LOVES PARK, Ill. (WTVO) — Winnebago County Animal Services has notified dozens of pet owners that they’re behind on their dogs’ vaccinations, but for many, it is more of a clerical mix-up.
Some claim that a Loves Park animal clinic is not submitting their animal vaccine record to the county, saying that the county is notifying the owners of the fines they could face. Several people are dealing with the issue, and one pet owner said that, without those records, she could have lost her dog.
“I received a paper from the county that my dog may be due or not up to date with vaccines and rabies,” said Karmin, a former client at Companion Animal Clinic.
It was a confusing moment for Karmin, who said that her dog Flip had already gotten the shots.
“So I immediately called my new vet to make sure these procedures were not done by them and that I was correct in thinking Companion had did them,” she said.
However, with no record sent to Winnebago County Animal Services, Karmin went to her old vet, Companion, searching for answers.
“When I walked in, the lady at the door .. I handed her my paper and she said, ‘oh, another one,’ and I said it is another one but you guys wouldn’t have this if you were on top of your things,” Karmin said.
Karmin got with the records two days later. The State of Illinois requires that all dogs be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. The veterinarian then legally has to provide the county with a certificate of immunization.
“I mean, you can be charged $500 in fines,” Karmin said. “You can get your dog taken away.”
Kathleen Smith, owner of Companion Animal Clinic, declined an interview, but admitted that she has been behind on submitting the records, saying she is short staffed and was out for an injury. She also claimed that the county did not pick the records up from her.
Winnebago County Animal Services could not speak to Companion, but administrator Brett Frazier said that they are hearing multiple complaints about one specific clinic. He said that “animal services did make regular attempts to obtain certificates and registration throughout 2021, and since certificates had not been made available to animal services until recently.”
“You want your children to be healthy, and sometimes pets are like our children and we of course want them to be healthy, but I think there’s definitely more questions that us as animal people should be asking,” Karmin said.
Animal services said that the clinic is not fully caught up, but they hope to get it resolved as soon as possible. Those who have gotten a letter saying they are behind, but they are not, should bring paperwork to animal services in the meantime.