Allegations of neglect at Indianapolis Animal Care and Control - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Allegations of neglect at Indianapolis Animal Care and Control

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Indianapolis Public Safety Director Scott Newman Indianapolis Public Safety Director Scott Newman
The advisory board unveiled a comprehensive improvement program. The advisory board unveiled a comprehensive improvement program.

Jennie Runevitch/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - The care of dogs and cats is in question at Indianapolis Animal Care and Control amid allegations of neglect. City leaders say those claims are blown out of proportion, but also promised sweeping changes to provide better care.

Maureen Owen and others with the Feral Bureau of Indiana volunteered at Animal Care and Control to check out conditions firsthand. "We found many of them didn't have food or water.  The care was horrible. I didn't expect this. When I walked in there, I expected poor sanitation. I didn't expect neglect," Owen said.

The volunteer visit prompted the Feral Bureau to file a formal grievance this week against the facility. It alleges injured animals went untreated, that animals were left in small, dirty cages, and that a cat suffered in pain for hours after a botched euthanasia.

Employees at Animal Care and Control deny the allegations. They say they're short-staffed, but is no way they have abused animals.

Indianapolis Public Safety Director, Scott Newman, said he is "skeptical this could have happened." In response to the grievance, Newman and the advisory board unveiled a comprehensive improvement program that includes more staff training in sanitation, a mandatory pre-euthanasia sedation policy, and an outside panel to inspect the kennel. "I think our investigation should go further and address whether the practices were substantiated by the complaintant and if so, whether we can do better," Newman said.

The board also plans to hold a public hearing to talk about the neglect claims and members vowed to be accountable for providing quality animal care. The public hearing to specifically address the grievances filed against the facility is Wednesday, September 10th at 4:30 pm at the city-county building. Public Safety Director Scott Newman has also promised to take a look at the budget to see if any more money can be dedicated to increasing staff at Animal Care and Control.

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