The Village of Dolton, IL indicates on its website that it uses Cook Co for its animal control services. It’s not clear that either the village or the county has a facility to shelter animals. But the ABC affiliate in Chicago reports that Dolton pays a private vet clinic, the Dolton Animal Hospital, to care for strays:
The Village of Dolton has had a long-time agreement with the hospital to drop off strays, even when the facility is closed. The hospital gets a fee from the village to take care of the strays.
On Sunday, a Dolton police officer was dropping off a stray dog at the vet clinic and observed conditions reflecting serious neglect. Four of the dogs in the hospital were dead in their cages, urine and feces were everywhere, and nine other dogs and one cat were starving to death.
Dep. Chief Michael Anton of the Cook County Sheriff’s Police said the animals “were very close to dying” at the time they were removed by authorities on Sunday.
“As far as we know, we have not had any complaints here,” Dep. Chief Anton said.
That does not appear to be the case, per reporting form the CBS affiliate in Chicago:
Tina Robinson says her dog Duke was like a member of her family when she boarded the dog at the hospital for a week back in July. It that was the last time she saw her beloved pet alive.
She said the dog was healthy.
Robinson says she notified village officials about her concerns but was told nothing could be done about the hospital.
The Cook County sheriff’s police are investigating the clinic, which has been ordered closed, and have questioned an employee. No arrests have been made at this time. The CBS reporter got a brief moment to speak with the clinic’s owner on camera, but he seems lackadaisical about dead dogs rotting in his hospital, noting to the reporter that they were all strays, so pfft:
“It’s a sad situation, but we’ll look into it and get back to you if there’s anything more,” said Dr. Amardeep Sangha, describing what happened inside his hospital.
Sangha says he’s been in business for 20 years. He says some of the animals are strays brought to him by the village in many cases already sick and dying.
He says the four dead dogs had all been abandoned to the streets.
“Those are all stray dogs.”
Gee, if only there was someone who went to vet school who was getting paid to take care of these animals. dot dot dot
Cook Co AC took the surviving animals away to an unnamed shelter. No word on whether those animals are now being cared for properly or if they’ve been killed. The vet reportedly hasn’t been seen since his interview with the TV news and police have not spoken to him.
It seems hard to believe this kind of squalor developed in a vacuum. What about the previous dog who was left by police officers or ACOs at this place – did anyone notice anything wrong then? Or the pet before that? Or anyone, anytime, anything? Did Dolton officials simply keep handing over checks to Dr. Sangha, asking no questions? Did they communicate with the officers who dropped off stray pets at the hospital? What about the lady whose healthy dog died while being boarded there – was her complaint filed in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’? How deep does the incompetence run in
(Thank you to everyone who sent me this story.)