Indiana's unwanted dogs shipped to New England

Organizers hope for tougher spay/neuter laws

INDIANAPOLIS - Dozens of dogs are making their way from Indiana to New England in search of a new home, and animal advocates hope the trek will catch the attention of state lawmakers.

The CanINE Express Transport Project transports unwanted pets from central Indiana to places like Vermont and New Hampshire, Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney reported.

Kenney has exposed the city’s horrible animal overpopulation problem for several years.

"In New England over the past 20 years, they've spayed and neutered so well their shelters are in need of well socialized healthy dogs," said Cathi Eagan, organizer for CanINE Express Transport.

Thursday, animal advocates gathered animals from 15 shelters before heading north.

The project is in its 10th year with more than 9,000 animals already transported.

It’s a monthly, grueling 2,200 mile trek in three days.

Eagan said every time, she comes back to cages that are full once again.

“(Animal overpopulation) is costly to our state, it’s costly to our city governments to have to run these shelters all the time,” said Eagan.

Organizers hope to get the attention of state lawmakers to get tougher spay/neuter laws passed, similar to legislation already in place in much of the northeast.

“This year will be the fourth year we're trying to get the bill through, and it will be introduced in the next couple of months so we will be out there trying to get our legislators to pass it this year," said Eagan.

The dogs transported are the lucky ones, because they are not among the thousands killed due to lack of space at city shelters.

“My hope is one day we're the ones shipping animals in because we have too few, but for now I'd just be happy if everyone would realize the benefits of spay and neuter," said Dawn Contos, spokeswoman for Indianapolis Animal Care and Control “In the summer, there’s a lot more euthanizing for space because there’s a lot more animals out and about.”

According to the October kennel statistics report for Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, the shelter took in 1,388 animals, and 680 were euthanized.

Animal advocates would like legislation that establishes a fund for people who can’t afford spay/neuter surgery.

“My ultimate dream is I don't have to drive this transport anymore,” said Eagan. “We'll get there. We'll get there."

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