Protest held after suburban animal shelter accused of animal cruelty

CHICAGO RIDGE, Ill. – A protest was held Thursday evening outside of a suburban animal shelter over accusations of cruel treatment to animals and unsanitary conditions.

Terri Crotty, who runs the animal rescue Wags to Wishes, brought her dog Aflac to the Animal Welfare League (AWL) in Chicago Ridge, Ill., to be treated for parvo. A month and half later, he got kennel cough which is very treatable, but he was given antibiotics and other drugs Crotty’s veterinarian had never heard of.

When Crotty got him from the AWL, Aflac was in makeshift oxygen cage in the back of the shelter.

“When I walked into the room, I saw a mouse run across my foot. And when iug ot into the room, at the bottom of all the cages and kennels, there was nothing but mouse droppings."

Crotty sent Aflac’s body to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for a post mortem examination. The results showed Aflac had much more than kennel cough.

“They came back as E. coli in his lungs, micro plasma, strep. It’s not the flu,” Crotty said.

Crotty believes Aflac was neglected and not diagnosed or treated properly.

Other people have told WGN similar stories and given WGN photos that they say were taken in the past few months.

In the photos, mouse droppings can be seen all over the floor near occupied cages, as well as what looks like backed up sewage in the garage. In the photos, pigeons are seen freely roaming the areas where dogs and cats are kept.

The birds can carry at least 60 diseases in their feces, including E.coli and histoplasmosis, a respiratory disease that can be fatal.

The shelters director, Linda Estrada, defended her shelter and said Orkin, a pest control company, does come in routinely and that most dogs that were sick, were brought in that way.

The shelter recently closed its doors temporarily due to an outbreak of dog respiratory disease.