Cameras to thwart pet dumpers at shelter? : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
|Cameras to thwart pet dumpers at shelter?|
|County board committee considering warden's funding request|
|by Matt Schury|
The Kendall County Board's Animal Control Committee is considering adding cameras to the facility's building at 802 West John Street in Yorkville.
Anna Payton, Kendall County Animal Control Warden, said that the goal of the cameras would be to catch people abandoning their pets outside of the building.
Last week, Animal Control reported that two cats had been left abandoned outside the facility inside a sealed plastic bin on a 90-degree day in July.
"It was very dangerous for the animals because they could have suffocated quite easily," she said. "The good news is that the cats are OK but we just want to be able to deter people from making inappropriate choices like that."
The cats named Chubby Hubby, a Lilac Point Siamese mix, and Chunky Monkey, a black domestic short hair are now up for adoption.
They are nine-year-old brothers and are neutered, front declawed, up to date on vaccines, and microchipped. Chubby Hubby weighs 18 pounds and Chunky Monkey weighs 16 pounds, according to Animal Control.
Abandoning pets violates the Illinois Human Care for Animals Act under cruel treatment, which is considered a Class A misdemeanor, according to the Illinois General Assembly's website.
Payton added she understands that people may feel overwhelmed by having an animal.
"But they still need to take responsibility for their animals," Payton said.
She pointed out that dropping animals off is not only dangerous to the animals but also can create a dangerous situation for the public.
"Our primary focus is keeping people and animals safe," she said. "This is just another way to make sure that that is happening."
Animal shelters frequently find abandoned animals outside their building, she added, and many have cameras outside.
Payton said she is interested in adding two cameras--one at each entrance to the facility--if the committee agrees. She said she doesn't want to install anything elaborate or expensive and estimated a cost of only "a couple of hundred dollars."
She said the cameras would record activity but not be monitored 24/7.
Since Payton became Animal Control Warden in 2011 she said that unwanted pets have been abandoned illegally "a handful of times."
"A lot of shelters have cameras outside their buildings and will have signs posted stating that it is illegal just to dump the animals," she said. "It is against the law and we just want people to be responsible."
Payton also explained that she will have to get quotes from companies and there is more discussion needed at the committee level.
"We are going to have some companies come out and take a look and see what they recommend based on what our needs are," Payton said.
The Animal Control committee was expected to take up the issue at their Sept. 18 meeting.
Board member Amy Cesich, chairman of the Animal Control Committee, said she agrees with Payton but is trying to look at the other side do the argument.
"If they knew a camera was there, would they have left the cat?" she said, adding that people might have just dumped the cats in a dumpster if the cameras were there.
"I wrestled with it a little bit," Cesich said. "I understand her feelings on it. "You can't just abandon your animal."
Dog owners can legally turn their pets over to Animal Control but have to follow the process.
"Our policy is that we will accept owner surrendered dogs. If they (the owners) reside in Kendall County, there is a $50 owner surrender fee," Payton said, adding that they also have to fill out background information on the dog. It helps Animal Control place the dog later in another home.
Payton added that they don't have the capacity to accept surrendered cats.
When people contact Animal Control and are looking surrender their pet, they will try to counsel them first to see if there is a solution to keeping the animal in their home. Payton said they also mention resources in the area like pet food pantries, low cost clinics or pet friendly housing.
"We want the animal to stay in the home," Payton said. "A lot of times it's a financial situation."
For more information on the two abandoned cats or other animals up for adoption, you can go to the Kendall County Animal Control's website at co.kendall.il.us/animal-control call 630-553-9256.