Field Trip: Dog Advisory Work Group (D.A.W.G.)
|Cynthia Bathurst (middle) with Extraordinary Community Service Award winners, Sia (left) and Mari Proutsos at the D.A.W.G. Court Advocates’ annual “Meet, Greet, and Celebrate” in December 2007. The sisters have helped raise over 90 homeless puppies for Chicago Animal Care & Control. CHARLEEN PROPSOM|
Year established: 1999; gained nonprofit status in 2000
Mission: Through education and advocacy, D.A.W.G. helps resolve conflicts between dog-owning residents in Chicago and their dogless counterparts. Members of D.A.W.G.’s court advocacy committee monitor and track all circuit court cases that involve animals. “It helps the community let the criminal justice system know that these cases are important,” says Cynthia Bathurst, D.A.W.G.’s executive director and court advocacy chair.
Resources: D.A.W.G. has no paid staff and operates on a shoestring budget that mainly funds communications efforts. The organization has trained 700 people to be court advocates and has a large network of dog park groups.