To the Editor:
The Illinois Department of Agriculture found the Barn on Baseline guilty of violating two sections of the Animal Welfare Act.
Roberta Shoaf, shelter director and president of the board, responded to only one of the findings in the Daily Chronicle article dated Dec. 21, 2018. She first blames an employee, then her computer program (FB comment Dec. 24). Shoaf admits knowledge of the law yet acts to conform only when forced to by the guilty verdicts.
I am more concerned with the violation she remained silent about: As stated in the ILDOA Bureau of Animal Welfare Docket Findings Report : “Section 25.30 of the regulations for the Animal Welfare Act, General Care of Animals, requires that licensees comply with all sections of the Humane Care for Animals Act [510 ILCS 70]. This includes providing veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering. The respondent was aware that ‘Bert’ and the two bulldogs were underweight, however, there is no record that these dogs were provided with veterinary care to address this issue prior to the complaint.”
In the findings report the investigator notes: “I asked Roberta if there were any protocols in place, or how she decides when it’s time to take a dog to a vet. She told me there are not any set protocols, but if an animal continues to decline after every attempt by the shelter staff to remedy the situation the animal will be taken to the vet.”
I dare anyone to find the logic in that statement.
In June, the bulldogs were moved to the pet care center. As noted in the report: “She told me she did not know much about the dogs before 6/18, since that’s when they were moved to the separate facility.” “She” is the employee that Shoaf told us was a certified vet tech at the June board meeting.
How can a shelter claim to employ a vet tech, yet that person has not seen three sick animals, two surrendered with issues? I demand an answer to this, not from Shoaf, but from the remaining members of board of the Animal Welfare League. They have remained silent. They share responsibility for these violations and must respond to both. It doesn’t matter which of the two violations received a fine. Guilt is the determining factor.
Ann Marie Clark