Contact the author of the petition


2013-12-16 17:29:31




























Thanks to all that were so kind to sign my petition and those that emailed and called the village.  I am happy to report that the city of Wood Dale has decided to let me keep my 5 remaining dogs including my seniors Buckwheat, Lani, Boonie and Dantes.  I am so relieved and overjoyed at the same time. As the boys all lay around near me everyday when I work on rescue matters, knowing they can stay with me helps keep me focused and motivated in still trying to make a difference with the plight of homeless birddogs.

If you get a chance- we saved 4 little Pointer mix puppies- 6 weeks old a week ago and we are trying to raise funds for their care.  Their names are Levi, Eli, Leo and Bullet.  Aren't they the CUTEST???  You can sponsor for as little as $5 at our donation page.  For the rest of our fundraisers, please visit

Thank you all and have a wonderful holiday season.  Lisa





Lisa Spakowski

Latest Daily Herald piece from 11-20

2013-11-22 23:05:07

Lisa Spakowski

Continuance and the Process of Educating the City about Tick Borne Disease.

2013-11-19 16:30:13
So here's the latest- the city of Wood Dale was ready to go to trial but I had a secret weapon in a wonderful woman from Glen Ellyn, Paula McGovern who called me when the story broke- is a big animal lover and is running for DuPage County Board.  She spoke on my behalf and got Pat Bond to allow me to have a continuance so that I can contact the Wood Dale City Council for a committee meeting about rescue and tick borne disease on Thursday, December 12th.  I will be dropping my letter off at city hall tomorrow.  Hopefully I and the IBR volunteers can help educate and hopefully I will have the DNA results back on the tick I pulled from Jameson.  I may go and try and catch a few more in the woods around the Wood Dale dog park too.  At least finally I am getting somewhere.  The new court date is scheduled for January 21st and hopefully things will be worked out by then- PAWS CROSSED!!!

Lisa Spakowski

Update-- possible court continuance

2013-11-18 22:42:26
OK- just got off the phone with the Deputy Mayor Christine Winger and she thinks there may be a continuance for tomorrow's court appearance- but she is not sure.  She does request that I and anyone who is a part of this rescue or supports this rescue- come to the City of Wood Dale's Council meeting this coming Thursday night at 7:30pm to talk more about IBR and what we do and the dogs in my program.  There seems to still be a concern that the dogs infected with tick borne disease are a threat to the general public. Am I a threat?  Is Kristy, Carol, Keely or Reyna or any of us afflicted with these terrible diseases? I don't think I can get any of the IBR vets to attend- but maybe I can ask Dr. Hanover to write something or print something out from some web sites. Meeting is at City Hall.  I'll let you know more after tomorrow.   It was nice of Christine to call.

Lisa Spakowski

Daily Herald -- Front Page today!!!!

2013-11-15 14:28:13

Lisa Spakowski

Email from the City

2013-11-14 00:34:51

Here is the actual response to the email from Carrie with my commentary :O).

Dear Ms. Williams and Jeraminas,

This Department has been copied your e-mail correspondences. Thank you for voicing your concern about the “Illinois Birddog Rescue” operation located in Wood Dale. Nobody from the City staff doubts Ms. Spakowski’s dedication and compassion for her rescue animals. Her accomplishments are admirable.


Unfortunately, there are some incorrect statements contained in your correspondence. The City of Wood Dale does not issue licenses for the operation of animal shelters. If proposed in an area where her use would be an “allowable use” per the City Zoning Ordinance and Municipal Code, she would be required to obtain a Business License. To the best of our knowledge the licenses required for the operation of animal shelters and animal foster care facilities are issued by the State of Illinois. If Ms. Spakowski has lost her license issued to her by the State, her issue is with them.  Current licensing up to date and always available on the IBR home page here

The City of Wood Dale Municipal Code allows a maximum of three dogs to be kept in a Residential Zoned District. In addition, the Unified Development Ordinance (Zoning Code) does not allow Animal Shelters, Animal Kennels, or Animal Hospitals to be located in Residential Zoned Districts. We have reports of at least 10 dogs being kept at her premises.  Whether or not this is a “home-based profitable business” is not a relevant issue. It came to the attention of this Department that Ms. Spakowski was/is in violation of these restrictions imposed by actions of City Council’s over the years. Not true- the last letter I received from the city sdated August 15, 2013 stated this, "It is illegal to keep or harbor more than seven (7) animals at a residence with the Illinois Department of agriculture Professions and Occupations (225 ILCS 605/1) Animal Welfare Act governing a defined "foster home" states exceeding four (4) animals at any given time is prohibited.  The city of Wood Dale will allow a maximum of seven (7) animals to be harbored in a residential area, under a duly licensed Illinois Department of Agriculture home permit, privided all provisions of the4 Animal Welfare Act are abided by."

The introduction of sick and diseased animals, some with diseases that have the ability to be transferred to other pets, and in some cases humans is an additional concern of the City. Some of these animals have gotten loose in the neighborhood and created nuisances. PURE IGNORANCE about tick borne disease.  Pets get sick everyday- if not- vets would be out of business. What should be a concern to the city is the evidence that the tick population could infect the pets and citizens of this city- thanks to me being so diligent about testing some of it's residents and soon an engorged tick pulled off one of my kitties.


It may be a more productive use of your time for you to assist Ms. Spakowski in finding a location where her work can continue in compliance with the rules and regulations mandated by the local Municipality. Perhaps one of your Municipalities would allow her operation to be conducted in a single family home Residential neighborhood, it might be worth a call. My "operation" helps SAVE LIVES- thank you very much.  Community service at its finest!!!


Thank you,

John Forrest

Community Development Director

City of Wood Dale

Lisa Spakowski

Daily Herald

2013-11-13 22:48:46

Thanks to Carrie's thoughtful letter- looks like the Daily Herald is going to pursue my story!!!

Lisa Spakowski

A thoughtful letter by adopter Carrie.

2013-11-08 15:59:54

Here's an example of a really nice letter Carrie composed and sent off.  So nice.  Carrie's Murphy is featured in this Fundraising 2014 Calendar.

"An Open Letter to the Editor of the Daily Herald and the City Management of Wood Dale, Illinois:

I am writing in reference to the unfair treatment that Lisa Spakowski is receiving from the City of Wood Dale.  Lisa is the Founder and President of Illinois Birddog Rescue (IBR) and has worked tirelessly and selflessly for 12 years to save countless dogs, educate the public about the travesties of tick-borne illnesses, and bring to light the dire need for testing and treatment programs.  She has spent much of her own money and time to keep the rescue running as IBR is a not-for-profit charitable organization that operates solely on monies gained from donations and fundraisers.  This is not a home-based profitable business venture.  One of my dogs is with me today because of Lisa.  She is a godsend to the animals she saves, and to all of us that are the proud parent of an IBR rescue dog.

To my understanding, Lisa recently lost her Department of Agriculture license from the City due to a few complaints from neighbors after 12 years of operating a successful rescue in the same place.  The City is also waging a legal battle with her and has suggested that she simply take some of her dogs and two cats to a shelter, which is exactly where they all came from in the first place and were in danger of being needlessly euthanized.

Most of the dogs currently in her care are also senior dogs. If they were to just be "taken to a shelter" they would not stand a chance.  Senior dogs are rarely adopted if they are healthy, let alone if they are suffering from illnesses that require very expensive medications that they will no longer be able to receive if placed in a shelter.  I have been on IBR dog outings and have met some of her incredible fosters: Buckwheat, Dantes and Gavin (who is also deaf) are wonderful dogs that deserve to live out their days in the loving home she provides them.  To those of us that have rescued a pet, they are not just an animal, and they are part of our family.

Another incredible thing about Lisa is that she is a champion of dogs that are infected with tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Ehrlichia.  She is truly dedicated to educating people on the dire need for testing, prevention, treatment, and the devotion needed to bring these beautiful animals back to live healthy lives.   We all live in an area rife with several varieties of ticks that can pass on these diseases and others with one bite.  Many of these same tick-borne illnesses also affect humans.  Just ask any person that has succumbed to Lyme Disease what their life is like and how it has affected them.  They will not paint you a pretty picture but at least they are able to describe their symptoms to a doctor to get a diagnosis and medical help.  Our pets cannot do that and suffer greatly unless they can be properly diagnosed and treated.

It is also vital that the public be educated in recognizing the symptoms that these illnesses manifest in our pets.  In many cases it may be passed off as a behavior issue that is undesirable and they are left to suffer in silence, or be euthanized instead of treated for an illness that has robbed them of their personality among other things.  Many formerly ill IBR rescues have even become Championship birddogs in addition to being beloved family members-all because they were saved due to the efforts of IBR and the knowledge passed along from Lisa to other fosters and adopters of dogs with tick-borne illnesses.  That is why it is so important for IBR to be able to continue to operate in their location as they have been for more than a decade.  It is unfathomable to me that suddenly they are no longer worthy of being licensed to operate, and have been determined to be some form of nuisance to the neighborhood.

If I were a resident of the City of Wood Dale, I would be very concerned to discover that my tax dollars were being spent on a legal battle to stop an long-established rescue from being able to operate in the community, the education of the community on the dangers of tick-borne illnesses and promoting the treatment and prevention of them.   It sounds like they are not really serving the public at all in this case if you ask me.

As her next court date is November 19th, I can only hope that my letter will help Lisa in her fight to save her dogs and the IBR rescue home base by inspiring others in the community to let the City know there are far better ways to spend taxpayer money.  I sincerely hope that the City of Wood Dale will reinstate her license so that she can continue to operate Illinois Birddog Rescue as she has been for the last 12 years.   She not only helps the dogs she fosters, but the community as a whole through her efforts to educate people on dangers of tick-borne illnesses.  They are not easily detected or easy to treat-but she is living proof it can be done, and it needs to continue.


Carrie L. Williams

IBR Rescue Dog Owner & Parent"

Lisa Spakowski

Want to contact the government of Wood Dale yourself?

2013-11-06 16:43:22

If you want to express your feelings towards the City Government- here is their contact info. I emailed them all and have yet to hear a response. An adopter recently diagnosed with Lyme disease also emailed the Mayor and he also did not respond even with a courtesy reply. Your tax $$ goes to pay their salaries and as they are public servants- an email would be the polite thing to do when someone contacts them. Your tax $$ is paying the prosecutor that told me to dump my kitties in the local shelter. Wouldn’t $$ be better spent educating the citizens of Wood Dale about the dangers of tick borne disease affecting our families and pets?

Nunzio Pulice

Current Term: May 2011- May 2015

Contact Information:, (630) 595-8545

Jeffrey Mermuys, (City Manager), Phone: 630-766-4900, Fax: 630-766-3898

Find your Ward Alderman here

Antonino "Tony" Catalano Alderman Ward 3

Current Term: May 2013- May 2017

Contact Information: Email:, Phone: (630) 350-9646

What I plan to accomplish during my term:

  • Communicate and being accessible with the residents of the 3rd Ward. REALLY? Might that also include returning emails??

Christine Winger/Deputy Mayor
Alderman Ward 3

Current Term: May 2011- May 2015

Contact Information:
Phone: (630) 766-5798

Ran into Christine’s Dad at the Wood Dale Post Office the third week of October after my second court appearance and filled him in that I emailed his daughter about the issue of some of my older dog’s lives being at risk. She did leave me a VM saying she was a dog lover and I haven’t heard from her since.

My next court appearance in on November 19. If you think my case is ridiculous- please sign my petition and let them know you think so too.

Lisa Spakowski


2013-11-05 02:27:44

Some good news, I took Graham to meet a nice family in Homer Glen on Sunday and he and their 3 year old beautiful German Shepherd hit it off.  So after nearly 2 years with me in foster care, my Grahamster is moving to foster to adopt this coming Saturday (11-9).  He will only live about 1/2 an hour away too :O).

Lisa Spakowski

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