Animal Care & Control director resigns following report - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Animal Care & Control director resigns following report

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David MacAnally/Eyewitness News

Thursday update: Animal Care and Control Director Steve Talley gave his resignation to Public Safety Director Scott Newman Thursday morning. The move comes after a report found poor treatment of animals at the shelter.

Newman will speak with the media Thursday. Watch Eyewitness News at Noon for the latest.

Indianapolis - Changes are coming to Marion County's Animal Care and Control Shelter. The way it cares for and euthanizes animals faces reforms after complaints of mistreatment.

Last month volunteers from the Feral Bureau of Indiana visited the shelter and said they saw animals left without food or water in small, dirty cages, as well as injured animals left untreated and a cat that suffered in pain for hours after a botched euthanasia. City leaders said those claims were blown out of proportion but promised changes to provide better care.

Joan Isaacs is one of two outside investigators called in by the city to check complaints by volunteers at the facility. One citizen pushing for better care told the panel she asked a worker, "Do you know there's an injured cat here? She said yes. Its paw was stuck in the door when she came in and expected it now had nerve damage."

"Everything that happened in the past for me is in the past. I'm trying to move on," said Isaacs.

Critics took some specific charges to the Board that advises the shelter. One was a cat with broken bones and maggot-infested that was left two days without medical care. The other was a dog being put down. The allegation was that the dog was dragged urinating through a hallway by staff, upset and dying an agonizing death.

"The issues that were raised I found to be substantiated," said Isaacs.

Karen Jensen, the other volunteer investigator, said in the dog case, "I understood policy was followed. The injection was given the way it was supposed to and the animal put in a crate the way it was supposed to. None of the employees enjoys doing this."

Public Safety director Scott Newman had additional concerns. "Employees were callous, reported to be laughing. That kind of behavior is uncalled for and will not be tolerated."

Shelter Administrator Steve Talley says in the case of that injured cat, the staff put her down as soon as a volunteer reported the problem. He welcomes the investigators' recommendations like surprise inspections and improved staff communication.

Newman says he wants the shelter board to "draft a policy to sedate animals before they are euthanized, across the board, universally" so there are no more death struggles like the dog that was dragged through the hallway.

Animal Care and Control

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