Too costly to turn Chicago animal shelters into no-kill zone?

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CHICAGO — Animal welfare groups want Chicago to make animals shelters across the city no-kill zones, but it may be too expensive.

The goal would be to save 90 percent of animals taken in by the city and euthanize no more than 10 percent as a last resort for severely ill or dangerous animals.

Last year, the city saved 64 percent of dogs and cats.

But the public school budget shortfall and a looming public pension crisis are making it difficult to find the extra money to support the program.

Animal Care and Control currently has a budget of $5.59 million, which “is about $10 million short for a city of our size,” according to Paula Fasseas, founder of PAWS Chicago.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the City Council’s health committee has yet to schedule any public hearings, but officials with PAWS expect to meet with Southwest Side Ald. Raymond Lopez on Monday for a tour of their medical facility and to discuss how no-kill could be implemented in Chicago. It could take at least a year before any formal changes could be made, Lopez says.

“I think doubling their budget may be ideal,” Fasseas said. “In two to three years, Chicago can be a no-kill city and having the alderman behind us on this is amazing.”

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