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.)