Archive for the ‘Animal Welfare’ Category


The Equestrian Commission will hold a special meeting tomorrow at 6:30 PM to review, and perhaps vote on, a draft of the, “Equestrian Trail License,” text amendment to our village code.  A copy of their agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

We’ll reserve comments until it reaches the Board of Trustees (as difficult as that may be).

Related:September Riding Club newsletter released

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Dog Shrooms

Mushrooms are popping up all over and some can prove toxic to dogs.

For health-conscious humans, fat- and cholesterol-free, high-fiber mushrooms are a popular option. For dogs sampling fungi in the yard, however, some varieties can be toxic.

That’s why Dr. Tina Wismer’s husband patrols their Champaign yard every morning, picking up and disposing of errant edible fungi before curious canines sink their teeth into them.

Senior director of toxicology at the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana, Wismer recommends fellow pet lovers make sure their yard is safe before they let out their pets. While she recommends mushroom inspections through the first hard freeze, Dr. Jenica Haraschak, emergency and critical care specialist with the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, advises remaining vigilant year-round.

“It’s something to be on the lookout for,” she said, even though most pets ignore wild mushrooms like those springing up in yards this fall.

Still, she says it’s best to get rid of the fungi. While most dogs avoid even cooked mushrooms, Dr. Anita Kuhnle, a veterinarian with the Arlington Heights Animal Hospital, says pets are unpredictable.

“Some will eat anything, even Brillo pads,” said Kuhnle, who once removed 12 such pads from one dog.

Most mushrooms are harmless, said Kuhnle, who nevertheless cautions owners that all “should be considered toxic as most people do not have enough knowledge of wild mushrooms to be certain.”

Read more here.

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Village Hall

The Village Equestrian Commission meets this evening at 6:30 PM.   Topics on their agenda include:

  • Equestrian Trail License
  • 9th Annual The Hills Are Alive Fall Festival

The chair has submitted her summary of the “Equestrian Trail License” topic beginning on page three of the agenda which can be found here.

We have our own perspective(s) on the license matter, but for now, we’ll sit back and observe.

Related:Riding Club August newsletter released

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Golf Course Horse

An insurer must defend an Illinois equestrian business from a lawsuit filed by a man who was injured when he was run over by a golf cart operated by an employee who was chasing a loose horse, a federal appellate court ruled Monday.

A three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court judge’s order granting summary judgment in favor of American Bankers Insurance Co. of Florida. The opinion says the “farmowner policy” issued to St. Charles Farms contained ambiguous language that the owners could have construed as providing commercial general liability coverage.

“The risks undertaken and purchased were ‘[a]ll known exposures’ of the business: stables, boarding, riding clubs and academies, commercial saddle animals, and coverage for instructors liability,” the opinion states. “Without a link to the insured premises at that juncture, it would have been reasonable for SFC to anticipate coverage at an off‐site riding event where an SFC instructor was in charge of observing riders; an accident in this context was an ordinary business risk.”

On Nov. 11, 2016, SFC employee Ashley Ratay transported horses, equipment and a golf cart from the business’ property in St. Charles, Illinois to the Barrington Hills Riding Center, about 15 miles away. Ratay was in charge of supervising the people riding SFC’s horses, which she did while riding the golf cart.

Robert Shockley Jr. was riding as a passenger in the golf cart when Ratay sped across a grassy field to chase a horse. Shockley flew out of the cart when it passed over uneven ground and Ratay ran over his leg.

After Shockley filed a lawsuit seeking compensation from Ratay and SFC for his injuries, American Banker filed a lawsuit at the U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois seeking a declaratory judgment that no coverage was owed under its policy.

Read more here.

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Dear Equestrian Patron,

Your current annual equestrian rider’s license (membership card) and equestrian tag are scheduled to expire on June 30, 2021. Membership cards must be with the rider and tags must be worn on the horse at all times
while riding on FPCC trails.

2021-2022 Equestrian License and tag will be available for purchase starting May 24, 2021. Upon completion of the purchase, both the membership card(s) and horse tag(s) will be mailed to the address provided. Please allow 1-2 weeks’ processing time for FPCC staff to mail your membership card and/or tag(s).

You may apply:

  • Online: fpdcc.com/equestrian
  • Email: permits@cookcountyil.gov
  • USPS Mail: General Headquarters at 536 N Harlem Avenue in River Forest, IL 60305
  • Office: The permits counter at the Forest Preserves General Headquarters is open on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 9 am – 3 pm. An appointment is required and can be booked online.

As COVID-19 regulations change, please refer to our website for the most up to date FPCC regulations.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call the Permits, Rentals and Concessions Department (PRC) at 800-870-3666 option 1. Thank you for your continued support of the Forest Preserves of Cook County.


Permits, Rentals and Concessions

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blue-green algae

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is warning residents keen on recreating in the water to look out for cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, in Illinois’ waters, which can be toxic to humans and pets.

IEPA Public Information Officer Kim Biggs says Children and the elderly are most susceptible to ill effects from the algal bloom.

“Symptoms from exposure can be as mild as just a rash or hives to gastrointestinal issues, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea,” she said. “Individuals who may be recreating on the water, for instance like tubing or something like that, could potentially inhale droplets could also experience some coughing and wheezing.”

There are multiple ways the algae can enter a person’s system, including skin contact, ingestion or inhalation, according to Biggs.

“That’s why we do suggest that you wash off with soap and water after you get out of the water, especially don’t eat without washing hands with soap and water after being in lake or stream water because you could ingest that way, but it could also be accidental ingestion just from taking in water from being underwater or other activities that you’re doing on the water,” she said.

After swimming in a lake or river, pets should also be washed, as they can ingest it through licking their fur, Biggs pointed out.

Read more here.

Related:Illinois health officials warning of toxic algae’s effect on pets after dog deaths reported in other states” – 2019

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Birthday girl Peaches is among the senior canines available for adoption through Young at Heart Senior Pet Adoptions in Woodstock.

Fifteen months ago, as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated, would-be pet owners flocked to shelters seeking animal companions.

Though some shelters across the country are reporting an uptick in pandemic pet returns this spring, that does not appear to be the case in the suburbs: Commitments established during COVID-19’s darkest period are enduring now that brighter days have arrived, according to local animal welfare experts.

“We were inundated with adoption applications. To be honest, we still are,” said Christina Morrison, director of development for the West Suburban Humane Society in Downers Grove.

During the pandemic’s early days, the humane society didn’t have enough dogs and cats to fulfill requests, Morrison said. “We were getting 10 applications for every puppy we had at the time.” The society logged about 550 adoptions during 2020 — about the same number as in 2019 — despite the facility being closed for 45 days early in the pandemic.

And Morrison said the animal care team reports that no one has called to surrender a pet “just because the pandemic is over and they want to get back to ‘normal’ life.” The society’s adoption contract asks that people who’ve adopted a pet and have to surrender it return the animal to the society where volunteers will help find new homes.

Gaby Keresi-Uresti, executive director of the Heartland Animal Shelter, said more than 1,000 animals were adopted from the Northbrook agency during the pandemic, more than in any of the last 10 years.

Read more here.

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two-horsesThe Equestrian Commission meets this evening for the first time in a year at 6:30 PM. The agenda the commission submitted (and NO, we are NOT kidding) is as follows:

  • Public comments
  • [Vote] Minutes – June 1, 2020 (None providedas of this posting)
  • Old Business As presented (None presented as of this posting)
  • New Business As presented (None presented as of this posting)
  • Adjournment

Click here to view and download the agenda as submitted.

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EdFirefly, An American Paint Horse, who is affectionately known as “Phoofie” found herself in a precarious situation. “I noticed she was down which is not normal for horses to do,” said resident Sarah Quinn. She called her son-in-law to help raise Firefly and they quickly discovered they needed additional assistance.

Quinn called VBHPD. Sgt. David Kann and Ofc. Brian Baird arrived on the scene, assessed the situation and called in the necessary resources.

“We were overcome with emotion. It was so nice to have the community support you. It was wonderful,” said Quinn.

Read the full Village Facebook post here.

Related: “Firefighters Called to Help Rescue a Horse, County Line Rd West of Bateman Rd

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BCFPDBarrington-Countryside firefighters and paramedics responded about 12:10 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, 2021 to a call for help to rescue a horse in the block of 100 West County Line Road in Barrington Hills.

Firefighters received a report that the horse’s leg was stuck in a hole in the ground, and was injured.


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