Dogs, cats still waiting for homes after adoption event

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.

Approximately 50 dogs and five cats are still looking for homes, and they remain at the Hamilton County Humane Society and the FACE Clinic.



Organizer and spokeswoman Megan Bennett said the event was an even bigger success than the last one held in June.

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Indianapolis Animal Care and Control posted a photo on its Facebook page Monday morning showing all of its adoption cages completely empty.



Adoptable animals came from shelters and rescue groups from all over central Indiana, but IACC is a city shelter that has struggled for years with too many animals and not enough space and resources.

Bennett said the original plan was to have 1,300 dogs and cats at the event, but some rescue groups did not bring all the animals they had planned on.

Bennett said they would like to offer more dogs and cats in the future, but they need more boarding facilities to volunteer to hold the animals ahead of the event.

"There's just not enough places to put them ahead of time," she said.

Pet owners adopted spayed and neutered pets for a cost of $30, which included a microchip.

Bennett said some people had to be turned away during the screening process because an animal was not a good fit for that particular family.

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.

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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."

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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."      

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