Indiana Animal Control To Kill Almost 100 Adoptable Animals Before Moving To New Facility–WHAT?!

by Mary Haight on November 12, 2008

Here’s a news flash from Lake Shore Animal Shelter:


“Marion County Indiana Animal Care and Control (ACC) officials are essentially holding hostage approximately 95 dogs, cats, and kittens, threatening to kill them unless other groups or individuals take them. Did a natural disaster take place here? No. Did the government go broke? Again, no.


ACC facilities are known nationwide for euthanizing for lack of space, and this resolution is in itself a hard reality. Yet Marion County’s ACC has unilaterally decided to change this time-honored reason for “euthanasia” and have refused to fulfill their ethical, moral, and community role as animal welfare agents. Taxpayer money pays for these facilities, the spay/neutering, vaccinations, housing and other needed care of these animals, and also the good salaries of the people who made this decision. Citizens of Marion County should be mad as hell.


The Humane Society of the United States reports that they have been attempting for months to persuade the local government agency to change its “policy” using media and outreach efforts. Officials will not bend.


The brand new facility is nice and much suited to the care, welfare, and adoption of the animals. Why are these animals not allowed to go to the new facility, as is general practice in the industry? Marion County ACC is willing to spend time and money to deliver animals to other shelters, apparently even to Chicago. Why not leverage taxpayer money already spent on caring for these dogs and cats by bringing them to the new facility?


Marion County Indiana’s ACC is hiding behind the shield of “policy.” How often have they moved facilities that such a “policy” has been written and passed?  


There are animals at Chicago’s ACC currently being euthanized for reasons of space.  If animals are going to be euthanized anyway, why help Marion County rather than our own municipal shelter? If available cage space was simply going to waste, it would be incumbent on us to take the Marion County animals, regardless of the reason they are at risk. That is not the case.


The root cause of this problem is Marion County officials, who have not put forward any explanation or justification for these actions.  This is not a case of taking a transfer because of a unique, heart-rending circumstance that prevents the shelter from caring for the animal. It is a plea to protect the reputations of officials who apparently do not take their role as animal welfare agents as a role of important consequence. They are in business to save lives, not wantonly destroy them.


A concerted media campaign over the next days could help resolve this utter failure of governance and save the lives of approximately 95 adoptable dogs, cats, and kittens.”


I had a hard time believing that the local community could not force a change in behavior. If anyone reading this is media, please run a story. And if you have something to say in this regard, share it here!










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