Chicago Animal Shelter Seeing Rise in Adoptions Amid Pandemic

By Kristina de Asis and Fernanda Gonzalez Pola 

Credit: PAWS Chicago

With the COVID-19 taking a huge toll in the economy, there have been many concerns about animal shelters.

Initial concerns were about what the future holds for the potential pets. As a result, shelters have been trying to clear out by fostering animals and adoptions. 

Many shelters in the United States have reported that adoption has increased since the pandemic, to the point that some animal shelters are out of animals to adopt.

Experts say the reason is that no one wants to go into quarantine alone, and in order for them not to get lonely they end up adopting pets. 

Marcia Coburn, part of the Red Door Animal Shelter since March 2000, said the adoption rate has “come up over 100%. It’s a struggle but a good struggle. It’s been amazing how many people want to adopt.” 

In response to COVID-19, some animal shelters had to change the way of the adoption process. Instead of people coming in and spending time with the animals they now have to do more phone screenings instead. According to Coburn, potential adopters would come in and meet the animals, but they now can only do phone interviews.

Some shelters are closed due to the pandemic, but if people want to adopt animals they can try to contact shelters online and see if some of them are open for adoption. Shelter officials say most are willing to do online and phone interviews in order to pair them up with their perfect companion. 

Animal shelters have been a great source for people who are indigenous in adopting or fostering pets. Animal shelters are places for  strays, lost, abused or abandoned animals. Most shelters are just one step away for animals from their forever homes, and most only take dogs and cats.

However, there are some shelters that occasionally provide help for farm animals like chickens and ducks. Big cities like Chicago have numerous shelters that are filled with animals wanting to find their forever homes.

Animal Varieties

Most shelters would have the standard cats and dogs as their main focus, but some have other forms of wildlife as their concentration. For the Red Door Animal Shelter, their main concentration are rabbits. 

Coburn said they accept all kinds of animals (i.e. cats, dogs, and rabbits).

Credit: PAWS Chicago

“Almost no other shelter does that,” she said. “We take in more rabbits than cats and dogs. We microchip some rabbits We also take in chickens. And pet ducks. Once we took in two pet coils. Our concentration is rabbits.” 

Red Door Animal Shelter doesn’t turn away animals based on the species unlike some others that are strictly cats and/or dogs. The organization tries to find forever homes for all their animals. Coburn said 98% of them are adopted and about 1% become sanctuary animals. She said 0.5% end up dying from extensive illnesses.

The Process

A great amount of these organizations dedicate their time to help nurture these animals back to health so that they’ll be in good shape to live with their forever owners. The workers often treat these animals as if they’re their own pets and hence want them to live in a home where they know that the animals won’t return to the streets or are abused at home. 

Organizations such as PAWS Chicago have an extensive adoption process to make sure that the future owner is eligible enough to adopt one of their animals. 

Sergio Cadiena, who has been volunteering at PAWS Chicago since February, described the process as “a lot.”

“They’re expensive but they have a lot of medical work,” he said. “It’s expensive to get them in the first place like $200-plus. You have to go through a lot of screening. To make sure you’re not going to abandon them.”

Cadiena said people have to go through an extensive screening in order for them to determine if a person is eligible or not. In order for shelters to be able to run they count on volunteers. A lot of animal shelters run because of volunteers and donations.

In 2018, PAWS had almost 1,500 volunteers and employed over 200 people. That same year, they have received over $15 million in gifts, grants, contributions, and membership fees. 

Adopter’s Experience 

Each pet owner that has gone through the adoption process has a different experience depending on the shelter and the animal. 

Katherine Butts adopted two cats from two different shelters. The first cat came from a shelter named Orphans of the Storm and the other cat came from The Anti Cruelty Society. 

For an interactive chart click here

“The Orphans of the Storm took longer,” she said. “They would interview you and ask about your home life. Who lived with you. The other shelter was more ‘Come in, meet the cats. and do some interviews’. They are more lenient because it was a kill shelter and they wanted to get the animals out faster.” 

As a result, they release the animals to owners who are either not committed to raising a pet or they don’t have the best environment to raise a pet. 

“They both ask you if this is the forever home for the animal, and if you said no they wouldn’t give it to you,” she said, meaning they want their animals to go into good homes, and a chance to live. 

Click here to an interactive chart

Coronavirus: Facts, Symptoms, and Myths

View Interactive Graph here

The coronavirus disease also known as the COVID-19 is a newly discovered virus. It is said that the virus most likely originated from Wuhan, China. Also, it is believed it came from a “wet market” also known as a live-animal market.

At the beginning people were not as concerned of the virus. However, as the time passed the virus became a pandemic around the world. What began in China spread worldwide. Currently there are 372,757 cases with 16,362 deaths worldwide, and 196 countries affected. As of right now there is no cure for the virus however, scientists around the world are working hard to find a cure.

As the graph above states people can stay safe by washing their hands, stay at least 3 feet away from people in order to prevent the virus from spreading.

One thing people should be more cautious about is the misinformation that is being spread online. One of the biggest issues according to CNN is WhatsApp. WhatsApp is an app where people can send messages between people. The problem with this is that it spreads a lot of misinformation about the virus which is bad because people actually believe it and it can do real harm to people.

In order to be as safe as possible during this world crisis, it is important to understand the facts as well as the myths.

Public health clinics are running low in the Chicago area

Check out the interactive map here

The map above it illustrates the Clinics and the community bounders.

Public health clinics are an important factor in a community. They help people regardless of peoples means to afford health care, and provide immediate care. However, there are not enough clinics in Chicago.

According to the Chicago Data Portal there are only 24 community clinics in a 74 community city. In result a lot of communities are without an immediate health care.

Streaming Service battle, who is the most popular?

Graph by Fernanda Gonzalez

Interactive chart here

Streaming service has come a long way since it first began. First we had Netflix which came out in 1997.  Netflix first began as a DVD rental company and evolved into a streaking service where they offer films, shows, and original content. 

Then came Amazon Prime Video. Amazon decided to get in on the streaming action by releasing their own streaming platform. This streaming service was released in 2006. They offer tv shows, movies, and original content. 

After them Hulu got into the competition. Hulu is also a streaming service which was released in 2007. Hulu offers movies, tv shows, original content, and live TV.

Over the years Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon have been competing to be the top streaming service however they have a new competition to keep an eye on. Disney recently released Disney plus on November 12, 2019. Through November 10-16, 2019 Disney plus was trending at 100%. This is because those were the day’s that the service launched. However, currently Netflix is at the top of the trending graph with 46%, Hulu second with 13%, Amazon Prime video and Disney plus with an equal 8%. Based on the graph above it seems that Netflix has managed to keep people interested in their service as opposed to the other streaming services. Thus, netflix is the most popular overall. 

Soft Drinks battle to come on top, who is victories?

By Fernanda Gonzalez

Interactive chart here,

Soft drinks have been around for a long time some more than others. Coca-Cola was first founded in 1892 by a pharmacist in Atlanta named John S. Pemberton, he originally wanted to base his drinks on cocaine however it was later removed. Over the years coca-cola has become one of the most well-known soft drinks and has partnered up with a lot of other companies and organizations to promote their drink. They’ve partnered up with WWF, The Olympics, USAID, and many more.

The next most recognizable soft drink would be Pepsi. Pepsi was founded in 1893, one year after Coca-Cola, by a pharmacist named Caleb D. Bradham. The reason he created this drink was to have the same success Coca-Cola had. The original name for the drink was “Brad’s drink’ however, it later changed to Pepsi-Cola. Pepsi has also partnered up with a lot of businesses. One of their most recognizable partnerships would be with the NFL also known as the Super bowl.

As the chart above illustrates Coca-Cola is by far the most popular soft drink in the United States. What’s surprising to know is that Coca-Cola even topped Pepsi during the Super bowl. As you can see above during February 2-8 Coca-Cola was top trend over Pepsi with 71% and Pepsi with 26%. No doubt that even on Pepsi’s most advertised date Coca-Cola will come out on top.

NHL Salaries for 2019-2020

View Interactive Chart

Hockey has been around for a long time, legumes have been made and failed over the course of the years however, one league that has been successful over the years would be the The National Hockey League. The National Hockey League, commonly known as the NHL is a professional ice hockey league. The league was created on November 26, 1917 in Montreal, Canada. The reason they were the National Hockey Association of Canada Limited was no longer operational. Hence, they had to create a new league. The NHL has gone through its ups and downs and even though they are not the top popular league in America they have managed to establish themselves as one of the top 5 in popular sport leagues. 

As one of the most popular sports it would be fitting that the players get paid well. The graph above indicated how much the top 10 NHL players earn in a year. Specifically for much they earned in the year 2019-20. It is important to note that this information was gathered from According to the graph Mitch Marner was the highest-hockey player with a salary of $16,000,000. He currently plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He plays offensive forward and he also serves as an alternate captain for the team. The second-highest-paying player would be John Tavares. Travares is also a player for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He serves as the captain for the team. He has a salary of $15,900,000 for the 2019-20 year. In total he has 32 wins and 27 losses

Coming in at number 10 as the lowest-paying player would be Drew Doughty. He has a salary of $12,000,000. He currently plays for Los Angeles Kings. He’s had 24 wins and 39 losses in total. His position is a defenseman.  

Overall, all the NHL players are so well paid that their salary is millions of dollars based on their talent and what team they are playing for.

Craft Breweries by State in 2015

A craft beer is a beer made without machinery involved. The reason beer is created this way is to emphasize the brand, flavor, and quality of the beer. The chart above displays the amount of craft breweries in the United States in 2015. In total there are 4,421 of breweries in the U.S.

As you can see the state with the most craft breweries would be California, with a total of 518 breweries. However, the state with the least amount of breweries would be Mississippi with only 8 breweries in total. A lot of factors could contribute to these numbers however, most the most believable factor would be the weather.

In the end Craft Breweries are important because they provide a strong quality beer to their customers.

Practice Story

Gov. Pat Quinn talks about MAP grants at DePaul University. (Photo/Bob Smith)

By Bob Smith

Gov. Pat Quinn visited DePaul University’s Loop campus on Wednesday to discuss how pension reform is harming the Monetary Award Program (MAP) college scholarships and access to higher education in Illinois.

“This is so important to our state, not only in the past, but certainly now and in the future,” Quinn said.
“We want everyone to have the opportunity to go to college that has the ability to go to college.”

MAP grants are need-based college scholarships that allow merit students who are in need across the state and do not need to be repaid by the student. Quinn said that due to cutbacks and having to pay more money in the pension amount, almost 18,000 students lost their MAP grant scholarships this year.

“We do not want anyone denied that opportunity because of finances,” Quinn said. “We can’t afford to lose all the talent that exists, all the ability that exists for higher education to help our economy and to help all of us, because there are financial challenges that deny someone the opportunity to go to community college or a four-year university — public and private — in our state.”

“Every year over 5,000 DePaul students receive MAP grants, and just like the students who have already spoken here today, all of these DePaul students rely on this funding in order to continue their college careers,” Clemmons said.

“Because the number of Illinois students eligible to receive MAP is currently increasing, existing funding does not allow the state to assist all the eligible students. As a result, without action by the Illinois state leadership, more DePaul students than ever will see their MAP funding disappear this year and more

DePaul students than ever will be forced to give up their education due to finances.”

More than 150,000 students nationally receive MAP grants each year.

Clemmons told the audience that on Tuesday, DePaul’s SGA unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Illinois general assembly and the governor to ensure the longevity of the MAP program.  He read the resolution aloud and presented a copy to Quinn. 

Ken Thomas, a University of Illinois Board of Trustees student member, MAP recipient and University of Illinois Chicago student, told how he wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for the MAP grant.

“My mom, when I was in high school, had to work two jobs just to keep food on the table,” Thomas said, “and if we didn’t have [the] MAP program like we do today, I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today; graduating with a degree, hoping to be a productive member of society.” 

Having a productive and functioning society and economy is what Quinn says it’s all about.

“Jobs follow brainpower,” he said. “We want to make sure we have smart people in Illinois. Well skilled, well-educated students coming out of college with graduate degrees and diplomas so they can create jobs, create new businesses,” he said. “Our goal in Illinois is to have at least 60 percent of the adults in our 

state with a college degree or college associate degree or career certificate by the year 2025. In order to achieve we have to make sure we have a good scholarship program.”

Clemmons said that in order for that to happen, state legislatures need to reflect upon the question, “What must be done?” and do what’s required. 

Parishioners Organize to Set a Precedent in their Communities

By Julien Acosta and Fernanda Gonzalez

360 picture provided here

Members of St. Adalbert’s Parish in Pilsen hope to organize and sustain the place of their church in the community. Their actions will serve as a precedent for the nearly 100 other churches planned to close by 2030 in the Chicagoland area. 

St. Adalbert’s Church has been a marker of community in Pilsen for over 100 years. Despite the grandeur of its towers and the historical significance, it was deconsecrated by the Archdiocese of Chicago July 15, 2019 and will no longer be used for worship. This is due to understaffing, a lack of funding, and shrinking congregations throughout churches in the Chicagoland area.

By Julien Acosta

Julie Sawicki, the president of the Society of St. Adalbert’s said, “I don’t think he [the Cardinal] understands the ties of the Polish community to our churches here… it’s critically important to us, it’s not only, you know, a deep testament to our Catholic faith or deep faith, but it’s part of our heritage. So we feel like our heritage is being destroyed, that it’s been taken away from us. . . this [St. Adalbert’s Church] is a gift not only to the Catholic community, but a gift to the City of Chicago.” 

This final deconsecration comes as another phase in the struggle to reclaim the land for the local community’s interests. Community members are aiming to make their voices heard and avoid fading into the background as other parishes are forced to close in succession.

By Julien Acosta

The deconsecration and sale of the land to City Pads is contested by the St. Adalbert’s Preservation Society as well as the Society of St. Adalbert’s. Both organizations work to preserve the sanctity of their worship space through direct community action. Community members have mobilized their rights in the Vatican as parishioners and as citizens of Chicago since word of the Church closure reached them in 2016.

By Julien Acosta

St Adalbert’s Church was scheduled to close in February 2016. At this same time  five other parishes were consolidated in Pilsen in order to combat shrinking congregations, understaffing of priests, and lack of funding. Three churches were left in Pilsen to serve the community; St. Pius V, St. Paul, and St. Procopius. 

The Chicago Academy of Music made an attempt to purchase the property in 2016. They hoped to use part of the property as student housing and repurpose the sanctuary as a concert hall. St. Adalbert parishioners did not agree with this plan and staged protests to have their voices heard. 

The planned purchase by the Chicago Academy of Music fell through in 2017 due to its inability in securing funding, according to Blanca Torres of the St. Adalbert’s Preservation Society. 

Upon this deal falling through, a bidding war was launched for the property and a local developer, City Pads, came out on top with a final bid of roughly $4 million. City Pads already has negative public relations in Pilsen due to their removal of a public mural and their inaccurate claims of affordable housing units. 

City Pads representatives claimed it will restore the church and towers to public and accessible use. As well as utilize the rest of the property for housing, they claim 20% of which will be dedicated to affordable family housing. 

Blanca Torres, vice-president of the St. Adalbert’s Preservation Society, said she’s concerned about the proposed renovations to the property. She emphasized the right of parishioners to petition the Vatican and archdiocese in order to avoid “fading to the background.”

She said the St. Adalbert’s Preservation Society wishes to be included in the considerations for the uses of the land. Blanca Torres said, “we are willing to listen and help the owners if they will address community issues and needs”, if the sale is eventually finalized. She stressed the need to address communal issues and not focus solely on profit. Blanca also stressed that the the St. Adalbert’s Preservation Society hoped to maintain the sanctuary as a place of worship above all else. 

When asked about working with the buyers of the property, Julie Sawicki said, “that’s not even possible. . . we are fighting for the church to remain a sacred space, I don’t think City Pads understands Canon law.” Not all organizations devoted to saving St. Adalbert’s have the same long term plan, but their primary goal is identical. 

Sawicki said that City Pads can not sustain the Church as it is because they have no ties to Catholicism, if the church is purchased by an outside developer it can not continue to sustain the community of faith in Pilsen.

St. Adalbert’s is one of several churches threatened with closure throughout Will, Cook, and Lake County. The actions taken by the parishioners of St. Adalbert’s will serve to help define potential routes for other congregations threatened with closing. 

Parishioners threatened by church closures will all experience the loss of their social centre differently, but there is inevitably going to be a void created in the community. 

The disruption of their communal space has left many parishioners feeling abandoned by the archdiocese and led some to question their faith and the authenticity of the church’s claims.

Andy Bobak, a member of St. Adalbert’s for five years, said, “I’m losing faith. He wants to close a hundred churches, it’s really bad. People build the churches for them. They’re just closing them.”

Bobak emphasized how damaging the church closure has been to his experience of faith and added: “From what is going on in the last five years it’s really suspicious where the church is going you know, it’s going like more Protestants in a way. It happened 500 years ago, one day, you know. . . they split so it looks like it’s going to happen right now”. 

Bobak highlighted the uncertainty that parishioners are experiencing and brought to question the stability of the church while facing mass closures. 

If St. Adalbert’s officially closes and a final sale is reached, then the community will be losing their home, faith, and trust. A pillar of the community will be lost and the associated Polish heritage will begin to fade away. The church is like a home to parishioners, their parish has been in the community for nearly 150 years and many parishioners don’t feel comfortable in unfamiliar environments. 

This is because the congregation was misled by previous leadership. Andy also mentioned that the previous cardinal, Cardinal George claimed, “the church is not supposed to be ever closed.” Parishioners put their trust in their past leader and hoped the new leadership would address the needs of their community.

Many parishioners of St. Adalbert’s pray and protest in hopes of changing the fate of their sanctuary. The community’s trust will be irreversibly damaged if their right to petition is not addressed.

Cardinal Cupich is not supposed to finalize any sales or close the church without addressing all petitions for the property. However, that’s exactly what happened, the church was closed and the Cardinal made plans with City Pads for the sale of the land. As of this time the Vatican has not reviewed the case.

The final sale of St. Adalbert’s has yet to be announced and protestors hope to delay the sale in order to find a means of saving their beloved church. The parishioners hope for the property to benefit the surrounding community, whether or not it remains holy land. With gentrification on the horizon, this mission should remain at the forefront to avoid pushing more of the primary community away from their homes. 

by Fernanda Gonzalez

The St. Adalbert’s Preservation Society has started a petition for any community members interested in helping their cause. They hope that through changing the zoning laws, a different outcome will occur for their parish.

Another 360 picture provided here

Top 10 Ice Cream Shops in Chicago

When coming to Chicago people are over welled with what to do. What should they visit first? Willis Tower? Millennium Park? 360 Chicago? Whatever they decide one thing that wouldn’t have to worry about is what ice cream shops to visit.

I have chosen this 10 ice cream shops based on top reviewed shops, recommendations from friends, my own experience, and Eater Chicago.

When you come to Chicago consider one of these tasty ice cream shops.

Amazon surpassing Walmart on Google Trends

In the past year it seems that Amazon keeps getting the upper hand when it comes to which company a customer prefers when buying goods. Both Amazon and Walmart are known to be retailers. A place where people can buy clothes, electronics, and appliances.

Founded on 1962 Walmart is known for its great discounts and as their slogan says “save money” on products.  The company has been going strong since then and hasn’t been affected by any of the other competitions in retail. That is until Amazon came along.

Walmart logo

Amazon was established on 1994. Amazon has been growing on expanding their products since. It is an online store where people can buy electronics, supplies, and clothes. The only missing piece is fresh food. However, Amazon also allows people to sell things on their website. Amazon is convenient for people who don’t want to physically go buy something.

Amazon logo

According to Google Trends, in the past year Amazon has trended more than Walmart, and it seems that it just keeps rising. November 18-24 Walmart trended more than Amazon. However, currently Amazon is in the lead.  On average Amazon trends at 66%, while Walmart falls at a 46%. On average all the States seem to prefer Amazon over Walmart except in West Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma where Walmart reigns supreme.  

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