Mark Rosenthal, Interim Administrator



The Department of Animal and Rabies Control prevents the spread of the fatal disease of rabies to humans and companion animals through vaccination, registration, education, legislation and surveillance.


Mandated to uphold 510ILCS 5 (Animal Control Act), 510 ILCS 70 (Humane Care for Animals Act) andChapter 10 (Cook County Animal Control Act).

Key Activities and Services

  • Provides for and maintains the rabies registration through serially numbered rabies tags as prescribed by state law
  • Handles all specimens submitted for rabies analysis
  • Enforces all post-bite quarantine protocol for the entire County
  • Provides low-cost rabies vaccine clinics throughout the County
  • Provides training and education for Animal Control Officers, veterinarians, schools, community groups and town meetings
  • Assists municipalities County-wide in extraordinary circumstances, such as the need for tranquilizing equipment, hoarding situations and eviction

Discussion of 2017 Department and Program Outcomes 

In 2017, the Department effectively reduced the number of owners who required post-bite violation notices to 15 percent through aggressive follow-up on all bite reports received in the office and an increased number of clerks trained to serve as bite officers, which also increased the efficiency of the process. In 2018, the Department has set a goal to further reduce this percentage to 10 percent through increased public education. The lower the percentage of post-bite quarantine violators, the greater the percentage of compliance with the law and the faster the victims have a definitive diagnosis as to whether they have to receive post-exposure rabies treatment.

In 2017, we expect to vaccinate more than 4,000 animals in our low-cost rabies clinics. In 2017, a new high-efficiency process at the clinics led to shorter lines and wait times and we were able to vaccinate 365 animals in 245 minutes. In 2018, our goal is to continue to increase the number of participants to 5,000 in the low-cost clinics by aggressively advertising.

In 2017, the process of switching from the mainframe to OnBase, a cloud-based system, began. The switch means there will be more effective service for residents, veterinarians and law-enforcement. The OnBase system will be fully operational in February 2018.

Budget, Cost Analysis and 2018 Strategic Initiatives and Goals

One of the major budgetary impacts to the Department in 2018 includes the additional cost of processing rabies specimens due to Illinois Department of Public Health cutbacks in testing of potentially rabid animals. Animal and Rabies Control has an obligation, by ordinance, to the victim of a bite to test the animal for rabies if the animal becomes deceased before the full quarantine period. As such, our department will be incurring additional costs for testing. Other additional costs will be incurred with the movement of all data from the mainframe to the OnBase system in Phase 2 implementation, additional licenses and maintenance.

2018 strategic initiatives and goals of Animal and Rabies Control are:

  • Complete the transition away from mainframe to OnBase system thus allowing 550 veterinarians serviced to download certificates electronically
  • Train municipalities and shelters to look up tag information and allow for after-hours look-up by on-call personnel
  • Increase public outreach of the low-cost rabies clinics to service more than 5,000 residents
  • Increase training through webinars available to the general public regarding ordinance requirements for post-bite quarantine

Budget and Full Time Employee Data