Allegations of Neglect and Needless Death at IL Pound

The town of Cicero, IL has a pound mired in what appears to be political corruption.  Fox 32 News lays it out:

[T]he shelter’s previous director, Sharon Starczyk, […] was fired in 2009 after she accused town president Dominick of sexual harassment. The town, though, said she was fired for poor management.

Cicero paid Starczyk $500,000 to settle her lawsuit. Dominick then appointed a woman named Erika Rosas to run the shelter, who was working as chief of staff to democratic state representative Lisa Hernandez.

Election records show Rosas has contributed more than $11,000 to Dominick’s political campaign since 2006, including a $5,000 donation two years before she got the job. Rosas has also earned thousands of dollars doing political work for Hernandez, Dominick, and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan.

cicero kitten
Kitten suffering at the Cicero pound, as shown on the Fox 32 News website.

If you’re not too dizzy, you can start preparing yourself to be sick.  (Warning:  there is a slideshow at both news links in this post that contains images of suffering and dead animals at the Cicero pound.  It’s bad.  Even the rats are dying at this place.)

Angela and Cindy, two former volunteers at the Cicero pound, aka the Waggin Tails Animal Shelter, went to the media with 2 months worth of recent photos and videos documenting what look like neglected, dying and dead animals at the facility:

“Parvo, animals dying, animals with infections, upper respiratory, eye infections. They didn’t have water. They didn’t have food. They would sleep in their feces,” Angela said.

Angela shot video on her cellphone when she said she went in one morning and found none of the dogs had water in their bowls and feces filling the cages.

Another video shows a kitten barely able to walk that later died and a nearly dead cat found lying behind its cage.

Angela and Cindy also said rats are rampant and dirty laundry went unwashed for weeks. Angela said she watched a cat give birth to five kittens without any staff attention.

“I came back the next morning, all five of her kittens were dead and they were still laying in the cage with her,” Angela added.

A former part time worker at the pound was horrified at the large number of animals dying there.  That is in addition to the increasing number being killed:

State records show Waggin’ Tails reported euthanizing only eight dogs in fiscal year 2012. That jumped to 66 dogs in 2013 and 338 dogs in fiscal 2014.

Fox 32 News showed the disturbing photos to Cicero spokesman Ray Hanania.  He told the reporter that the people who have come forward with allegations of neglect are lying.  And that they are all involved in a political smear campaign orchestrated by the previous director, Sharon Starczyk.  The current director refused to speak to the reporter.

But after the story aired on the local news, more people came forward alleging neglect at the pound and providing photographic evidence to back up the claims.  Hanania now says Cicero will investigate itself in the matter by bringing in “some professionals to help us look at it.”  He released a statement stating that the town president “is sickened about how Cicero’s Animal Shelter is being mis-portrayed.”  Also that things used to be even worse so shut up.  Oh and the pound is “no kill”.

Congrats on getting every single thing wrong, sir.  A clean sweep is hard to find in politics.

The people of Cicero are paying for this corruption at the expense of defenseless animals.  I hope many more of them exercise their First Amendment rights and their right to vote as well.  Don’t count on the state department of agriculture for help.  Animal advocates have complained repeatedly to the state over conditions at the pound and the state has inspected and passed the pound three times in the past two months.  If change is to happen, it will be up to the so-called irresponsible public, as usual.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

2 thoughts on “Allegations of Neglect and Needless Death at IL Pound

  1. Cicero and Dolton are both located in Cook County which has no actual holding facility in the county. Cook County Department of Animal & Rabies Control requires every one of the over 130 municipalities to provide for itself when it comes to dealing with stray pets. Cook County Animal and Rabies Control has a $3.5 million budget with FY 2014 estimated projected ending balance of $7.5 million. Mission: The Department of Animal & Rabies Control provides health protection to the residents of Cook County through preparation, education, rabies vaccination and stray animal control. Simply Cook County and Chicago Animal Control system is broken.

  2. “Fox 32 News showed the disturbing photos to Cicero spokesman Ray Hanania. He told the reporter that the people who have come forward with allegations of neglect are lying. ”

    Yep, totally made up those photos and videos. Because…politics. What an asshole. How about you stop denying what’s right in front of your face and pretend you’re a human being for just a minute, okay?

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