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Panel would kick CARE to the curb

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After a quarter century, the City of Evanston is on the verge of ending its relationship with the animal shelter volunteer group known as CARE.

Both aldermen on a special Human Services subcommittee voted Tuesday night to end the Community Animal Rescue Effort's management of the city's animal shelter after a contentious meeting that centered on complaints from dissident volunteers that the group euthanizes too many abandoned dogs.

In addition, City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz complained at the meeting that the group has only designated $29,000 toward a project, long-deferred by the city, to expand the shelter.

But the group's IRS 990 report for 2012 indicates that while it has formally set aside only $29,000 for the expansion project, it had nearly $1.3 million in total assets.

That amount has increased from just under $1 million at the end of 2009 as the group consistently raised more from fundraising activities than it spent on operations.

Recently the city's animal warden has intervened to reduce the euthanasia rate, placing about 18 dogs CARE had marked for death with other private rescue groups which claim to have successfully placed them in new homes.

By the end of Tuesday's meeting the two aldermen on the subcommittee, Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, and Mark Tendam, 6th Ward, had concluded that CARE wasn't willing to change its practices.

The issue is expected to return to the full Human Services Committee at a meeting March 3. Any decision would ultimately require approval of the full City Council.

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