Saturday, December 18, 2010

Animal Control in Kendall County, Illinois

Kendall County, Illinois, where I’ve lived for 30 years, could be the poster child for animal control doing well. Just recently the shelter had too many dogs. The warden was worried that dogs were going to have to be euthanized. The local newspaper put out the word; dogs need to be adopted. Crisis was avoided.

My dear friend Christine Weis was the Premier Animal Control Warden in Kendall County for 32 years.

We met in a snow storm on December 23rd at 10:30 pm. Two hounds were huddled against my fence along the road. No way was I going to handle potentially diseased animals. My beautiful Belle Star had 15 puppies in our first litter ever.

The sheriff’s department gave me the home number of the warden, who was out on a call.

Her then 86 year old husband gave me a hard time about taking the dogs in myself. It was almost Christmas Eve, she’d been on calls all day. Christine was 72. I was new in the community with my husband and my dogs. My attitude was it’s your job, do it. I had babies to worry about.

I fretted until the lights of her el camino turned into my drive. My puppies suckled making greedy slurps as their mother panted. The flames darted in the woodstove, as the wind whipped the snow outside.

Bent bracing the bitter hawk the smallish figure was swift. The dogs were loaded by the time I got to my gate. “Thank you” was all I could say. “Couldn’t leave them out here, Good night.” She replied and was gone.

Christine Weis was collecting stray animals when Kendall County, Illinois Board of Directors decided the county needed an animal control warden. She got the job because she was already doing it.

By the time Christine retired the current facility was built; previously animal control was in the lady’s barn. Thank you, Christine, you were a pioneer. Your love of animals is why Kendall County is where it is in animal control today. You are my hero.

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