Cherie Travis helps North Chicago with Animal Law

In January 2010, Cherie Travis, as head of Chicago Animal Care and Control, gave statements to the media concerning the fatal mauling of Johnny Wilson.  Though police, neighbors, and the owners all identified the dogs that killed him as pit bulls, Cherie Travis claimed they were unidentifiable mixed breed dogs.  Two years later, in a comment about the severe mauling of Joseph Finley by pit bulls in January 2012, she finally acknowledged that Wilson's killers were pit bulls.

In September 2010, she was the subject of an undercover TV news investigation because under her watch and in an attempt to go No Kill, she ended up hoarding animals in deplorable conditions.

Last January, she praised a pit bull owner for his good character after he came forward and admitted that the pit bulls that launched a horrific attack on a jogger were his pit bulls.   The attack resulted in the loss of part of Joseph Finley's leg, and the pit bull owner got off with fines and a pat on the back from Travis for his good character.
Joseph Finley's goal is to be able to jog again

In March 2012, she was fired from the CACC.  The only reason given was, "we decided to go a different direction."

She lost her job as  an adjunct professor of animal law at DePaul University's College of Law at the beginning of September 2012.

In late September 2012 she was hit with a lawsuit filed by the Illinois attorney general's office for book keeping irregularities.  Reportedly she wrote checks totaling $70,000 to her mother and a friend from the accounts of the People and Animals in Community Together Humane Society, an animal shelter she had founded.  Though it had once had nonprofit status, that was revoked for failing to file tax returns.

The preceding might explain why in a few days Cherie Travis is slated to speak to the little city of North Chicago about animal law - she's available.

North Chicago was having problems with their animal control department.  It was run for years by 62 year old Ted McClelland and was underfunded and forgotten.  When McClelland left on vacation last year, a "miscommunication" led to the dogs in the pound getting no care for days.  At first, the problem was viewed as lack of attention and funds.  Volunteers came in to help.  But later McClelland left his post and the City of North Chicago has reportedly filed suit against him.

They hired Dana Deutsch to replace McClelland. Deutsch was a no kill shelter manager in Grayslake until she left to found her own private rescue, Ralphie's Place, that seemed to cater to small dog rescue.  Deutsch has connections with Best Friends Animal Society and has declared that she is going to run the eight kennel facility as a no kill shelter.  She reportedly is a soft touch as an animal control officer, not even wanting to use a catch pole because she feels those are scary for dogs.  That sounds endearing until you see her in action with pit bulls. Let's hope she can manage to not get herself mauled.
Is that Fear on her Face?
That looks like fear on her face and looking at that amazing grip that pit has on her hips and the near miss to her wrist, the fear is justified.  Let's hope she learns how to use a catch pole in the near future.

And though North Chicago has BSL - a $500 dollar fee is required to keep a pit bull - Deutsch is taking a kinder, gentler attitude toward that, as well.  She wants people to be able to keep and evidently breed their illegal pit bulls.  Isn't that sweet.  Deutsch has relied on her reputed super networking skills to move the dogs, seemingly mostly pit bulls, through the shelter as fast as they come in.  However, she hit a snag beginning in 2013, seems 30 pits have come in and she's having trouble moving them.  So, instead of enforcing the ordinance in place which would both reduce the number of pit bulls, presumably mostly intact, and potentially bringing in revenue, Deutsch has taken a kindly view to letting people keep their pit bulls and has engaged Cherie Travis to speak to the North Chicago leadership.  Wonder what she's gonna say…BSL bad…pit bulls good!

And here's what's going to happen, Deutsch is going to dazzle the leaders of North Chicago with her ability to bring in donations in the short term and tell them that the two phrases, "pit bull" and "no kill" are money magnets.  Then she is going to lobby for scarce resources to be put toward a larger and better animal control facility promising that "it will pay for itself."

Soon after the bigger, better facility is built, it will be stuffed to the gills with pit bulls, and the city of North Chicago will hear the phrase "urgent need" a lot.  Oh, and bite statistics will skyrocket.  How do I know?  I looked at what happened in Austin TX.
Austin Animal Services' new No Kill success adopting out "large breed dogs with behavior issues," coincided exactly with a 35% surge in reported dog bites.  Also, predictably, the most infamous "large breed with behavior issue" dog of all time, the pit bull, led the bite count, accounting for 22% of bites even though it represents 10% of the registered dog population.
I urge the leaders of North Chicago to read about what happened in Austin TX, and Elgin IL and to remember that within the last two weeks 2 children were mauled to death by pit bulls within a 200 mile radius of your city.  And I urge North Chicago to keep and require Deutsch to enforce your pit bull regulation, and if anything strengthen it or require spay and neutering as well as the $500 dollar fee.  Your animal control officer should be spending most of her time keeping North Chicago free of potentially dangerous dogs, and less of her time in a futile attempt to network an uncontrolled pit bull population away.

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Related Posts:
Who runs CACC and why won't Chicago Punish Irresponsible Pit Bull Owners?
Jan 2, 2013 Jogger who lost leg wants pit bull regulation