Numbers Show Dramatic Drop In Animals Euthanized At City Shelter

More than 6,000 still killed In 2012

INDIANAPOLIS - The city of Indianapolis animal shelter is killing fewer animals for space reasons, the Call 6 Investigators have learned.

New numbers reveal a dramatic decrease in euthanasia rates.

In 2011, 8,977 animals were euthanized at the city shelter. From Jan. 1 to Dec. 10, 2011, 8,262 animals were euthanized, records show.

For the same time period in 2012, 6,739 animals were euthanized.

"We’re not euthanizing for space, nor have we in the last several months," said Dan Shackle, the new administrator for animal care and control. "It makes me feel great considering I just got here. It really speaks volumes about our staff and their dedication."

As the Call 6 Investigators reported in 2011, the city faced a grim situation with animals on the loose and thousands of animals being killed due to a lack of space at the shelter.

Since then, Animal Care and Control has boosted volunteer hours by 16 percent and improved the number of animals leaving with rescue groups, while reducing the number of animals coming into the shelter.

Numbers show intake numbers have dropped 11 percent from 2011 to 2012.

"The reasons for the intake drop is an increased emphasis on community education and low-cost spay neuter, which FACE is a big part of," Shackle said.

The Call 6 Investigators shared the new numbers with Ellen Robinson, executive director of the FACE low-cost spay neuter clinic, which performs 13,000 surgeries a year.

"It’s actually a little bit better than what we’d expected, so I’m happy about that," Robinson said. "I think it just shows high-volume spay and neuter works."

The clinic has targeted booming populations, such as outdoor cats and pit bull mixes, and this summer, they launched a mobile unit to help spay and neuter pets with no transportation.

"We’ve transported more than 400 animals so far, and I’m sure we’ll continue to ramp up those efforts," Robinson said.

Animal Care and Control also credits animal groups, such as the Animal Welfare Alliance, Indy Feral and FIDO, for helping to increase education.

"There’s a lot of people passionate about animals," Shackle said.

But some argue killing 6,000 animals is 6,000 too many.

Robinson told RTV6 she believes the city can become a no kill community.

"There’s no question that goal is in sight," she said.

Shackle said the number of animals euthanized will never be zero because the city will euthanize aggressive and injured animals. But he said they are working toward eliminating euthanasias due to lack of space at the shelter.

"We can certainly try and make a big dent," Shackle said.

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