A 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.)