Indianapolis Pound May Be Unlawfully Neglecting Animals

damning report on Indianpolis Animal Care and Control commissioned by the Department of Public Safety was released last month.  Among the findings:

  • Conditions at the pound may violate the city’s animal cruelty ordinances.
  • The city does not budget for food for the animals at the pound.
  • The position of veterinarian has been vacant since March and there are no vet techs or assistants since these positions are not budgeted.
  • Decisions to kill animals for medical reasons are made by staff with no veterinary training and made without the most basic medical information.
  • The director position has been vacant since April.  In the past 12 years, 10 directors have quit.
  • The pound needs at least twice the number of animal care techs it currently has in order to meet bare minimum shelter standards.
  • Dogs do not get walked unless it’s by volunteers.
  • The pound lacks quarantine areas to separate sick animals from healthy ones.
  • The city won’t purchase the appropriate cleaning agents needed to prevent and minimize disease outbreaks at the facility due to cost.
  • Volunteers bring in bleach and rags from home to clean cages.
  • The pound’s 500+ animals are left alone overnight.

And yet the city charges owners with cruelty who fail to provide “food in adequate amounts to maintain good health”, provide proper veterinary care and/or separate sick animals from healthy ones in order to prevent the spread of disease:

“The city is charged to investigate cruelty,” said John Aleshire, CEO of the Humane Society of Indianapolis. “How ironic it is that we would bring an animal back to a shelter that is not properly staffed, that does not have proper medical care and (where) the staff has to scrounge around for food.”

The report’s findings echo those of previous task forces that have examined the pound.  The lack of results over the years has ground expectations into the dirt:

“We’ve known this since at least 2000,” said Sue Hobbs, chair of an advisory board that oversees Animal Care and Control. “There have been committees and studies and panels, and nothing ever changes. It just doesn’t. It’s seriously like Groundhog’s Day.”


“If we could just get it up to miserable,” she said, “I’d be happy.”

Sorry but this isn’t one of those Everybody Gets to Play teams.  Every little improvement is not worth celebrating, nor should it be considered acceptable to neglect animals and leave them to die.  If the Indianapolis pound is in violation of the city’s own cruelty laws, people need to be arrested and charged with crimes.  The whole “Gee, there isn’t anyone in charge so whatevs” thing does not work when animals are suffering and dying.   The animals need to be sheltered.  That’s what taxpayers are paying for.  Enough with the task forces and reports already, Indianapolis.  Do something.

(Thank you Clarice for the link.)

7 thoughts on “Indianapolis Pound May Be Unlawfully Neglecting Animals

  1. Too bad, had planned a spring visit to Indianapolis, but surely will not visit a city that has such disregard for their animals. This is beyond disturbing. Shame on the whole lot of them. Hopefully, the “irresponsible public” will rise and force the necessary changes be made. This place sounds like a cesspool.

  2. The attitude of “it’s been this way for a long time, we tried to fix it and we are just aiming for miserable, now” is incredibly disturbing. Obviously the people who have tried to fix this and failed time and again need to be replaced.

    Why are they losing so many directors? No support from the higher ups, most likely.

    How long before one of the volunteers gets the idea to call the police to report animal cruelty there? If people kept filing official reports of cruelty, maybe something would happen…or not, judging by the attitude of those in charge.

  3. It’s seems REALLY odd to me that TZI (Target Zero Institute) claims that this is one of their “Fellows” that they have been allegedly working with since 2013 to achieve No Kill (or at zero, as they call it).

    From their website:
    “TZI Fellow CIty: Indianapolis, IN
    Start Date: Late 2013
    Status: Expected to be at zero by late 2015/early 2016 (90+% shelter save rate)
    Progress Report: Shelter Save Rate Increase:
    Late 2013: 65% shelter save rate
    Early 2014: 79% shelter save rate (+14%)”

    Considering what this report found, I HIGHLY doubt TZI’s claims. If they aren’t providing the very basics like food and appropriate cleaning products (or separating sick and healthy animals), how could they possibly be working towards “zero”. There seems to be a whole lot of snakeoil being sold by that organization. Did Indianapolis PAY for whatever “service” they provided? If so, what exactly was the service??

    1. Easily. The municipal shelter is transferring a growing number and animals to rescue partners! They also lowered their adoption fees to $10 because they had a grant that covered the vetting costs for the dog a and cats adopted! So increase transfers and increased adoptions.

    2. Unless TZI is using its leverage to lead the charge for arrests and prosecutions at the pound under the animal cruelty ordinances, they are at best enabling the neglect. At worst… *shudder*

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