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August Newsletter August 2010
What is wrong with IACC?

In a channel 6 report, Joanna Massee reports that Animal Control response times lag, topping 7 hours in May for average runs and overtime costs are exceeding the tax payers $15,000 month. Safety Director Frank Straub reports that "all the issues can be related to staffing problems." In October 2009, acting safety director Mark Renner, lobbied by the Humane Society of Indianapolis, Indy Feral and other representatives of the newly formed Indianapolis Animal Welfare Alliance, fired previous ACC administrator Doug Rae for poor response times. Straub defends the newly appointed administrator emphasizing "that the ultimate responsibility for Animal Care and Control belongs to the community, not the city." The full coverage is here.

Inebriated with Power
There are some kind people who work for Indianapolis Animal Care and Control (IACC) but for some, having power will trump kindness and common sense.

Indianapolis tax payer Jane Dietz had an encounter this past March with an Indianapolis Animal Control Officer (ACO) who cited her for having her dog on a long line in the back yard. The line, a rope, was attached to a basket ball goal that could rotate 360 degrees. Her dog was in the company of her elderly father who was picking up sticks and had access to an open garage door. Because the dog's tags often would catch on items and get lost Ms Dietz kept the dog's tags in the house. The officer had been called to the neighborhood on a report of loose dogs but apparently decided that targeting Ms Dietz, who was on her way to the home of a family member that had experienced a recent death, was a better priority and use of tax payer's money.

Ms Dietz' letter to mtA is
here.

In an email correspondence from administrator Teri Kendrick to mtA, Ms Kendrick agreed that the dog house citation was, "incorrectly applied."

"To summarize, I agree that Officer Lane incorrectly applied Sec. 531-401 as it relates to required shelter, but, from the photos taken by the officer, it appears that Ms. Dietz was in violation of Sec. 531-401 because her dog was unlawfully tethered by a leash tied to a rope tied to a basketball goal, which does not meet the requirement of Sec. 531-401 that a tether have swivels at both ends. Additionally, Ms. Dietz was in violation of Sec. 531-302 (rabies tag required to be affixed to a collar and worn by the animal at all times) as evidenced by the officer's photos and Ms. Dietz's own admission in her letter that her dog's tags were "in the house." Officer Lane says she chose not to issue that citation because Ms. Dietz was so upset. Amber Myers has counseled Officer Lane on the correct application of Sec. 531-401 as it applies to required shelter."

Swivel: A link, pivot, or other fastening so designed that it permits the free turning of attached parts.

All dog owners take note: Ms Kendrick's interpretation of the ordinance is that a swivel is not a rope that swivels 360 degrees on a post.

Ms Dietz paid a $164 fine for not having the rabies tag attached to the collar of her dog who was in her own yard.

At the hearing Ms Dietz describes her experience:

"I was called up to a table with a man who told me that my file had a notation to add on the rabies tag violation. I could pay $164 today, or come back to court on May 5th. It is set up to keep people from coming back. He never said what the ticket was for, nor did he care to hear anything I wanted to say. Pay the fine or come back and risk a bigger fine is what I took away today. ...so I paid the fine."

If there is any wonder why response times are up for average runs, and why citizens have little affection for government, here it is. Ms Dietz and her family are good people; they pay their taxes, support shelter dog adoption,… and this is their treatment from IACC. Where is the "caring?"

Food Pantry at IACC
According to reports at IACC board meetings, the pet food pantry is receiving little traffic. This pantry is a good thing and if you know someone with a budget-crunch and pets, be sure to let them know of this opportunity.
PetShopPuppies Rallies
PetShopPuppies has led a 5 year campaign against various Indiana pet stores, protesting the sale of puppies. Documents have shown that puppies sold at Uncle Bill's Pet Centers are obtained from puppy mill breeder Abner Knepp who is licensed by the USDA.

Rallies protesting the horrific conditions of the puppy mill industry and Uncle Bill's profiteering from this cruelty will be held this weekend. Your participation and support is welcome:

Correction:

Date: July 24th (Saturday)
Location: Uncle Bill's Pet Center (Fishers)
14061 Mundy Dr., Fishers IN
Time: 10AM – 11:30 AM

Location: Uncle Bill's Pet Center (East side)
9411 E. Washington St, Indpls., IN
Time: 12:30 PM - 2:00


Date: July 25th (Saturday)
Location: Uncle Bill's Pet Center (Greenwood)
870 US Highway 31, Greenwood, IN
Time: 11AM – 12:30 PM
One Million Dollars Needed… for starters.
A recently formed coalition of select animal welfare nonprofit organizations calling itself the "Indianapolis Animal Welfare Alliance" plans to open a low-cost health-care and spay/neuter center for cats and dogs on the Near Southside. The coalition is being led by the Humane Society of Indianapolis (HSI) and, yes… they need your money. According to HSI director, John Aleshire, "A million (dollars) is going to change the face of animal welfare in Indianapolis." The clinic has the backing of Mayor Greg Ballard. Alliance members (Indy Feral, FIDO [Friends of Dogs Outside] and Indy Pit Crew) who supported the ouster of previous IACC administrator Doug Rae will also have a presence in the building.

"We cannot adopt our way out of animal overpopulation." says Aleshire.

Interesting that when the low-cost, high volume s/n FACE clinic, was struggling to get off the ground in 1993 it had no support from the Humane Society or city government, so this new enthusiasm for its own low-cost, spay/neuter is both curious and refreshing. The FACE clinic that reportedly sterilized 115,317 dogs and cats from 1999-2009, is also accepting donations for its operations.
Taking Pets to the People
A comprehensive approach to end the killing of adoptable animals embraces not just aggressive low-cost spaying and neutering, but also aggressive marketing of shelter animals. Expecting the public to come to an animal shelter or municipal facility to adopt an animal is a bit naïve. Many people don't even know a local shelter or animal control facility exists, or if they do know, they can't bring themselves to visit a depressing environment to see animals, with sad eyes and lowered heads, curled up in the back of a cage. Consequently, it's more tolerable and convenient to stop by your local puppy-mill enabling pet store.

Enter reTails. ReTails is a group of citizens who are taking shelter animals and bringing them to where people shop, a concept that the Uncle Bill's Pet Stores of the world have found great success. Since its inception earlier this year, reTails has been responsible for over 100 adoptions. Keep an eye on the reTails calendar to learn about an adoption event coming close to you.

Move to ACT is the first choice and the leading voice in providing accurate information to the public re the state of animal welfare in the Indianapolis metropolitan area.

The mission of Move to ACT is to heighten community awareness of animal welfare issues and to advocate for improved policies and practices. MtA seeks truth and responsibility and is guided by principles of respect, accountability and integrity.


The Board of Move to Act
Move to Act
email: info@movetoact.org
phone: 317-641-9300 web: http://www.old.movetoact.org