Archive for the ‘Animal Welfare’ Category


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)
  • Old 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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With a combination of grit and determination, a little bit of luck and a lot of love, Jodie Diegel, founder of Soul Harbour Ranch Therapy Program, is literally living her dream life. She has created an organization that uses therapy dogs, miniature therapy horses and miniature therapy donkeys to share a lot of SOUL (Sharing Of Unconditional Love) throughout Barrington and nearby communities.

“I’m a very positive person. I know that my mission, my purpose in life, as a nurse and as a giver, is to help others through animals,” Diegel says.

In addition to being the founder and president of Soul Harbour Ranch, Diegel is also a registered nurse and legal nurse consultant with Kaveny + Kroll in Chicago. Diegel says that a difference is made when there is a soul-to-soul connection between humans and animals. She laughs while noting that her husband Jerry “is not really a horse person.” She credits him for the wok that he does at SOUL Harbour Ranch and his advocacy for her passion. “He sees the magic our animals bring to those we visit.”

“People often ask, ‘What is a visit and what do therapy animals do?’” Diegel’s reply: “At every visit, when others meet our special animals, there is joy, laughter, smiles, and sharing of unconditional love…that is true healing.”

Read more in Country Magazine here.

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Recordings have been released from last month’s Board of Trustee’s meeting (12.17.2020), and the Village Attorney’s report contained the following update:

“Just really quickly, the Drury litigation versus the Village discovery is now closed. It’s moving in to motion practice, so we’ll hopefully get some kind of ruling in February, March-ish.”

To listen to the recording of the December 17th BOT meeting, click here.

Related:Things may get very interesting after Thanksgiving…

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The recordings have been released from last week’s Board of Trustee’s meeting (11.17.20), and the Village Attorney’s report contained the following update:

“The only thing I can report is that the ongoing litigation relative to the horse boarding text amendment we’re zeroing in on the close of discovery. We’ve been taking depositions almost every day, and discovery closes next week and thereafter I’m sure you’ll start seeing a flurry of motions. As a matter of fact, Miss Paul becomes a deponent tomorrow.”

To listen to the recording of the November 17th BOT meeting, click here.

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An animal therapy organization has opened its doors at 22093 N. Countryside Lane in Barrington. SOUL Harbour Ranch Animal Therapy is a nonprofit organization run by volunteers who recruit and train people to handle mini-horses, donkeys and therapy dogs.

The Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce earlier this month held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house at Soul Harbour, which also advocates for animal therapy standards of excellence. “This has been an amazing journey,” said Jodie Diegel, president and founder of SOUL Harbour Ranch. “We started this in 2012 and I am so grateful to everyone who has joined our journey along the way. We’ve built a beautiful facility, but more importantly we’ve built a very special organization filled with SOUL, which stands for Sharing Of Unconditional Love that is shown each day through our animals and volunteers.”

SOUL Harbour partners with other community organizations for events, including the SOUL Buddies Club from Barrington High School. For information, visit soulharbourranch.com.

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