Dogs abandoned at Humane Society

The man in this security video dropped a dog off at the Humane Society.
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In the past week, three dogs were abandoned outside the Humane Society of Indianapolis. Surveillance cameras captured all of the illegal activity, which could lead to hundreds of dollars in fines for the suspects.

The first incident happened to "Ginger" on Tuesday. A man was seen on security video driving up to the shelter, then getting out of his car with the dog.

"You see him carrying a crate, sets it down in front of the intake door, doesn't ring the doorbell, gets back in his car and just leaves," explained Christine Jeschke, Chief Operations Officer at the Humane Society of Indianapolis.

A few days earlier, "Delilah" was dumped in a training yard after hours, around 8:30pm. If staffers hadn't noticed her, Jeschke says she could have spent all night in the cold, without any shelter.

"Again, not the most responsible thing, aside from the fact that this is illegal," Jeschke said.

Then just yesterday evening, with a Rottweiler pup, it happened again. The abandonment in the parking lot was witnessed by surveillance cameras, shelter staff and a bystander, who was bringing a cat to the facility.

"I was actually going this way and I saw the car pull up," Jeschke said.

"It was an older, kind of beat up silver car and a woman got out and she said (kiss) come on! Just like that and she got in the car and took off," said witness Corinna Duncan.

"We both just stopped in the parking lot and said, 'I can't believe we just saw that!' To leave an animal loose, we're right on Michigan Road, rush hour at 5:00," Jeschke said.

"Yeah, she didn't even look back. The woman didn't even care. It was just... 'Here you go'," Duncan added.

Each dog was abandoned just feet away from the entrance to the shelter. It is illegal, by Marion County ordinance, to abandon animals on public or private property. That ordinance is even posted on the front door of Indy Humane.

Shelter staff say the problems could have been avoided by simply ringing the doorbell and asking for help.

"They came here. They just didn't take the next appropriate step, which is get in contact with someone safe," Jeschke said. "We could offer food. We could offer the leash and if the ultimate end of the conversation is they just can't keep it, we would have found a safe place instead of leaving a dog loose in a parking lot."

There is no fee at Indy Humane to surrender a pet. You just need to set up an appointment, so space is assured for the animal.

If caught and convicted, the people captured on camera dumping their dogs face a fine of $200 or more.

Indy Humane is studying the surveillance video to identify the cars or the suspects seen in the video. Indianapolis Animal Care and Control on South Harding Street just installed security cameras at its facility, too, because of a spike in abandoned animals outside the facility.

Humane Society of Indianapolis pet surrender information

Humane Society release

Three dogs were abandoned on Humane Society of Indianapolis property in the past week. Abandoning animals is illegal in Marion County and can be dangerous or even fatal to the animals, especially as winter weather conditions approach. 

One animal abandoned this week at IndyHumane was left in a yard after dark and if not found would have been outside all night without shelter. Another was abandoned in a crate at the intake door while several staff were nearby, and a third was released from a car and left roaming in the parking lot while her owner drove away.

According to Marion County ordinance, Sec. 531-402 Abandonment of animal provision, "it shall be unlawful for a person to abandon any animal on public or private property in the city, and a violation of this section shall be punishable as provided in section 103-3 of this Code."

"Surveillance video captures all activity on shelter property," Christine Jeschke, IndyHumane Chief Operations Officer, says. "The public can face fines of $200 or more for abandoning an animal, but the safety of the animals is what is of most concern for shelter staff, especially heading into winter."

Options are available to the public if assistance is needed, and IndyHumane encourages patrons to ring the doorbell and discuss their situation with a staff member. Abandoning animals is unsafe and puts them at risk.

Indianapolis Animal Care and Control recently installed security cameras and intends to pursue those who abandon animals on their property as well.