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Illinois Shelter Accused of Harboring Sick Animals

We wrote recently about how one major Illinois animal shelter, PAWS Chicago, was investigated by the state and reprimanded for illegally importing pets. This is especially important given that animal rescuers caused a major disease outbreak in Chicago in 2015 by accidentally importing Asian dog flu, which ended up sickening 1,000 dogs and killing several.

The more we look into Illinois animal shelters, the worse things we find.

Through an open records request, we discovered the Illinois Department of Agriculture investigated the TLC Animal Shelter in Homer Glen, IL after receiving a complaint that a cat adopted out by the shelter died just a week later from feline panleukopenia. Panleukopenia is a deadly virus – and it’s not the first time a shelter in Illinois has had an outbreak either. In 2005, an outbreak of the disease at Anderson Animal Shelter, a shelter in Elgin, killed nearly 100 cats.

Upon investigation, TLC admitted that not all animals it adopts out see a veterinarian: “Animals are not seen by a veterinarian prior to adoption unless there is an obvious problem.

Well, gee, not all problems are obvious, or at least not to the staff at TLC Animal Shelter.

More investigation may be warranted. According to online reviews, TLC Animal Shelter isn’t doing the best job at providing tender love and care.

“I work in the animal medical field, and since this experience I have heard from other pet owners who have adopted pets immediately after being transported to the shelter. Some of these pets have been adults who have not been spayed/neutered, not current on core vaccinations like Rabies, or with undisclosed medical issues,” claims one Google Review.

Another Google Review claims animals at the shelter are kept “in extremely dirty conditions” and “many” are “still sick.”

Another reviewer claims they adopted a dog with worms. A fourth Google Reviewer claims she adopted two kittens that died only days later.

One particularly scathing review of the shelter alleged a dog they adopted was diagnosed with Parvovirus only a week afterwards. More incredibly, TLC subsequently denied the animal had the disease at all, but as the reviewer pointed out, it was unclear how they even came to the assessment given “THEY DO NOT HAVE A VET ON STAFF.”

Plenty more 1-star reviews on TLC Animal Shelter can be found online too.

These discoveries are even more evidence that Illinois needs to look into additional regulation and enforcement of animal shelters and rescues.

We believe all animals deserve to be treated humanely. Just because an organization is a rescue or shelter does not mean it should get a free pass.