Interim IACC director draws concerns from animal advocate groups

INDIANAPOLIS - The new director of Indianapolis Animal Care and Control has only been on the job for a few days, but he's already become familiar with how controversial the post can be.

Spencer Moore was appointed this week as acting director of IACC after former director Dan Shackle resigned. He's already drawn out critics of the organization, who've expressed concerns that, only days into the job, Moore has overstepped his authority as a temporary replacement.

At the heart of their concerns are worries that changes implemented by Moore will negatively impact the live-release rate and the euthanasia of animals.

"We're just hearing a lot of concerning reports from a variety of people, people on the City-County Council, former administrators, a variety of staff people," said Darcie Kurtz, director of outreach and medical services for FACE low-cost spay and neuter clinic. "The concerns are that the progress that is being made might be shifting in the opposite direction."

Indianapolis Animal Care and Control takes in more than 16,000 animals annually. Over the past several years, the shelter had made big strides in increasing the live-release rate of animals and modernizing its fleet and equipment.

Moore, previously ran Animal Care and Control for nine years, says he's not looking to change existing policies, but rather to streamline the system.

"For anyone to think that I'm going to change that, and take it when I worked so very hard when I was there 15 to 20 years ago … they don't know me," Moore said.

In 1999, Moore was recognized by the Public Safety Board for reducing the euthanasia rate by 17 percent, for increasing adoptions by 400 percent and for increasing the live releases of animals by 150 percent.

Deputy Director of Public Safety Valerie Washington said her office stands by Moore's interim appointment.

"We're quite disappointed to hear rumbling with people we've partnered with in the past," Washington said. "And I could say even more disappointed that we've not had any phone calls from people expressing their concerns directly."

Moore said his door is open, and that he too is frustrated that the groups that have concerns haven't picked up a phone and called him.

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