Organizers were busy Saturday preparing for the Indy Mega Adoption Event, the second event of its kind in Indianapolis, Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney reported.
“It’s important to adopt not shop because there are so many great animals in shelters already,” said Megan Bennett, spokesperson for the Indy Mega Adoption Event. “You can find pretty much any breed at a shelter.”
The event will offer more than 1,300 dogs and cats, which is double the number offered at a previous Indy Mega Adoption Event held in June.
Pet owners can adopt spayed and neutered pets for a cost of $30, which includes a microchip.
Organizers want to empty all of the cages at Indianapolis Care and Control, the city’s shelter on South Harding Street.
Animal rescue groups and event organizers have a goal of making Central Indiana a “no-kill” community, which means no animals are killed due to lack of space in shelters.
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.
642 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 spokesperson. “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,” said Contos. “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,” said Contos. “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%. In May 2011, it was 47%.
Bennett said animals will be coming in from as far away as Sullivan County for this weekend’s event.
“Getting Indianapolis to no-kill, which means IACC would never have to euthanize for space ever is a two prong approach,” said Bennett. “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.”
The adoption event begins at 11 a.m. and lasts until 7 p.m. at the Indiana State Fairgrounds both Saturday and Sunday.
The event is free, but parking costs $5 at the fairgrounds.