Home Entertainment As facilities fill up, advocates call for regional center for stray pets

As facilities fill up, advocates call for regional center for stray pets

As facilities fill up, advocates call for regional center for stray pets

Jennifer Riordan of Many Paws Global Rescue in Palatine pets Viggo, a German shepherd that arrived at the shelter malnourished, as one of her dogs, Geno, sits beside them. She is calling attention to the need for a regional animal shelter.
Joe Lewnard/[email protected]
Jennifer Riordan of Many Paws Global Rescue in Palatine, with Ruthie, a pointer mix that is one of two of the “Pointer Sisters” there at the shelter.
Joe Lewnard/[email protected]

As northwest suburban pet care facilities that take in stray animals struggle to find enough space to meet the demand, some advocates are calling for the creation of a regional intake center to house lost and abandoned pets.

The issue came to the forefront this week when Golf Rose Animal Services in Schaumburg, a stray holding facility used by several area police departments, announced on Facebook it will temporarily stop accepting strays because it had reached maximum capacity.

“Golf Rose is not an animal shelter, and we need more support to save more strays’ lives,” the post reads. “Some of the pets in our custody have been here weeks (even months) after their stray hold ends because we are NOT interested in euthanizing perfectly healthy animals.”

When Mount Prospect police learned of the decision, it “kind of put us in the panic mode a little bit,” Officer Greg Sill said. The department has since been able to find a holding facility in Northbrook-based Border Tails Rescue, he said.

Jennifer Shallow, Golf Rose’s multisite hospital director, said the center holds strays at its pet lodge for at least the seven days as required by Illinois law. Staff feeds and cleans up after them and gives them play time.

“We have 10 dogs that are well overdue for the seven days,” Shallow said, adding that some have been at the lodge since January.

Golf Rose said one reason for the growing demand is that some local rescue groups are taking in animals from out of state.

“While that is still helping animals, we ask that you please consider the pets that are right here in our own backyard,” the center’s Facebook post states.

Shallow said the center, which has relationships with the Schaumburg, Elgin, Hoffman Estates and Streamwood police departments, is working with the Northwest Rescue Network Team to find people interested in fostering stray pets.

“We don’t want to euthanize healthy and good dogs,” Shallow said. “I don’t think it’s fair to be on us to make that decision.”

Palatine police send stray dogs to Many Paws Global Rescue and cats to Barb’s Precious Rescue, both in the village.

Many Paws Global Rescue boards strays at Baxter & Beasley, a Palatine day care, boarding and training facility.

One of the dogs there is Viggo, who was found near a restaurant at Rand and Dundee roads in Palatine. Many Paws founder Jennifer Riordan said the German shepherd was “skin and bones” but has since gained 10 pounds.

“I have had a couple of (strays) that have literally have been in foster homes for about a year with zero interest,” she added.

Riordan said one problem is that the Northwest Suburbs lacks a dedicated facility that accepts stray animals. She pointed to the Evanston Animal Shelter, Chicago Animal Care and Control, and the South Suburban Humane Society as examples of such facilities.

In the meantime, she also urges people to consider fostering.

“It makes a difference in the animals’ lives, and it costs nothing except opening your heart and your home for a short amount of time,” Riordan said.