INDIANAPOLIS - Nine hundred and forty-six dogs and cats were adopted at the second Indy Mega Adoption event held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds over the weekend, Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney reported.
Animal overpopulation has been, and continues to be, a problem for central Indiana.
Numbers obtained by Kenney show more than 3,330 animals have been euthanized by Indianapolis Animal Care and Control workers so far in 2014.
Records show more than a thousand of those euthanized animals were healthy or had manageable conditions, injuries or illnesses.
Six hundred and forty-two were owner-requested euthanasia.
Indianapolis Animal Care and Control has struggled over the years to get adequate funding and resources for the city's animal problem.
"There's no question that Indianapolis has a pet overpopulation problem," said Dawn Contos, IACC spokeswoman. "There are simply too many homeless pets and not enough homes for them all. When you buy a pet, you are encouraging those who breed to breed more. We need to breed fewer pets and to focus on spaying and neutering if we ever want to get our pet population under control."
Contos said euthanasia is always a last resort, and not something the shelter takes lightly.
"We explore every option prior to making the decision to euthanize any animal," she said. "Unfortunately, there are some animals which, due to various reasons, are not safe to adopt out. Our rescue partners play a very valuable role for us and many of our animals are made available to those partners. But, like IACC, rescues also face space limitations."
Contos said the shelter is taking in fewer animals and their "save rate" has been consistently climbing.
"We are working very hard to get as many animals as possible out of the shelter alive, whether that means back to their owners, adopted to new families or into a rescue for rehabilitation," Contos said. "We are trying new ideas like the Mega Adoption Events to help boost adoptions and make the public aware of adoption as an option. We have several low-cost spay/neuter options here in Indianapolis now which also help to reduce the number of homeless pets"
In September 2014, the city shelter's save rate was 68 percent. In May 2011, it was 47 percent.
"Getting Indianapolis to no-kill, which means IACC would never have to euthanize for space ever, is a two-prong approach," Bennett said. "Part of it is spay-neuter and making sure animals are fixed. The other is adoption.
"So the more animals we can get fixed and adopted out, the fewer animals going through the door at Animal Care and Control, and that's the goal."