Make Chicago Animal Shelters Into No-Kill Facilities

Target: Ivan Capifali, Executive Director of Chicago Animal Care and Control

Goal: Adopt no-kill policies for Chicago animal shelters.

Over the past two years, the Chicago city pound has killed over 10,000 potential pets, costing Chicago taxpayers over $1 million. Pit bulls in particular stand little chance of survival; Chicago Animal Care and Control (CACC) reportedly euthanizes over half of the pit bulls that come into its care.

At a recent City Council meeting, Chicago legislators Edward Burke and Ray Lopez proposed a resolution that would make euthanasia a last resort for the city’s animal shelters. The objective is to put money and resources into finding homes for the animals in question, provided they are healthy and fit for adoption.

Euthanasia is too often used as an expedient solution to the problem of overpopulation in shelters. According to Ray Lopez, Chicago spends “about one-third of what most major cities spend on animal control. It’s a social issue…. And if we’re truly serious about protecting our pets and giving them the best opportunity, we need to put our money where our mouth is.”

Considering how much it already costs to kill “surplus” animals, spending a little more money to ensure that these animals are properly cared for should be uncontroversial. Encouragingly, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has all but sponsored the initiative. “I want to look at the details of this resolution,” he said. “But anything that gets us closer to a more humane effort as it relates to dogs particularly—that’s going to be something that’s dear to my heart.”

Please lend your support to the no-kill resolution by signing the below petition urging the CACC to make euthanasia a last resort for healthy, adoptable animals.


Mr. Capifali,

It pains me to learn that thousands of healthy animals are euthanized by Chicago Animal Care and Control every year. These animals have just as much a right to their lives as you and I do, and there are plenty of people who are prepared to adopt them as pets. While it is understandable that sick animals with a diminished quality of life are put to sleep, euthanasia should not be used to manage shelter populations; doing so is inhumane.

If passed, the recent no-kill resolution introduced by Chicago aldermen Edward Burke and Ray Lopez would be a godsend for all of these innocent and loving creatures. I thereby urge you to do your part in fostering a no-kill policy for all of Chicago’s animal shelters. Pets should be protected and loved; not killed.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Galawebdesign

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  1. Jenna Miles says:

    No kill shelters are well intentioned, but we don’t live in a no kill society. No kill shelters must either turn animals away or become hoarders, neither of which is best for the animal. If shelters turn animals away, they are abandoned, left to breed, or deliberately killed. The animals turned away will then give birth to more needy animals. No birth is the answer, not limited admission.

    We shouldn’t be criticizing shelters when they must euthanize, we should help them reduce their statistics, by spaying and neutering, adopting and fostering.

    • Didn’t read your comment before I added mine, but I concur with your view completely. Now, it’s time for taxpayers to demand more from the shelters in their communities.

    • Gerard O'Leary says:

      No comment on the profitable pet industry, which critically relies on ‘humane’ shelters to eliminate the ‘surplus stock'( much as surplus veggies and meat is destroyed by food industries to keep market prices up) and thus secure more business We need animal rights, not bogus ‘animal welfare’ which only serves the interests of profiteers and exploiters

  2. Better still, instead of these so-called “shelters” spending the money they get from taxpayers to impound and kill instead, force them to spay and neuter. For every one cat/dog that is sterilized, facilities don’t have to pay to impound and kill it’s numerous offspring. Cities who implement low-cost/no-cost spay neuter programs(free spay/neuter for strays and ferals) see an marked drop in the number of cats and dogs impounded within a very short period of time. Statistics also show that the abuse against animals rate also drops drastically.These agencies should have to have something to show for the money they’re given. Putting the money on spay/neutering does thatm while impounding and killing does not.

    • Gerard O'Leary says:

      Vets ( or at least those in Canada’s larger cities) charge $250 or plus typically for neutering female cats, and to show their compassion ( eye roll ) have resisted the ‘pet mobile’ sterilizing concept seen in Florida and other states. Sterilizing pets is still a profit, not humane, venture among some mentalities.

  3. Problem with “no kills” (and I’m not AGAINST them, just trying to clarify the argument which is sometimes simplistic)….if the 10,000 animals that were killed at the Chicago shelter had not been killed, and since we KNOW there are not enough homes for all of them….were would they be right now if alive? In what building? And who would pay to feed them, keep them exercised, pay for vet bills etc? NOT the taxpayers, if asked, I can assure you!

    Most “no kill” shelters have 200-400 animals……the typical big city county shelter takes in THOUSANDS YEARLY…..meanwhile the puppy mill industry is adding 500,000+ new dogs to our society yearly, and naive, well meaning people are bringing in hundreds of dogs from overseas to “save” them…..we cannot ABSORB all these dogs…..not with landlords becoming stricter about pets, with BSL legislation, with home owners insurance being raised or cancelled for owning “certain” breeds…..with issues like the town in Minnesota where the city council simply VOTED to hold all households to two dogs only…..not legal, I think, but they did it……

    We have to know what we are fighting against and for….

  4. no kill shelters can happen . must get the taxpayers to use their voice for the animals now.

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