Online Staff Report
Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka joined dozens of adoptable dogs Aug. 9 in Rockford, Milan and Peoria to announce Comptroller’s Critters, a program that brings potential pet owners together with Illinois shelters to provide loving homes for animals — and ultimately save on overpopulation costs.
Speaking in advance of a Critters adoption day at the Illinois State Fair, Topinka noted that more than 70 shelters have registered for Critters, which allows organizations to post pictures and information about adoptable pets on the Comptroller’s website, providing a one-stop-shop for families looking for a new animal. When an animal is adopted, it is awarded a certificate for becoming a “Comptroller’s Critter.”
Topinka made the announcements at Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary in Rockford, Quad City Animal Welfare Center in Milan and the Peoria Animal Welfare Shelter in Peoria. Each of the shelters is participating in the Critters program. For more about the program, visit www.ioc.state.il.us.
“Comptroller’s Critters puts pets in loving homes by using our website, information from shelters, and other resources already in existence,” said Topinka, who launched a similar Treasured Pets program during her three terms as Illinois State Treasurer. “In fact, by bringing adoptable dogs and cats together with families that want them, we will save in the long run on overpopulation and animal control costs.”
Thousands of dogs and cats are euthanized every year in Illinois because loving homes cannot be found. In fact, more than 10,000 were euthanized last year in the city of Chicago alone. At the same time, abandoned pets increase the cost to taxpayers in the form of local animal control efforts. Comptroller’s Critters aims to save on those costs by matching pets with homes. The program is available to all adoption organizations in the state.
Topinka has a long history of pet adoption herself, most recently welcoming 11-year-old Beagle, Bella; 7-year-old Scottie, Jack; and Nora, a 3-year-old Scottie, into her home. Aug. 9, she stressed the importance of adoption, and thanked the local shelters for their participation in the Critters program.
“These adoption centers give animals a chance that they would not have otherwise,” she said. “This is a low-cost way to draw attention to their efforts, and I am excited about what is possible.”