City says animal shelter addressing problems - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

City says animal shelter addressing problems

Updated:
Public Safety Director Scott Newman Public Safety Director Scott Newman
Douglas Rae took over Animal Care and Control in January. Douglas Rae took over Animal Care and Control in January.

Mary Milz/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - Public Safety Director Scott Newman says the city's animal shelter is "taking steps in the right direction."

Newman held a news conference Tuesday afternoon to outline changes made since Douglas Rae took over Animal Care and Control in January.

"The first thing you notice is it doesn't smell," Newman said noting the shelter had upgraded the chemicals it uses to clean the kennels.

More importantly though, he said the shelter adopted out a record number of animals Sunday.

"Fifty-two animals lives were saved," he said.

Rae came on board three months ago after the former administrator resigned amid allegations that some animals were mistreated or neglected. While half the animals brought to the shelter are still killed, Rae says he's working hard to change that by hiring an animal behaviorist and bringing adoptable dogs and cats to off-site events 10 to 15 times a month.

"We fully expect to save 80 percent of the animals brought into this facility and the good news is I'm surrounded by people who believe me," Rae said.

He said the shelter will continue working to place pit bulls considered adoptable. The previous policy called for pit bulls brought to the shelter to be euthanized.

Asked about an proposed ordinance requiring pit bulls to be sterilized, both Newman and Rae said they opposed breed-specific legislation, but did support spaying and neutering in general to address the pet overpopulation problem.

Newman also said he supported the mandatory licensing of cats and dogs. The city had a license policy until 1998.

"It was $5 (per pet) and nobody abided by the law," he said.

Still, Newman said, "It's a different age now." He said it would be less about raising money and more about "encouraging spaying and neutering."

Rae said it would also be "a great way to get pets back to their homes," as many don't wear tags.

Newman said he hoped to have an ordinance drafted prior to the next City-County Council meeting. He said he wasn't prepared to talk about possible fees as the ordinance was still being discussed.

Powered by WorldNow