IACS hosts free adoption event, addresses euthanasia rumors

(WTHR Photo/Josh Blankenship)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – While officers check on people, Indianapolis Animal Care Services is looking out for pets in the heat!

The shelter has already taken in nearly 500 animals this week.

Saturday, they offered free adoptions to clear space for more.

"A lot of it is because of the heat, our officers when they go out and do think a dog or other animal is in danger in the heat they will impound it here at the shelter and then to house those dogs," said Brandi Pahl of IACS.

Adoptions are free all month.

IACS also sent out a statement Saturday, addressing rumors going around on social media about, claiming that the shelter is euthanizing pet surrenders at the intake door due to space issues.

"We would like to clear up some misconceptions about how Indianapolis Animal Care Services (IACS) is handling our space crisis. There are some posts running rampant on social media that IACS is euthanizing all owner surrenders at the intake door due to our space issues. That is NOT TRUE.

Very difficult decisions are being made on a daily basis, but we are NOT euthanizing healthy adoptable animals at intake due to our space issues. When a healthy, adoptable animal comes into the shelter, staff members are continuing to work tirelessly to give that animal every opportunity to give it the second chance it deserves at a loving home.

The reality is we take in more animals than we adopt, send to rescue, or return to owners nearly every day. When an animal is surrendered to the shelter we have to consider that animal’s placement options, if that animal has severe medical or behavioral issues that makes adoption or rescue placement unlikely our staff is forced to make the difficult decision to euthanize so that our limited resources (space, staff and volunteer time, etc.) can be maximized to help the animals we CAN save. It would be inhumane and irresponsible to house animals indefinitely without a positive outcome in sight for them.

There is a sign at our intake door that informs people surrendering an animal that the animal has a higher risk of being euthanized at this time. It would be negligent for us to continue taking in animals, knowing our resources our limited, and not communicate that to owners. The staff and volunteers are empowered to offer resources to help owners keep animals in their home until we are able to open up space."

During the adoption event Saturday, IACS had 59 animals adopted, 15 animals left with rescue partners, three cats left with IACS's shelter-neuter-return program, and five animals were returned to their owners. They ended the day with 29 open cages but they believe due to the extreme heat, a majority of those cages will be filled by the time shelter staff arrive tomorrow morning.

"Throughout the night and into tomorrow our staff and volunteers will continue to do what they always do, they will work miracles and they will save every animal that can be saved, but they need your help and your support to give every animal the chance they deserve," IACS continued in their message to the community. "While we appreciate and understand the concern, anger, frustration, disappointment, and all of the other feelings people are expressing after hearing that we are euthanizing animals, please understand it’s something shelter staff struggles with every day when they have to make those tough decisions."

IACS is asking people to make an appointment if they plan to surrender a pet. You can call the shelter at 317-327-1397.