Evanston’s Board of Animal Control is scheduled to recommend to a City Council commmittee tonight that the city contract with a local volunteer group to run the city’s animal shelter.

The local group, Saving Animals for Evanston, has managed the shelter for the past 10 months, since the city terminated its relationship with the former shelter operator, the Community Animal Rescue Effort.

The board reviewed two proposals from potential shelter operators, SAFE and the Chicago-based Tree House Humane Society, which currently operates two shelters in Chicago and is building a third at 7225 N. Western Ave. in Rogers Park, near the Evanston border.

The board, which includes two aldermen, cited SAFE’s “singularity of purpose” — its exclusive focus on the Evanston shelter, as well as its close relationship in working with the police department, which supervises the shelter, and its promise to do fundraising “to cover all expenses outside of personnel expenses and building maintenance” as reasons for choosing the local group.

Tree House has a 40-year record of shelter operations and revenue of about $2.75 million a year.

SAFE, founded in 2013, has been primarily self-funded by its organizers so far, but has recruited about 150 volunteers to help out at the shelter.

Tonight’s meeting, of the city’s Human Services Committee, will be held at 6 p.m. at the Civic Center.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. Funny how the city council “works”

    I was at the meeting tonight. Politics in action is an ugly sight.  The Animal Control Board made it's recommendation, as required.  However, Alderman Fisk had questions, things she felt hadn't been dealt with, questions aimed at an organization who had chosen to ignore the Board's request for additional information and clarification.  Tree House had the opportuntiy to properly respond and chose not to – that tells you their interest in running the Evanston Shelter. BUT WAIT – it gets better. Alderman Fisk is a member of the Animal Control Board – her name is on the report that recommeded SAFE.  But now she has questions.  Maybe if she had attended the Animal Control Board meetings she could have had her questions dealt with then, in the appropriate setting, in the appropriate time frame. She hasn't been to a meeting all year (seven absences total)  during the period when the proposals to run the animal shelter were being considered. And NOW she has questions?  Why is she so hell bent on awarding the proposal to Tree House, an outside organization without the Evanston roots that SAFE has?  She should have had the decency  to accept the Animal Control Board;s recommedation and let SAFE get on with the business of caring for the animals in the shelter, which they've been doing for ten months since the City's horribly mismanaged partnershipe with CARE was ended. 

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