Proposal could allow "kill pens" in Indiana

Video shows dogs attacking a coyote in a "kill pen."

Emily Longnecker/Eyewitness News

Greene County - The video from the Humane Society of the United States tells the story - animals put in a pen to be mauled by dogs.

Now, a new move could lead to similar scenes here In Indiana.

"It's a blood sport they enjoy," said CeAnn Lambert with Indiana Coyote Rescue Center.

Lambert calls it "canned hunting."

"Basically, they are confined in this small area where they cannot get away from the dogs," Lambert said.

A proposal set to go before Indiana's Natural Resources Commission Tuesday morning could legalize that very practice in Indiana.

"We thought it was terrible when Michael Vick did it. But yet, we want to sanction it just simply because they're coyotes," said Lambert.

Last month, Florida's DNR shut down its penning facilities. Indiana's DNR confirms there's already a facility in Greene County.

But the DNR says what's in the Humane Society's video isn't what's happening in Indiana.

"What makes Indiana different?" Lambert asked.

The DNR says they've visited the 300-acre Linton facility where there are plenty of places for coyotes and foxes to hide from dogs still learning to hunt.

"Any place that a coyote can run into to be safe, a hound dog can follow. Who are they trying to kid?" says Lambert.

Veterinarians have joined the protest against penning facilities in Indiana. Twelve veterinarians in Indiana have signed and sent a letter to the Natural Resources Commission, calling the proposal to regulate such businesses unethical.

Lambert says even if the coyotes and foxes aren't killed by the hunting dogs, "They're still in this pen, running for their lives. How can anybody think that's humane?"

With other states closing down their operations, hunting dogs and their owners will have to go somewhere. If this proposal passes, Indiana could turn out to be one of those places.

The Natural Resources Commission will consider the proposal to regulate penning facilities at its monthly meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Garrison at Fort Harrison State Park. The meeting is open to the public.