Hendricks Co Shelter Pet Advocates Not Giving Up, Despite Setbacks

Local advocates have been publicly opposing the needless killing at the Hendricks Co pound in Indiana for at least a year.  In 2011, the pound had a 61% kill rate and in 2012, advocates went to the local TV news with their concerns:  limited hours, no foster program, not allowing pets outdoors and not naming the animals in order to increase marketability.  Chief ACO Mary Anne Lewis had explanations for all that which basically amount to blah.  But specifically she mentioned that many of the pets are killed by request of the owners and:

As for why the shelter does not give animals names, Lewis told [the reporter] it’s too stressful on the staff when euthanizing the animal[.]

See how that makes sense?  Me either.  I guess the fact that any animals who get adopted would not be killed is irrelevant to this argument.

The county has made gestures to placate pet advocates since then but it doesn’t seem to have amounted to more than that.  The latest gesture is a reshuffling of leadership after advocates pointed out some serious discrepancies in pound records:

“I documented, using time sheets, animals left unattended for up to 67 consecutive hours,” said Tia Fox, an accountant and advocate with the Indiana Pet Welfare Project. “It disgusted me. That’s cruel.”

Fox, along with Allies for All Animals, also raised concerns about missing records for owner-requested euthanasia.


“(Lewis’s) cash transactions have no internal controls that would provide any assurance money’s not being misdirected,” said Fox. “That has resulted in 1,100 unaccounted for animals since 2001.”

Neither the failure of the county to adequately address the ongoing issues at the pound nor the failure of the chief ACO to do her job is unusual per se.  What makes Hendricks Co different is that the community dogs and cats there actually have a committed voice in the form of advocates working together for reform.  Well done, local hellraisers.  Keep going.

(Thanks Clarice for alerting me to this story.)

12 thoughts on “Hendricks Co Shelter Pet Advocates Not Giving Up, Despite Setbacks

  1. Yaay Allies for All animals.. Good Luck to you in your noble mission to speak for and support the voiceless..

  2. It SHOULD be stressful to kill dogs! And why on earth are the owners expecting Animal Control to do their dirty work? If they want their dogs dead, let THEM pay for it and let THEM watch it happen. This needs to have the light of day shining on it.

    1. Joan,

      I think the issue here is that the person in charge is attempting to explain away the terrible kill rate by blaming owners. Then she can’t produce the records to back that up.

      Good shelter directors don’t blame the public and they don’t kill animals. And they have records to document what they do.

      1. ” Good shelter directors don’t blame the public and they don’t kill animals. And they have records to document what they do.”

        A gem of a statement.. so accurate and so apt..

  3. I just do not understand these people in charge! The idea should be to help animals find new homes, not kill so damm much for whatever stupid reasons!!!! Our shelter here never ever kills for space and depends on the public community for help!!! Use whatever needs to save these poor animals and make the former owners more rrsponsible! Human greed and stupidity makes me sick!!!

  4. Wow! Just ran across this blog! Love it!…And I am the lead for Allies for All Animals so you are very welcome!! ;o) Thanks for spreading the word!
    Sheryl Sackett

  5. Ditto, to Sheryl Sackett above, love the article, its been long over due for Mary Ann Lewis to be gone, just go away,and bring in a considerate compassionate , in the” 21st century” thinking shelter manager in….. If you know of anyone for the job, vet tech?? experience with rescues, humane societies, ect…..please have them send there applications to either the commissioners of Hendricks County, Indiana, or Allies for all Animals. asap..so they may be submitted… Please write .the commissioners and thank them for this long over due task, and ask them to hire a new shelter director……
    Thanks again for hitting the nail right on the head with this article. awesome….. Jenny Jones

  6. LOVE this article! You really hit the nail on the head and are a gifted writer! As the founder of Indiana Pet Welfare Project, I can assure you we will continue to raise as much hell as needed to correct this situation! Thank you for helping us! –Tia Fox

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