Change is needed in Cook County

Cook County residents and animal lovers:
Please read the petition below as this affects you and your fur loved ones and their return to you if they should get lost.

Change is needed.

Our mission as a rescue has always been to help keep homeless animals out of the shelter. We have also provided help when we can to help others keep their loved ones at home so they do not have to enter the shelter system.

Education is empowering. Educate yourself and protect your loved ones.

The Department of Cook County Animal and Rabies Control (CCARC) does not have a facility. It is incredibly rare for an animal control department with the size of its’ county population to not operate its own facility. Dupage, Grundy, Lake, Kankakee, Kendall, Kane, Will, and McHenry County all have their own facilities to house stray animals, reunite pets with their families and adopt out homeless pets. They are funded by your tax dollars and rabies tag fees.
Read the audit here.

Be a voice for your Cook County animals.

“This is a petition demanding the Cook County Board of Commissioners accept the recommended changes by the Cook County Inspector General as a FIRST step towards fixing the problems with Department of Cook County Animal and Rabies Control (CCARC).

The ASPCA estimates that 40-60% of animals in shelters are lost pets.  Most of these pets do not need a new home; they simply need to go home. Every animal not reunited with its owner costs Cook County money.

Proactively reuniting lost pets with their families should be one of the main focuses of animal control departments.  When barriers prevent people from reclaiming their lost pets, the system fails.  Cook County Animal and Rabies Control fails.

The OIIG report revealed several areas of concern, including but not limited to:

·      No centralized database for posting found dogs and cats for Cook County. Posting photos on a website allows families to search the site when it is convenient for them and with more frequency.  There are many situations that make it difficult for owners to physically visit all the stray holding facilities in Cook County frequently to look for their lost dogs, including:

Work hours

Access to transportation

Language barriers

Physical challenges

·      No facility. Nationally, it is incredibly rare for an animal control department to not operate its own facility.  Kankakee, Lake, Kendall, Kane, Dupage and McHenry County all have their own facilities to house stray animals, reunite pets with their families and adopt out homeless pets.   It is a complete maze in Cook County with 135 municipalities, including Chicago, having multiple facilities and making it very difficult for families to find their lost pets. With the sheer number of shelters within Cook County, a centralized database in lieu of a centralized physical facility is minimally necessary.

·      No central repository system (microchip number and rabies tags number) available to other shelters and law enforcement to reunite pets with their families quickly.

·      Animal Control website fails to provide guidance to pet owners and no listings of the stray holding facilities in Cook County.

·      Disparity of budget and intake: Cook County Animal and Rabies Control Fiscal Year 2015 Budget  $4 million –  2014 intake 262 animals; compared to City of Chicago Animal Care and Control Fiscal Year 2015   $5.5 million – 2014 intake 21,037 animals.

These are just a few of the items pointed out, which are disconcerting for taxpayers and voters in Cook County (including Chicago).  City of Chicago – your rabies tag monies fund this department.  What services do you receive?

There is a disconnect between what Cook County Rabies and Animal Control actually does and what is truly needed for residents and animals alike in Cook County.

It is time to overhaul the Department of Cook County Animal and Rabies Control and reexamine its mission so the department can provide vital services, ensure that funds are spent effectively and allow for an efficient process for owners to get their pets back.”
Please sign here.

October 1, 2015 is National Black Dog Day

For those involved with dog rescue organizations and shelters, Black Dog Syndrome is a very real phenomenon. Rescues and shelters around the country know that black dogs are the last to be adopted and among the first to be euthanized. According to the National Council on Pet Population, approximately 3-4 million dogs are euthanized each year. Dog rescue statistics provide hard data for a problem that rescue volunteers already understand. Any dog that enters a shelter is faced with an uphill battle and more often than not, a grim future.15% of dogs are fortunate to be reunited with their owners.Nearly 60% of dogs that enter shelters are euthanized.

Only 25% of dogs entering a shelter are lucky enough to be adopted. There are no statistics available on how many black dogs are euthanized, but we know that more black dogs are euthanized than dogs with other coat colors.

The black dog is the underdog of all rescue dogs. Maybe they don’t photograph as well as lighter colored dogs. Maybe it is because Hollywood teaches us that black always represents the bad guy. Maybe it is because many of the larger breeds that tend to end up in shelters and rescues are predominately black. Whatever the reason, placing a black dog in a local shelter is usually a death sentence.


Response To A.Wells Regarding Shorty

On Mar 3, 2015 7:37 AM, our rescue received the following email from “A. Wells” through

“I think it’s so wrong that you’re rehoming this 14 year old pooch! I wish I had room for Shorty. And then $200?!? For shame!”

This individual stood in judgement and did not have the decency to include their real phone number or email.
We are taking this opportunity to clarify and address their ridiculous and accusatory email.

Dear A. Wells,
I’m afraid that there has been a gross misunderstanding on your part.
Shorty was surrendered by his previous owners to Chicago Animal Care And Control facility in Chicago in July  of 2014.

If you are not familiar with open admission facilities, please let me take this opportunity  to educate you.  Owner surrenders are the first animals to be euthanized to make room for court case animals and found animals.  They are not allowed any grace period, especially when space is a deciding factor.

Making A Difference Rescue was the only rescue that stepped up to save Shorty’s life.

I have personally fostered, loved and cared for Shorty from the moment that we were able to save him.  I have my own dogs.  I also have another dog that I am fostering.  We made room.  We did not make excuses  because he was old, or because we had no more room or the fact that he needed more care due to his age.
If there is a will, there is a way…anything else is an excuse.

I find it very troubling that you sit in judgement of our efforts to give Shorty a happy and loving life that he so deserves in his golden years.  Perhaps you do not understand the costs involved in vetting, dental costs and bringing up to date vaccinations that had been ignored by his previous owners…especially for a senior dog.  Surely you have taken your own dogs to a vet and know that these costs amount to much more than $200.

“And then $200?  For shame!”
Shame on us for charging less than what it cost to actually save Shorty?  Shame on us for using his adoption fee when he finds his forever home to save another animal in need?

Our rescue is 100% volunteer.
No one is paid.  Not one penny goes into our pockets.  We pay our own gas for transport to and from shelters, vets and home visits.  We give up our own time with our own families in order to help animals find their forever home.

We are a 501(c)(3) rescue and rely solely on the compassion and generosity of good hearts to foster and donate to help our cause.
Perhaps you will find it in your heart to donate to our rescue because we cared enough to find the time and make room for a gentle dog that did not deserve to die because he grew old.

Amaliya DeLuxx
Proud to be a Making A Difference Rescue Volunteer

Bobbie “Marley”s Story

Marley has been reunited with her owners!

Please welcome Bobbie “Marley” to Making A Difference Rescue!!!

Marley is estimated to be 2 years old.
She is a Shih Tzu and weighs 12lbs. She has so far proven to be great with all of the dogs that she has met. We are learning more about her and will provide updates as they come.

She is at this very moment , content and snoring in her foster mom’s arms.


“Last week, Christine M saw a severely matted dog running loose in Englewood on her way to work. She attempted to get close multiple times, but this poor pup kept running away. Katie C drove out there a few days later and discovered this dog was with another bigger dog in a yard. This guy was also matted, crawling with bugs and neglected. Pictures of the big dog will not yet be disclosed bc he is currently an open cruelty case.

Yesterday, the big dog was taken by CACC, and the matted little dog we were calling Bob Marley bolted out of fear. The owners of the big dog claimed Bob Marley was a visiting stray that came every day and night and kept the big dog company. Bob Marley was so frightened yesterday when the big dog was removed, that he didn’t come back to the yard. We left food and water for him, crossing our fingers that he wouldn’t disappear since his friend was gone.

This morning, thankfully, little Bob Marley was back in the yard. IKatie C baited the trap with some delicious smelling BBQ chicken & bologna and within 10 minutes, SUCCESS!
The mats were so bad, she couldn’t tell if Bob Marley was a boy or girl. Bob allowed her to place a slip lead on, and walked nicely into unloading.

CACC shaved all of that awful dread off and VOILA- Bob Marley IS A GIRL!

Thank you, Christine, for putting the word about her out and keeping watch for her! YOU are the reason she is safe. Everyone in this neighborhood saw her and didn’t blink an eye.”


Can You Guess the Breed?

Assumptions kill.
All of these dogs were assumed to be Pit mixes.
They were all given DNA tests to determine their breed.
Only 3 of these dogs are “Pit mixes”.
Breed Specific Legislation does not work.

Pit Bull ID Poster-page1

Forever rest in peace, sweet Moose

We encounter a lot of sadness in rescue.
There are just really no words to express the sadness that we feel at times.
We’re still not ready to fully express our grief.

We were alerted by volunteers at an open access shelter to please help save a sweet senior Rottie named Moose on Dec.3, 2013.

All that we knew was that this poor boy was confiscated by Animal Control…tied to a very short chain and abandoned outside.  His vet was traced…but his owner….no where to be found.

We knew that he had a very sweet temperament.  He had shown no interests to cats.  He was friendly towards the dogs that he had met.  We were told that his coat was in poor condition.  We were also told that he had a tumor on his eyelid and a notable heart arrhythmia.

We had an amazing experienced foster step forward to give him hospice care if needed.

We were able to spring him on Dec.8, 2013.

We were not prepared for his decline.  He seemed so tired.  While most dogs are so happy and excited to leave the shelter…Moose could only give us smiles when he had his butt scratched…it took 3 of us to get him to his feet…and it just did not look good.  His belly was distended and full of fluid, he showed signs of what we suspected to be Cushing’s Disease amongst other things.

The vet confirmed without a doubt that Moose was suffering.  They could not withdraw blood as his veins had collapsed and was metastasized.  The fluid in his belly were all lymphatic cancer cells.  And he was filled with toxins from inability to urinate and defecate.  None of us were prepared.

This poor boy suffered for so long.  We wanted him to have love and be loved.  We wanted so much for him.  One of the things that we truly believe in Rescue is to do all that we can to ensure quality of life.  In Moose’ case, it was too far gone to alleviate any of his health issues…we could not prolong his suffering.  We chose to give him the dignity that he deserved.  He was surrounded by love and held as if were always one of our own.  We want to give special thanks to Eileen, Karen and Kat.

Run free Moose.  No one can ever hurt you again.

The Pitbull Placebo

This is a crucial read.

The Pit Bull Placebo

The Media, Myths
and Politics of
Canine Aggression

Written by Karen Delise



Gov. Quinn Supports Dogs & Police; Illinois is Most Humane State in America

By Steve Dale, Monday at 2:48 pm
Gov, Quinn Supports Dogs & Police; Illinois is Most Humane State in America
Image taken a few years ago as I was with the Governor to sign a bill for enhanced penalties if dog fighters are convicted near a children’s play area, school or daycare center – which was my idea.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn   signed into law a bill l to mandate training so law enforcement can better understand canine signaling or what the intent of a dog may be; Listen HERE – as the Governor signed the bill LIVE on Steve Dale’s Pet World on WGN Radio.

In part, what motivated the bill was an incident in Chicago last December when Al and Barbara Phillips Miniature Bull Terrier was shot by a police officer for no apparently. Ledy VanKavage, senior  legislative analyst at Best Friends Animal Society enlightened me; I had no idea how often this police shoot and ask questions later occurs nationwide. Having said that, police have a very challenging job, making split second decisions. While the instance in Chicago, shooting the Miniature Bull Terrier, was downright odd – sometimes the choices aren’t easy. I like this bill because it’s about adding education rather than removing police the ability to use their best judgement. I cheer this move by Gov. Quinn, who continues to make Illinois the most humane state in America.

Here’s the press release:

CHICAGO –Governor Quinn today signed a new law that provides for a training program in animal fighting awareness and humane response for law enforcement officers. The new law is part of Governor Quinn’s commitment to protect pets and ensure that all animals in Illinois are treated ethically and responsibly.

“There is no place in Illinois for animal fighting and this new law will create awareness and help law officers deal with this kind of cruel behavior,” Governor Quinn said. “We also need to crack down on the mistreatment of animals in Illinois and this law will make sure our officers know the best way to respond to animals while out on the streets.”

House Bill 3388 adds language to the Illinois Police Training Act and includes a training program in animal fighting awareness. The bill provides that within the program there must be training dealing with humane responses to animal abuse, identifying animal fighting operations, and nonlethal ways to subdue canines.

Training will help create awareness and make it easier to see potential signs of dog-fighting in order to identify and break up dog-fighting rings.  Since these animals are bred to fight, they become extremely aggressive and a threat to the public. This legislation would help make it easier for officers to protect the public and themselves.  It also trains the officers in ways to subdue aggressive and abused animals in a nonlethal manner.

Today’s bill signing took place live on Steve Dale’s Pet Worldradio show on WGN radio.

The new law will take effect January 1, 2014.

This release is from Cook Country Sheriff Tom Dart:

“I am pleased to see the Animal Fighting Awareness bill – the first legislation of its kind in the nation – become law today. Any time a police officer is forced to enter a home uninvited, it represents an unpredictable and potentially stressful situation – even more so when animals enter the equation. Providing these law enforcement guidelines will allow our officers to perform their tasks at hand while ensuring that animals within the home are treated in a humane and non-lethal manner. Averting accidental animal fatalities will ensure fiscal prudence by reducing the pricey legal settlements that have beset municipalities across the country – including Chicago. This law also provides officers across the state with the tools to help detect and crack down on dog fighting operations, which continue to plague our communities.”

Governor Quinn Signs Law to Protect New Pet Owners

Governor Quinn Signs Law to Protect New Pet Owners
“Puppy Lemon Law” Protects Those Who Buy Dogs or Cats from Pet Shops
CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law that protects those who purchase dogs or cats from pet shops. The legislation gives buyers protection for pet purchases and helps to reduce the possibility of the emotional trauma that comes from losing a pet. The new law is part of Governor Quinn’s commitment to protect pets and their owners, while ensuring that all animals in Illinois are treated ethically and responsibly.“Our pets are part of our families, and it is a heartbreaking experience for anyone to go through when a new family member arrives home sick or dying,” Governor Quinn said. “This law offers more protections against ‘puppy mills’ and gives people who purchase a new dog or cat more choices as they select a new pet.”Senate Bill 1639 was sponsored by State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) and State Representative Michael Zalewski (D-Riverside). It gives those who purchase a dog or cat the option of a full refund, exchange or veterinarian bill compensation if a licensed veterinarian determines the animal was sick or diseased when purchased. The law also offers the same options if a veterinarian determines the animal has a congenital or hereditary condition that requires hospitalization, surgery or has caused its death. Pet shops must also provide buyers with each animal’s medical history, and notify the Illinois Department of Agriculture immediately when they become aware of any contagious or potentially life-threatening diseases among the animals in their possession.The new law does not apply to not-for-profit animal adoption operations such as animal shelters.

“This law will both protect consumers as well as our pets,” Senator Kotowski said. “It will reduce the spread of diseases by discouraging breeders and pet stores from selling unhealthy dogs and cats.”

“The main goal of this new law is to protect consumers and animals while encouraging pet stores to work with reliable and safe breeders, not the ‘puppy mills’ that purposely withhold medical information when selling to pet stores,” Representative Zalewski said. “Illinois is now the 21st state to implement such a law, recognizing the importance of cracking down on unscrupulous practices and helping to minimize the heartache of losing a family pet.”

“Bringing a new pet into your home and finding out the animal is sick can be heart-breaking and costly for many families,” said Kristen Strawbridge, Illinois state director for The Humane Society of the United States. “We thank Governor Quinn for protecting consumers and pets by signing this bill into law.”

The law takes effect January 1, 2014.

‘Puppy lemon law’ signed by Gov. Quinn

Surrounded by dog lovers and their four-legged friends, Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Saturday he said would help protect consumers who buy a dog or cat and then learn the animal is seriously ill.

Surrounded by dog lovers and their four-legged friends, Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Saturday he said would help protect consumers who buy a dog or cat and then learn the animal is seriously ill.

Surrounded by dog lovers and their four-legged friends, Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Saturday he said would help protect consumers who buy a dog or cat and then learn the animal is seriously ill.

The so-called “puppy lemon law” also has another goal: putting pressure on pet stores that get dogs from overcrowded puppy mills.

“This law … is all about protecting our pets and protecting our families who love their pets,” Quinn told supporters gathered for the ceremony at Chicago’s Wiggly Field dog park. “We don’t want those who are conducting these puppy mills anywhere in the United States to get away with what they’re doing. That’s our real mission.”

Illinois is the 21st state to pass a lemon law that applies to pets.

The law allows pet owners to get a full refund or replacement if they buy a pet from a store and it dies within 21 days. Pet owners also could get a replacement pet or be reimbursed for the cost of veterinary care if they keep the animal and a veterinarian determines it was sick or diseased when it was sold.

The law also requires pet stores to report any outbreak of diseases to the state Department of Agriculture and to inform customers if outbreaks of certain illnesses have occurred at their store.

Opponents said the bill was too far-reaching and anti-business. But supporters, including the Humane Society, said their push for the legislation was inspired in part by a 2012 outbreak of canine distemper at a Chicago-area pet store chain. The Humane Society says an investigation found the stores obtained the dogs from puppy mills, where dogs were being kept in cramped cages and not receiving proper care.

“It holds pet stores accountable,” said Stacey Smith, who attended the ceremony with her dog Fritzie. The Yorkie – who got a tousle on the head from the governor – was dropped off at a shelter eight years ago “filthy dirty” and suffering from a liver problem, Smith said.

Cari Meyers is founder of The Puppy Mill Project, which works to educate people in the Chicago area about puppy mills. She said the organization hears from people every day who have a dead or dying dog they bought from a pet store. Some owners end up spending thousands of dollars on veterinary care, she said.

Meyers and other supporters said their ultimate goal is to see stores that sell dogs banned entirely in Illinois.

In the meantime, she called the puppy lemon law “a dream come true.”

The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, was sponsored by state Sen. Dan Kotowski, a Park Ridge Democrat, and Rep. Michael Zalewski, a Riverside Democrat.

(Copyright ©2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
IL S.B. 1639