Chicago Alliance For Animals CAA: Grassroots Activist Successes
From Animal Rights/Vegan Activist Strategies Articles Archive

FROM Jodie Wiederkehr, Executive Director & Founding Member
Chicago Alliance for Animals (CAA)

April 2021

CAA is an all volunteer, grassroots animal advocacy organization. Nobody gets paid, there are no overhead costs and we spend very little money, but we are making a big impact.

Chicago Animal Alliance

A year ago, Chicago's City Council voted 46-4 to ban horse carriages during their April meeting. This happened because CAA volunteers regularly documented horse carriage violations and sent those to officials; testified every month before the License Committee; testified every month before the City Council; contacted the Aldermen and Mayor Lightfoot daily; met with our Aldermen; secured more than 200 business endorsements in support of a ban, and more.

We banned horse carriages in 2.5 years in the 3rd biggest city in the US (which is known for being corrupt) without a horse collapsing and without an accident or fatality.

Right after our success, CAA shifted our focus to FINALLY stop the inhumane and irresponsible sales of dogs from unscrupulous sources such as puppy mills and backyard breeders. Three stores were flouting the law for more than 7 years, but nobody was protesting Pocket Puppies, Park Pet Shop or Pet Luv Pet Center or urging officials regularly to enforce the law (that passed 49-1 in March 2014) ...

If CAA (which formed in May of 2015) had not been fighting so hard to ban cruel horse carriages, we would have fought to close this loophole much sooner.

BUT, one year later, Chicago’s City Council unanimously passed the Puppy Mill bill at their April meeting. It is done!

CAA volunteers were the ‘boots on the ground’ to pass the law that will force these shady shops to comply with the 2014 law or close their doors for good!

It was CAA volunteers:

  • who protested outside Pocket Puppies every month (in all kinds of weather) for the last year
  • who testified every month before the Health Committee
  • who testified every month before the full City Council
  • who did the DAA's (Daily Action Alerts) regularly
  • who called or ‘met’ with their Alderpersons
  • who called and/or sent messages to Mayor Lightfoot
  • who participated in virtual protests (due to Covid)
  • who started, signed, and shared CAA’s 3 petitions against Pocket Puppies, Park Pet Shop & Pet Luv Pet Center

CAA is an unstoppable and effective force, even though we have no salaries, office, employees, benefits, etc. We have many goals that will keep us very busy including banning horse carriages around the world – CAA’s sister organization, The Partnership to Ban Horse Carriages Worldwide now has multiple active chapters including Atlanta (GA), Boston (MA), Cape May (NJ), Charlotte (NC), Charleston (SC), Lexington (KY), New Orleans (LA), Philadelphia (PA) and Savannah (GA) and we are also working closely with our allies in the Niagara region of Canada to ban them there.

In addition, we are excited to start collaborating with Fur Free Chicago, a new group that is starting to incorporate some of CAA’s strategies to ban the sale of fur in our fine city.

Please consider a donation to help us continue working to make the Windy City (and beyond) a much kinder and safer place for those who cannot defend themselves. Even $5 will be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks for your consideration and generosity!

Jodie Wiederkehr, Executive Director & Founding Member
Chicago Alliance for Animals (CAA)

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