A southwest suburban animal shelter was allegedly raided by federal agents after animal rights activists accused the shelter of misusing medications on animals.
Protesters are saying that members of the DEA as well as the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations paid a visit to the Animal Welfare League (AWL) in Chicago Ridge on Tuesday.
Neither department has confirmed or denied the visits, but they were alerted to the shelter’s misdoings by the activists.
“There’s a lot of negligence when it comes to medicine and the drugs that they’re using. There is veterinary practices that are happening illegally without licenses. So they needed to get involved, they needed to step in,” said animal activist Nikki Ormsby.
The protesters goal is not the close the shelter but are calling for the shelter’s director Linda Estrada to step down from her position.
“Have a change. Have positive people who actually care about the animals and want to get the animals out. Save them,” said animal activist Shannon Gaglione.
Here is what the shelter said in a statement:
“Yes we can confirm the visits and that they went well. As you know to this date we have passed all inspections from all oversight bodies including most recently the department of agriculture never failing one of their inspections.”
“We are a true open intake facility and no animal is ever turned away. We are not perfect but we work tirelessly to help and save as many animals as we can.”
The AWL has been in the news since late January when accusations begin to pile up that they were mistreating animals and that diseases were spreading in the kennel. The shelter had to close due to an outbreak of dog flu and they put a hold on new adoptions.
Terry Crotty left her dog, Aflac, with the AWL to be treated by parvo. When she picked up her dog, it appeared that he was also suffering from kennel cough. But it turns out that he was also suffering from E.coli found in his lungs, micro plasma, and strep. This misdiagnosis led to Aflac passing away.
Since then protesters have been showing up to the shelter, sometimes over a hundred people, calling for the resignation of Estrada.
Employees and board members of shelter maintain that any videos or pictures that have surfaced online have been of ill dogs before arriving to the shelter.