Summer Pet Care Tips 

Summer Pet Care Tips 

Cook County Animal and Rabies Control urges pet owners to take special precautions to protect the health and welfare of their pets in the summer. 

The department offers tips for pet owners: 

Keep pets on leash: Only let your dog off-lead in designated dog-friendly areas. This protects your dog and people or other dogs or animals that are nearby. In Cook County, 80 percent of dog bites occur in the summer.  Children running, cycling or skateboarding can tempt an off-lead dog to chase them, and this can result in bite incidents. In addition, dogs may be tempted to chase squirrels and break free from their leads. 

Do not leave your pet in a hot car:  Studies have shown that even with the windows rolled down,  the temperature inside the car can increase by 15 degrees above the outside temperature. The law requires that any time the ambient temperature is above 78 degrees, you cannot leave your dog in a car. 

Keep your pets cool when outside: All dogs should be provided with cool water and shade and monitored when outside. Short-coated animals and animals with white or tan fur are susceptible to sunburn, especially on their noses. 

Consider a haircut: If your dog has a thick coat, consider a haircut for summer. One inch is a good length to keep you dog more comfortable in the heat while avoiding sunburn. 

Vaccinate your pets: Make sure that your pets ae up-to-date on all shots, including canine influenza virus, feline distemper and rabies. Cook County Animal and Rabies Control offers low-cost rabies vaccine clinics in June, July and Aug. Find locations, dates and times at 

Take care of your pet’s paws: Asphalt and sidewalks are hotter than grass, and paw pads are highly sensitive to heat. Whenever possible, walk your dog on grass, dirt or gravel, and avoid asphalt and concrete during a heat wave. 

Keep inside temperatures cool: Make sure your indoor pets have water and are comfortable when in the home. And don’t be alarmed if you see your cat sleeping somewhere odd, like the bathtub or the closet. Cats look for the coolest spot in the home. 

Police Presence, Nosey Neighbors and Being Informed Impact Safety

According to BAPA’s safety survey, a strong and consistent police presence, a commitment to being nosey neighbors and having access to community alerts and crime information are the top three tools needed for a safer community. (See survey results.)

“I think these results show how much confidence our community has in our police force, so much so that we hope Chicago Police Department leadership will dedicate more police manpower to protecting our commercial and residential areas,” BAPA’s Margot Holland.

“The survey provides valuable information for our law enforcement partners,” said 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea. ” I look forward to ongoing collaboration with BAPA and the 22nd District.”

The survey was distributed in early December through email blasts and social media, and was completed by nearly 2,000 area residents.

“It was a great response, and respondents overwhelmingly agreed that frequent police patrols throughout the community is the most effective crime-fighting tool,” Holland said.

Being a nosey neighbor and calling 9-1-1 to report suspicious activity was cited as the second most important aspect of crime prevention, and quick access to crime alerts came in third. CAPS meetings received the lowest confidence as a crime prevention tool.

Nearly 80% of the people who completed the survey have lived in the community for more than 10 years, and they provided good perspective on changes in community safety. “Many people noted that neighborhood receives a lot of attention from police when there is an uptick in crime, and that strong police presence is an effective crime deterrent,” Holland said. “People also commented that the neighborhood needs continuous police presence, not just added presence when something happens.”

While the vast number of survey respondents perceive the neighborhood as somewhat safe or very safe, a concerning number of people also indicated that they limit certain activities due to safety concerns.

“We received a lot of comments about where and why people curtail activities, and many people said that concern about their safety increased with the recent spate of crimes and there is more opportunity for crime because there are not enough police on the streets,” Holland said.

Even before the recent armed robberies, BAPA was developing the safety survey. “Those crimes made the survey more timely and the input we received more critical,” Holland said.

Survey respondents selected increased crime prevention tips in BAPA communications, volunteer-driven neighborhood watch, and neighborhood watch Facebook groups.

People interested in seeing the survey results can find it at The survey was developed by BAPA staff and board members with the help of 22nd District CAPS leaders, 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea, and community members.


Surveillance Systems Protect Homes and Businesses

By Kristin Boza

Video surveillance systems offer homeowners and businesses an affordable way to monitor their property, according to Tom Rezetko, owner of Enterprise Network Services in Evergreen Park.ENS offers a variety of options depending on the home or business owner’s needs, utilizing the latest in affordable technology.

“The nice thing about today’s technology is that through your internet connection at home or work, you can view the video feed remotely from your Smartphone or PC,” Rezetko said. “When you’re at work or on vacation, you can check your video feed with a wireless access. We found our clients value this service.”

Surveillance cameras can be installed outside of your home or business, or inside. “We normally place external cameras at the entrances to the building, and areas between buildings to monitor any place someone could penetrate a home or business,” Rezetko said. Internal cameras could be used to keep an eye on your children who are alone after school while you’re at work, or even to make sure an elderly parent is staying safe while alone all day.

The feed records 24/7 and is saved on a Network Video Recorder, or NVR, for storage retrieval. This can be accessed at any time in case of emergency, and a copy can be downloaded to a thumb drive. “Video quality is improving immensely compared to how it used to be, and we see it continuing to improve. A better picture quality lets you see more at a distance and allows for better viewing in dark places; night viewing technology has also improved,” Rezetko said.

Video is typically stored for up to six weeks. After that time, the oldest recordings will automatically delete first. “What we’ve seen is if there’s an incident in the area, the police will look around to see if any neighbors have cameras and will ask to see their feed,” Rezetko said.

When cameras are installed, ENS is careful to ensure the cameras fit in well with the home. “People are sensitive with having cameras hanging off the house, so we blend them in,” he said. A typical home will have at least four cameras placed on the outside. Rezetko’s team makes sure cables are concealed as much as possible and that all connections are protected. They also will setup your Smartphone or PC to allow you to monitor the feed, so it can be used immediately with minimal work from the home or business owner.

Rezetko says that cameras could be a deterrent from a crime occurring at a home or business. “It’s a service that provides value for the consumer and it really helps law enforcement as well,” he said. “We always make sure that we install a product that does what it’s supposed to do, while being aesthetically pleasing to the home’s exterior.”

Contact ENS at 773-583-4009





Village Viewpoint: Working Together for a Great Community

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Well, I was hopeful that after the contentious presidential election my Facebook newsfeed would go back to focusing on cute pictures of kids and fuzzy animals and that the traditionally cold weather would compel crime to let up, allowing the Chicago Police Department time to regroup and address the growing crime rate on the south and west sides of our City. No such luck.

I, like you, have been especially concerned about incidents that took place in our neighborhood from shots fired on New Year’s Day to hateful graffiti found on residential and church property. These crimes are unacceptable. We at BAPA condemn these acts of violence and hatred that happened in our neighborhood. We are proud to be part of an integrated, family-oriented community, and we believe that we can find a way to come together as a community and curtail this unacceptable behavior.

Over the last several weeks, members of the BAPA staff and Board of Directors, civic leaders, the alderman’s office and the 22nd District Police have been discussing the safety of our community and how, in the current climate in Chicago, Beverly/Morgan Park can remain safe.  WARNING: It requires your participation!

We need you to engage in keeping our community strong and safe by doing these simple things: don’t be a bystander and don’t be afraid to call the police – they are ready and willing to be here on our streets protecting us!

BAPA has been working with you – our community — to preserve and improve the Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood for more than 70 years. Our mission is to sustain and enhance our safe, culturally diverse community. We do that with proactive, effective programs that unify residents, institutions and businesses around the common cause of nurturing Chicago’s best neighborhood.

Thank you for all you do to support BAPA and our neighborhood!

All the best,


Get Behind the Vest Pancake Breakfast Supports Police

19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea will host his third annual pancake breakfast benefiting the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation’s Get Behind the Vest initiative, Sun., Feb. 26, 8 a.m. to noon, St. John Fisher School, 10200 S. Washtenaw Ave.  Admission is $5 per person or $25 for families.

O’Shea began hosting the pancake breakfast in 2015, and together with school fundraisers throughout the Beverly/Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood community, has raised over $53,000 for the Get Behind the Vest initiative to provide bullet proof vests for officers.

O’Shea will once again be working with local schools to organize “dress down days” and other student-based fundraisers to raise additional funds for bullet proof vests.

“Police officers around the country put their lives on the line each and every day to keep citizens safe, and we want to ensure that our Chicago Police officers return home to their families at the end of each shift,” said O’Shea.  “We appreciate the dangerous work of Chicago Police officers, and want to protect those who protect us. Through the pancake breakfast and various school events, I hope to raise even more dollars than in years past to protect our officers.”

Bullet proof vests need to be replaced every five years at a cost to police officers of about $500 or more. Over the past three years, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation has replaced thousands of outdated bullet proof vests currently in use by Chicago Police Officers. The organization now works to provide an additional 500 vests per year.

The pancake breakfast is generously supported and co-hosted by the Original Pancake House – Beverly. All pancake batter, condiments and cooking supplies will be donated by the Harrigan Family, who have operated the Original Pancake House for more than 50 years. Other breakfast co-hosts are the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, 19th Ward Youth Foundation, Good Guy’s Apples and Sauce, Beverly Area Planning Association, Sen. Bill Cunningham, State Rep. Fran Hurley and Saint John Fisher Parish. Information about the breakfast: 773-238-8766. Information about the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation’s Get Behind the Vest initiative,

‘Citizens Are Our First Responders’

By Grace Kuikman

Calling 9-1-1 Makes Communities Safer

“Citizens are really the first responders,” said Sherrie Wright, Chicago Police Communications Officer 2, 9-1-1 Training Division (pictured). “Community involvement is key to community safety.”

Wright has ten years of experience as a 9-1-1 dispatcher, the last 2½ as a trainer. She recommend that people trust their instincts and call 9-1-1, even if they’re not sure they should. “This is your every day life,” Wright said, explaining that residents know what’s normal where they live.  “Err on the side of caution.” And don’t assume someone else is calling.

Some examples of suspicious activity that should be called in to 9-1-1 are people lingering on the block, looking into doorways or windows, checking doors on homes or cars.

The Police would rather get a call and find out it’s not a problem than miss the chance to respond to an issue that could escalate or put people or property in harm’s way. The police will use all of the information you provide and respond with the appropriate resources, Wright explained. They want to hear from you.

Keeping Communities Safe

Calling 9-1-1 is not just about reacting to crime, it’s about keeping safe communities safe and preventing crime. Criminals prefer targeting areas where people aren’t watching and calling police. Nosey neighbors are best neighbors.

9-1-1 calls are important tracking tools that help police uncover crime trends and allocate resources. According to Wright, 9-1-1 calls provide an ongoing history about a location or household where there may be problems. The information provided by callers provide important evidence as well as patterns that may need to be addressed by police or shared with community partners. The more issues reported at a location, the better the argument for assigning a special attention or additional resources.

Your Right to Anonymity

Callers can remain anonymous. “Anonymity is every citizen’s right,” Wright said. People can request to remain anonymous at any time during a 9-1-1 call as long as they are not the victim of the crime or there is no need for them to meet with the police. Requesting anonymity does not delete your contact information, but hides it from the dispatcher and responding police. For certain crimes, police must canvass all neighbors for information or witnesses – if a caller is contacted during a police canvass, it is not a breach of anonymity.

Your 9-1-1 Call

Time is of the essence when you call 9-1-1, and Wright encourages community residents to be prepared when they call. “Have patience with the call taker,” Wright advised. “It seems like a lot of questions are being asked, but they all have a purpose.”

Wright shared the 5 W’s of what 9-1-1 dispatchers will ask to help citizens think about and look for important details if they ever witness a crime or need to report suspicious activity:

WHERE Try to provide a street address (best), block or intersection. Also report where on the property the incident is occurring – garage, back yard, front porch, etc., and any nearby landmarks.

WHAT What is happening determines what kind of resources need to be dispatched. Be as specific as possible: loitering, people attempting to break into a house, robbery in progress, fire etc.

WHO Give as much detail as you can about the suspicious person(s), starting with gender, race, height and weight, clothing, shoes; distinguishing characteristics like tattoos, scars, marks, haircuts or hair color, etc. If there is a vehicle involved, try to identify the make, model, color, license plate number, etc.

If you are the victim, there is a second WHO: Who are you and how can the police locate you?

WHEN If the activity is in progress, say it’s happening right now and response is urgently needed. If it’s over, give the date and time it occurred.

WEAPONS If there are any kinds of weapons being used – even things that aren’t usually weapons, like a brick or bat — let the dispatcher know.

Additional details that can help police include whether there are mental or physical disabilities, or medications involved. “Paint as clear a picture as possible,” Wright said.

Staying involved in the community is a resident’s first line of defense, Wright said. She encourages residents to work with the 22nd District Police, CAPS and organizations like BAPA and with the ward office to maximize communications and drive resources to the area.

Report Street Light Outages and Potholes to 311

On these winter days when it gets dark so early, it’s important that the city lights along our streets and in our alleys are all shining. When you notice that a street light or alley light is burned out, report it to 311 City Services.

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) needs your help to identify and report non-emergency problems such as light outages and potholes in the 19th Ward. Only potholes and street lights that are reported to the City can be repaired.

Report non-emergencies to 311 online at, by calling 3-1-1, or by using the free 311 mobile app for smart phones. The app enables people to report light outages, potholes, graffiti and other non-emergencies to 311 without making a phone call. The app also allows you to track issues as they are addressed. Search Chicago Works 311 in your app store to download.

To ensure proper repairs are made, whenever you contact 311, give the complete street address; do not identify the location by cross streets. When reporting outages, identify whether it’s a street or alley light, and whether it is a single light or lights on the entire block. You can also call 311 to request a senior well-being check.

CAPS Snowman’s Ball Helps Families in Need

By Kristin Boza

In the spirit of the season, Chicago Police Department Officer Carressa Northcross is leading the charge to organize the Snowman’s Ball, benefitting local families in each of the 22nd District’s beats.

The Snowman’s Ball will be held on Sat., Dec. 10 at 12:30 p.m. in the 22nd District’s community room. Volunteers are needed to decorate, serve food and clean up after the event.

“Volunteers can come the night before [Fri., Dec. 9] to help decorate, which is the fun part. We also need help setting up food tables before the event early Saturday morning,” Northcross said. “We are looking to have Beverly Woods cater the food, along with desserts from Jimmy Jamm’s Sweet Potato Bakery & Pies.”

Besides being treated to lunch at the event, each family in attendance will receive an Essentials Basket.

“All over the world, organizations participate in toy and coat drives. We wanted to do something different here in the 22nd District and give each family other items that they need,” Northcross said. “Each family will receive a heavy-duty roll cart filled with much-needed essentials such as school uniforms and supplies, socks, gloves, hats, toiletries, books, and of course toys. Essential items are often overlooked at this time of year.”

Northcross is looking for donations of gift cards and specific items for the event. “Many families cannot buy certain items on Link cards, even if they have them. These items include laundry detergent and feminine care products, since they are personal care items,” she said.  “These items can be purchased at Walgreens or CVS, so a small gift card donation of $10 to $25 is needed to these stores.” Family games, such as Twister, dolls and movie theater gift cards are also requested.

This is the first year that the 22nd District is hosting an event like this. Northcross explained that Beat facilitators were asked to select a school on their beat, then reach out to the principal to identify a student in need. The beat facilitators then spoke with the families to learn about specific individual needs for the Essentials Baskets. “We are very happy with the response and the rapport being built between the principals, parents, participants and the police,” Northcross said.

To donate your time, gift cards or items, contact Officer Northcross, 22nd District CAPS Office, 312-746-0650.

Holiday Safety Tips

By Kristin Boza

Many holiday safety tips are common sense: don’t forget to blow out your candles each night, remember to lock your car, and make sure your holiday lights don’t have any frayed cords. However, there are some things that you may not think of. Follow these tips to ensure a safe, happy holiday season for your home, your pets and your family!

Fire Safety

Beverly/Morgan Park resident and firefighter/EMT Joe Walsh sees a lot of cooking mishaps and dry Christmas trees as the reasons for calling for help in December.

“We don’t get called out for many fires during this time, but we see a lot of cooking pans that have too much liquid in them and are splattering over the stove,” he said. “The entire place will fill with smoke. Be sure to use a bigger pan to accommodate whatever you’re cooking,” he said. And despite repeated warnings every year, dry Christmas trees are a very real hazard. Walsh stresses that Christmas trees will light up if they’re left unwatered.

Pet Safety

Carl Kogut, owner of Animal Krackers, 3309 W. 115th St., Merrionette Park, warns that holiday lights, plants and ornaments can be dangerous for pets.

“Poinsettia plants are number one on the holiday list, and lilies are known to be dangerous to cats,” Kogut said. If ingested, poinsettias can cause vomiting and diarrhea in pets, while lilies can cause acute kidney failure in cats.

Kogut also warns about dangling wires from Christmas tree lights.

“Along with the risk of being chewed on, they are also a danger for pets running under the tree,” he said. “The electricity may not harm the animal because lights are low voltage, but it can start a fire. Homeowners should try to secure the lights to the tree so they don’t hang down and get wrapped around the pet.”

Ornaments that are easily breakable or the perfect size to be swallowed should be placed higher up on the tree. And beware of ribbons, string or tinsel; if ingested, it may not pass through the pet and can cause an intestinal blockage.

If you plan to travel with your pet, be sure to always put them in the backseat, and never on your lap while you’re driving.

“It may be cute, but it’s not so cute when it creates an accident and someone else gets injured,” Kogut said. “Secure the animal in a traveling crate or secure it with specially designed belts for pets.”

Don’t forget to treat your pets this holiday season. Animal Krackers carries a variety of holiday-themed dog treats and toys, as well as dog beds and aquarium kits.

Personal Safety

Thanks to the 22nd Police District CAPS office for these tips:

When you’re out shopping or enjoying public holiday events, always be aware of your surroundings. Be sure to limit your cell phone use, since any smart phone is a target for thieves.

Watch out for pickpockets in crowded spaces. Typically, pickpockets will work together: one will bump into you and distract you while the other steals from your purse or pocket. Separate your house keys from your car keys, and never carry your keys in a purse. In the event a purse is stolen, then you will still have your keys to access your car and home.

Avoid wearing expensive clothing or jewelry when running errands, as this will also attract thieves.

Some thieves will “window shop” your home before breaking in. To avoid this, keep your curtains closed when you’re home or away. Also consider installing motion sensor lights around your home to deter anyone who may break in.

If you leave your home for any period of time, leave some lights on and ask your neighbors to keep an eye on the house and pick up any packages that may be delivered.

Any items left unattended and visible in your car are targets for thieves. Be sure to remove the items when you come home, or hide them in your trunk if you’re running multiple errands.

Always park close to your destination and in a well-lit area.