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puppy-1047722_960_720Approximately 46.3 million households in the U.S. own a dog, but there are still many more dogs and cats left in shelters. One shelter in Chicago houses over 200 dogs and cats, all of which are at risk of being euthanized, according to a South Side Alderman.

Ald. Raymond Lopez argues that hundreds of dogs and cats in shelters are at risk of being euthanized as a result of renovations beginning at the city’s animal shelter. Lopez has repeatedly called for the resignation of shelter executive director Susan Russell.

A small group of protesters joined Lopez on Monday December 5, toting signs with slogans such as “Susan Russel has got to go.”

Animal Care and Control is planning to close two of its pavilions temporarily while renovations are being completed, but Lopez said that the temporary closures could lead to 200 animals being euthanized. In the event that less space becomes available, euthanizing measures could be taken.

Lopez, a devoted pet activist, explained that a number of pets currently at the shelter are on an urgent adoption list, which means they have 24 hours to be adopted or they will face euthanasia. “We are holding this protest to send a clear message that we expect her to find alternate housing for these animals — not kill them,”Lopez said.

Lopez was one of a number of Aldermen who signed an “order” that proposed Chicago become a no-kill city. Their original request was “encouraging” no-kill shelters in Chicago, but the new order has a number of provisions that, if approved, would fundamentally change the way pet shelters operated in Chicago.

“Our goal is to reduce the killing of animals and to improve their care and well-being, and to reduce the costs to the taxpayers,” Lopez said. Despite concerns from Animal Care and Control about the no-kill policy, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has repeatedly expressed support for a no-kill culture in Chicago.