Chicago Names New Executive Director Animal Control



Appointment comes after expansive search, input from stakeholder groups

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today named Susan Russell as Executive Director for the Commission on Animal Care and Control (CACC). The City worked closely with national and local animal advocacy organizations and welfare groups to garner input and help identify qualified candidates. Russell was recommended to Mayor Emanuel by an advisory group formed to assist through the candidate selection process and provide recommendations.

“I want to thank the advisory committee for their work to identify the best candidate to lead CACC; this organization works closely with other animal welfare organizations, which is why it was imperative that community stakeholders be a part of the selection process,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Susan has my full confidence to begin a new chapter at CACC that will increase transparency, build partnerships, and improve outcomes for both animals and the public.”

An attorney by trade, Russell has been an active volunteer over the past 20 years in a number of animal and community groups, including CACC. In fact, she has been instrumental in evolving the CACC/Friends of Chicago Animal Care and Control’s (FCACC) volunteer program, which provides volunteer orientations and training. To educate children about compassion toward animals and environmental responsibility, Russell has authored several children’s books, including Shelter Dog Kisses and We Can’t Go There. We’re Bears. The most recent book she authored, A Ruff Road Home: The Court Case Dogs of Chicago, recounts the stories of dogs once caught in Chicago’s court system after being confiscated from neglectful or abusive owners and their journey from the City shelter and Safe Humane Chicago’s Court Case Dog Program into loving and supportive homes.

“I’m honored, humbled and grateful for this opportunity to work in partnership with a multitude of stakeholders who have a shared vision for making Chicago a leader in protecting and respecting companion animals,” said Susan Russell. “I am excited about building on the many successes CACC and its partners have achieved to date like saving more lives and providing valuable community and public services.”

Russell previously worked at Kaplan, Massamillo & Andrews LLC, where she litigated tort and commercial lawsuits in state and federal courts. She is a member of the Chicago Bar Association’s Animal Law Committee and the Safe Humane Chicago attorney committee, as well as a Friends of Chicago Animal Care and Control volunteer.

(I know Susan….and am enthused….was proud make the first announcement on WGN Radio – getting ‘the scoop,’ This is good for Chicago!)