Speaking Up Regarding Animal Welfare League; Purrs to Lincoln State Cat Show


I begin my WGN radio show, Steve Dale’s Pet World, with a message (listen to HERE) to the Board of Directors of the Animal Welfare League (AWL) of Chicago and Chicago Ridge. There is no doubt that at least some of the serious allegations against AWL must be true. After all, various individuals have provided documentation. And, there are so many credible sources—unrelated to one one another—that are telling similar stories, some of which are horrifying.

If the board doesn’t take action, others ultimately will.

I don’t know if the board is merely sticking their heads in the sand or huddling together in defense. It doesn’t matter. 

Ultimately, it will come to the responsible Village Trustees of Chicago Ridge who will take action as they can; lawyers will nullify contracts AWL has with various communities; there will be lawsuits, and as a result of all of the bad press donors will stop giving. Ultimately, as trust is lost, bequests will be lost as people change their wills.

Even though AWL is not a municipal shelter—but instead a private organization—they are still beholden to the public they serve, and they are certainly beholden to the law. Animal advocates aren’t going away on this one. In any case, I’m not.

Having said that, all people really want is change. Chicago desperately needs the AWL, and everyone in animal welfare knows it. But, being needed can no longer be any explanation or excuse for being inhumane or reckless. Even shelter animals merit the five freedoms and the best care possible, and that’s true even for open admission facilities such as AWL.

In other news, the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine is alerting pet owners about potential pentobarbital contamination in 31 canned dog foods manufactured by the J.M. Smucker Company. Check HERE for further details.

Cary Plummer is the co-chair of the Lincoln State Cat Show, one of most noteworthy cat shows in America, but what is a cat show all about? Do people strut around the ring with a cat at the end of the leash? We describe what happens at a cat show and how the Best in Show—and all the cats—are judged. Of course, Siamese and Maine Coon will be there, but we also talk about some of the more unusual breeds.

There will be around 225 kittens and cats, 40 participating vendors with all things cat—cat food, cat beds, cat toys, catnip, cat jewelry, cat clothing. Some of the proceeds will benefit the nonprofit funder of cat health studies, the Winn Feline Foundation.

There will also be educational presentations. At 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, I will present this talk: “Cat Health Update from 50 Years of Winn Feline Foundation” and “Fearful Cats to Fear Free.”

The Lincoln State Cat Show is February 24 and 25, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. CST at the Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Rd., between Routes 38 and 64 in St. Charles. Admission is $8 for adults; $6 for seniors and children 6 to12 years, and free for those under 6 years old. Here’s a $1 off coupon.

Bonus: All kids will get a free Garfield coloring book about basic cat care!