Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Eighteen of the 20 largest banks in the world and more than 50 foreign banks have offices in Cook County.
   
     
     
     



Stray Cats Hearing: Feline Advocates, Bird Watchers Spar

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
DNAinfo.com
by Ted Cox

Cat advocates overran bird watchers at a hearing on Cook County's feral-cat colonies Tuesday.

Yet with Commissioner Larry Suffredin (D-Evanston) insisting nothing was formally at stake, the two sides produced surprising agreements, starting with their mutual interest in taking stray cats off the streets.

Jenny Schlueter, a feral-cat caretaker in Humboldt Park and director of development for Tree House Humane Society, spoke for many when she said the two sides "both want the same thing. We want fewer free-roaming cats."

But they did clash over how to achieve that end, as they had in the past.

"We're not anti-cats," said Donnie Dann, an Illinois Nature Preserves commissioner. Yet he said a recent study estimating that cats kill 2.4 billion North American birds a year "settles any argument" about whether cats damage the environment. He went on to attack the county-approved cat colonies, based on a program to trap, neuter and release feral cats.

"TNR has not been a successful method for control," Dann said, calling it "a failed strategy."

While cat advocates decried euthanasia for strays, Dann said, "We object to another E word, extinction."

Yet Collette Walker, of Triple R Pets, one of three leading agencies administering the cat colonies, rallied dozens of the agency's 486 cat caretakers, and they dominated public comment at the hearing, albeit politely.

"This is a policy we know works," Walker said, and she was echoed by other cat caretakers.

Leading up to the hearing, the line to get into the audience gallery stretched down the hallway outside the County Board Meeting Room and into the elevator lobby. Estimates of those trying to get in ranged from 100 to 200.

Ann-Marie Shapiro, a federal research ecologist, attacked the "extremely weak science" in the report on cat carnage, adding, "I'm kind of surprised it was even published."

Judy Pollock of Evanston, however, attacked the "secretive" nature of many cat colonies and their caretakers, saying, "We haven't seen the study that says TNR works."

Dr. Donna Alexander, head of the county's Department of Animal and Rabies Control, tried to address that, saying that before the feral-cat ordinance took effect in 2007, several local municipalities were euthanizing 500 cats a year at an average cost of almost $250 a cat.

“Municipalities were spending $122,500 per year and not reducing the feral-cat population,” Alexander said. “The program has prevented the birth of 336,000 more feral cats and saved municipalities $612,500.”

Rochelle Michalek, executive director of PAWS Chicago, another leading colony sponsor, said that since 2008, 17,500 stray cats had been sterilized and vaccinated in Cook County, at a cost of $1.5 million — all of it privately funded, without any government contributions. She added that colonies reduced an average of 41 percent over three years and estimated there are currently 7,000 cats at the county's 1,000 approved colonies.

"Those number are coming down," Alexander said. "And that is our goal, to reduce the number of free-roaming cats."

Dr. Stanley Gehrt, of the Max McGraw Foundation, testified on a study showing that cats do not go deep into forest preserves, due to threats of falling prey to coyotes.

"They're actually avoiding forest preserves," he said. "Cats and coyotes are separating themselves."

Gehrt vouched for the unbiased nature of the study, saying, "We do not have a dog in the hunt, so to say."

 Many on both sides of the issue said they liked all animals and agreed on that basic goal to reduce free-roaming cats — both house pets and feral strays. "I think you both respect each other's side," concluded Commissioner John Daley (D-Chicago).

"This was never about trying to pit people against one another," Suffredin said.



Recent Headlines

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago
Monday, May 20, 2019
WTTW News

News from the Cook County Health System
Friday, May 17, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Health Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Skokie plans for road improvements near Edens Expressway: 'It’s desperately needed'
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Skokie Review

5 Chicago hospitals earn D grades for patient safety in new report, Northwestern slips to a B
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Backward Glances
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Eliminated Its Gang Database, But Advocates Say Harm Continues
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ News

New Cook County Housing Authority Proposal Targets the 'Missing Middle'
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Census Citizenship Question Could Hurt Citizens, Noncitizens Alike
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

News from Friends of the Forest Preserves
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County commissioners get earful about soon-to-be-destroyed gang database
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Detainee dies days after suicide attempt at Cook County jail
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Curious City How Chicago Women Created The World’s First Juvenile Justice System
Monday, May 13, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County report: Sharp drop in jail population, but crime did not jump
Friday, May 10, 2019
Injustice Watch

Will Cook County be home to the next big measles outbreak? Researchers think so.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

May is Prime Time for Birding in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

More Babies Are Illegally Abandoned Than Turned Over Through Illinois’ Safe Haven Law In Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
CBS Chicago

Empty businesses may lose county tax incentives
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

As new DCFS report highlights failures, Cook County guardian says 'inept' child welfare agency is ‘not doing its job ... at every level’
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County passes bill to stop discrimination against tenant applicants
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Crusader

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP