The last few weeks have focued a spotlight on Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, Marion County’s only open admission animal shelter. Their proposed budget was due to be cut by over $100,000. Hardest hit would be the supply budget including medical and cleaning supplies. If the supply budget was cut that severely, most likely it would result in more of the animals being killed as it would be cheaper to kill them than to provide medical care for them. IACC takes in all stray animals, owner surrendered pets and animals involved in neglect or cruelty cases that are being investigated. Strays must be held for a certain number of days and the neglect/cruelty cases have time constraints as well. Pets signed over by their owners do not have to be kept for any amount of time.
The most common reasons that animals are surrendered include the cost of their care, behavior problems, allergies or a move that doesn’t include the animal. Often people fall prey to the charms of a puppy or kitten without realizing what kind of care and training that animal will need. They’re cute when they’re little and nibbling on your fingers but not so adorable when they grow into a 75 pound dog you can no longer control and they’re still trying to chew on you. Some people will then opt to discard the pet rather than try to solve the problem through training. Or as a pet ages, it often has health problems associated with old age and increased vet bills. If the owner is unable or unwilling to spend more money at the vet office, the animal can become disposable to them and is also dropped off at the shelter. These animals are really facing an uphill battle to even get out of the shelter. As owner surrendered pets, they are the first to be killed when space is needed. If their life wasn’t important enough to their owner to keep them and work with them, then why should they expect the shelter to do that? So that’s how many good animals end up inside the walls of your local shelter.
But what if we could stop them from ever getting into the shelter? What if Indianapolis didn’t kill over 20 pets daily with our tax dollars? What if everyone got together and offered help to people in need so they didn’t surrender their pets? Well, you’re in luck because there is a new resource to enable you to help other pet owners. Move to Act has compiled a Rescue Rally Directory. This resource will direct pet lovers to low cost spay/neuter, pet food pantries, behavioral help, lost and found assistance, poison control, emergency vet care and much more. Bookmark this site or print it out and keep it close at hand. Add the link to your blogs, email signature or web pages. Instead of pointing fingers at “bad” owners, let’s be proactive and give them info that might help them keep their pets. Watch for upcoming info about how your rescue can participate in the Rescue Rally 2011.
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