One Tail at a Time Growled at by Alderman Maldonado


One Tail at a Time is clearly a leader in the Chicago animal welfare community, and a founder of CRISP (Chicagoland Rescue Intervention and Support Program). It’s a fact, they save dogs. I was at an event at One Tail with Executive Director Heather Owen and then Mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County Board. Owen explained how she has had to jump through hoops in order to get Ald. Roberto Maldonado’s (26th ward) approval for rezoning of an additional space to save more animals at 3579 W. Dickens in Logan Square. This facility would be a safe have for orphaned dogs, many sick or injured and would be cared for.

This facility would allow One Tail at a Time to save lives of dogs who would otherwise be euthanized

One Tail would be totally responsible for costs (asking zero dollars from the city, only a zoning change). Owen says neighbors are not only fine with the building, but appreciative of the work being done to save animals.

So, what’s the problem?

I did reach out to Alderman Maldonado (thus far no response). My hope is that you do that same if you live in Chicago, particularly in the 26th ward.

I’m at a loss, as by all accounts he is a particularly responsive Alderman. So what’s going on? Why in the world would he not want to save animal lives? Is someone else planning something for that space more appealing to him?  I have no idea. I argue, the Alderman’s office could and should actually be helpful as this facility would be beneficial for the city, and not a bad thing for the ward.

This is One Tail at a Time’s press release:

Alderman Maldonado Dismisses Chicago’s Homeless Dogs

Aldermanic Privilege used to Deny Rezoning for Life Saving Efforts of Chicago’s Animals

Chicago (April 5, 2019)This week, Alderman Maldonado of Chicago’s 26th Ward used aldermanic privilege to deny a rezoning application for the “ISO House” from One Tail at a Time(OTAT) that would save hundreds of dogs from the city’s shelters annually. The decision comes as a shock after the organization had been working with the Alderman for nearly a year after purchasing the property in May 2018 (contingent on rezoning) and received support and signatures from thousands of Chicago residents, the only adjacent neighbor, the nearby middle school, Chamber of Commerce and the Mayor’s office.

“We have the overwhelming support of the community,” says Executive Director Heather Owen. “The reality is the 26th ward wants One Tail in their community – not only to save dogs from the city’s shelter but to provide free and low-cost pet services to anyone in the neighborhood who needs them. Now, Maldonado is denying his constituents these vital services.”

One Tail at a Time is a no-kill all-breed dog rescue that focuses on saving dogs in need from overcrowded Chicago shelters. Last year, OTAT purchased an abandoned liquor store at 3579 W. Dickens in Logan Square to become the ISO House, a safe haven for sick and injured dogs coming from Chicago’s shelters. Previously, the liquor store was riddled with crime and prone to loitering and neighbors reported they were excited for OTAT to revive the building. This would be the second location for OTAT, which hosts an Adoption Center in the Bucktown neighborhood.

“Alderman Maldonado refused to host a town hall meeting or look at the references One Tail at a Time provided in support of rezoning,” said Owen. “It’s not that he told us no – it’s that for nine months he spoke with us under false pretenses suggesting he was in support of the project and to wait until after the election. Once he retained his seat, he immediately denied the zoning and refused to meet with us, speaking volumes.”

One Tail at a Time’s mission is to make Chicago a no-kill city. While rezoning was underway for a permanent ISO House, the organization opened a temporary location in Logan Square. Since the opening in December 2018, this location has saved 115 dogs from Chicago’s shelters (in addition to the 133 dogs from other overcrowded shelters) and OTAT is estimating it will rescue more than 1,000 dogs in 2019.

“These are Chicago dogs. It is our responsibility to save them, no matter what it takes,” said Owen.



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