Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Trustees abandon Chicago's Furry Friends

Furry Friends at Quimby's
Originally uploaded by kfoz.
Those of you who have followed this blog, or its archives, know that I'm in love with Nicky and Edy, a pit bull brother and sister who have been up for adoption at Furry Friends, a Chicago no-kill shelter that does a lot of work with pit bulls.

Last month, the three trustees of the foundation announced that Furry Friends would be closing its doors so that they can sell the building, which is worth a fortune. They claim that they will pay out the money from the sale to other no kill shelters at a rate of 7% per year. But then again, they also claimed that they would fulfill the wishes of the woman whose estate they are managing.

Needless to say, there's been a lot of talk and rumors about exactly how this all came about. I won't repeat the details, except to say that it seems that the Trustees have been planning this for quite a while, and have been making it as difficult as possible for the organization to function.

I feel badly for the many people who have worked their asses off trying to maintain this organization--for the benefit of the animals (including cats and guinea pigs, as well as dogs.) But mostly I'm concerned for the animals themselves, and for Chicago, which is losing a great, great asset.

There's no chance the trustees will change their minds, but I think the trustess should hear from people about their decision. So here they are--maybe send them some dog biscuits along with your thoughts:

Gail M. Papp
8244 Oakland Place
Orlando, FL 32819

Glenn Hamiltion,

Gary Prior
Tabet DiVito & Rothstein LLC
The Rookery Building
209 S. LaSalle Street
7th Floor
Chicago, IL 60604


Sara said...

I hate to stereotype, but you can get an idea of where these priorities are at from their email addresses--bank of america et al.

A very sad story.

Linda Berris said...

I find this confusing...if they can pay the proceeds out to other shelters ... why does FF have to close down? I mean, why can't the shelter be relocated to another building, and the proceeds from the sale of the current building could be used to pay for rent, insurance, etc.?

Of course, w/o knowing the whole story, I hate to make judgements ... but it sounds to me like the trustees are using the sale of the building as an excuse to dump the animals. I mean, if they want to sell that building, okay...maybe that's a good business decision, etc. -- but there's no reason they couldn't reinvest the proceeds to relocate the shelter ... unless they deliberately choose not to. Which seems to be the case here. It would be very interesting to find out if they really *are* carrying out the wishes of the descedent's estate ...


Rather than send dog biscuits, I can think of another doggie contribution to send to these lovely people. I think they deserve a much more--uh, pungent--message.

rao said...

I know most of this story and I AM making judgments!! I was a volunteer there for two years.

There really aren't any decendants of this woman's estate. One of the trustees was a very good friend of the now-deceased woman who funded FFF, and this trustee was entrusted to carry out this woman's wishes when she became too old/sick and then after she died. You see how well she did. There were big problems with FFF for years and the trustees turned a blind eye, even when they were warned repeatedly.

I left in 2005, but I really wanted FFF to make it, and the people I know who are still there said they were finally getting it together. Its such a shame. FFF was very pro-pit bull and no kill to boot. There are many volunteers there who have made this place the center of their lives in order to save it (often from the very people who should have been running it). Of course, its already been mentioned but the animals, once again, are the big losers.

That high-priced building has only been in FFF's possession for a couple of years and its in a very popular neighborhood. Although I'm not sure who would want the actual building now, unless they sell it for land, the inside would need major renovations for human use.

I could write a book about this place. Lord knows I've thought about it for years.