismissal was much to the dismay of the rescue community. There was a 300+ person protest and meetings with Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The rescue community asked that the Mayor conduct a search for a new Director with their help. Unfortunately, that was not what happened.

When Susan was fired, Kelley Gandurski was named the Acting Director. Kelley was brought on as the Deputy Director and General Counsel of Chicago Animal Care and Control this past May. In September, Kelley was officially appointed the Director of CACC by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Intake at CACC is up

Way up. In 2017, from January 1 through September 30, 11,536 animals were brought into CACC. For the same period this year, 13,649 animals have come into the facility. That’s an 18% increase in animals coming through their doors. If you love statistics, (hey, hi, hello) that means CACC has about 50 animals coming into their facility PER DAY. I’ll let you soak that one up real quick. Fifty. Animals. In 2017, that number is closer to 42 animals per day. Still enormously high, but a huge difference.

Live Release Rates are up at CACC

With more animals coming in, one would expect more animals to be euthanized. Luckily, that’s not quite the case. Let’s take the same period above and look at the numbers (seriously you guys, from history to chemistry, Rescue in Style has everything for you!)

A Live Release Rate is the percentage of animals leaving a shelter alive. This is calculated by adding up the live outcomes (adoptions, transfers, returns) and diving that by the animals that died. This rate does not include euthanasia requests by owners. The Live Release Rate generally gives us a good picture of what is happening at a shelter at a given time.

I calculated this all by myself using the CACC statistics so that you don’t have to. In 2017, the average Live Release Rate over the course of the first nine months was 84.5%. This year, for that same period, the Live Release Rate was 87.4%. Albeit, the LRR was highest for Q1 of this year at just over 90% while Susan Russel was still there. This past quarter was at 85.5%, the lowest of the year.

The bottom line

There is certainly a microscope on Kelley Gandurski and her leadership at CACC. However, rather than judge her, I’m a numbers person and will follow the data. So far, with so many animals coming in, things are looking decent. Of course, I wholeheartedly believe things could be better, but unless we’re able to double (triple?!) the budget at CACC, I think we’re doing as good as can be expected.

There have been a few volunteers who have expressed their anger towards euthanizing certain dogs. I can’t speak to that because I had not met the dogs in question. In a similar fashion, I’m not nearly as involved in these animals’ lives as most volunteers. Therefore, I can only imagine the pain of a favorite dog of my not making it out alive.

My hope is that people give Kelley a chance and to let the numbers speak. I also hope whoever will be our next mayor will be compassionate towards our homeless pets. He (or she!) will listen to the animal welfare community and work with us to save so many lives. Until then, I hope CACC gets a break with intakes and animals remain in their homes.


So many babies!

Lucy – My favorite dog of the day. This sweet chocolate thing was all love and kisses. She really enjoys belly rubs… so much so that she runs full sprint and then rolls over for you to scratch her. She does have a bit of a hard time going back to her kennel but she’s a fantastic girl! She’s available for rescue or adoption, for more information on her call CACC and ask for Animal ID A190196.

Vianne – This mellow girl was so calm when we met her. She was brought into CACC as a stray and it is thought that she was used as a breeding dog. She is about seven years old and was pulled from CACC by German Shepherd Rescue, Inc. She’s good with other dogs and is ready for her forever home! More information about this beautiful girl here.

Lucas – This happy boy LOVES his toys and he’s very good at sharing. He was pulled from CACC by Animal Farm Foundation where he is going through training to become a service dog! Congrats Lucas!

Bonnie and Paige were adopted and are in their forever homes!


I LOVE this sweater. The color, fit, crop… everything is so cute. I bought it from my favorite new boutique called Belle Up. It’s located on the south side in Beverly, Chicago and it’s got something for everyone! I paired this with jeans and my favorite fall booties. Shop the look below!

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Photos: Josh Feeney Photography

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