INDIANAPOLIS -- The new head of Indianapolis Animal Care and Control said Monday her goal is to make the city shelter a "no kill" facility.
Katie Trennepohl’s first day as deputy director of the agency will be August 8, making her the agency’s 13th director in 13 years.
(Note: Under Mayor Joe Hogsett's new structure, the head of IACC is now referred to as a “deputy director” rather than a director. IACC is now under the Department of Code Enforcement, rather than the Department of Public Safety.)
Trennepohl comes to IACC after nine years with the Hamilton County Humane Society, where she served as operations director.
“Hamilton County takes in 3,500 animals a year, and IACC takes in 13,500 a year” said Trennepohl. "So, we’re definitely doing it on a much larger scale and also taking care of the enforcement, where in Hamilton County the officers work for the police departments.”
She also worked as an Indianapolis animal control officer from 2004-2007.
“I’ve been in animal welfare since I got out of college, and I definitely wanted to do something bigger,” said Trennepohl. “I thought there was no bigger opportunity to come here and make a difference for the animals.”
She talked exclusively with Call 6 Investigates Kara Kenney on Monday, and said she’s concerned about employee turnover and poor morale among workers.
“Employee morale seems to be a big issue, so we want to work on that and get them some stable leadership,” said Trennepohl.
Trennepohl is taking over for interim director Sgt. Randy Dodd, who took over for Dennis Papenmeier, who resigned amid an internal investigation.
Former IACC director Dan Shackle resigned in 2014 amid allegations he tipped off animal rescues before a sweep.
Trennepohl said she’s aware of the turnover and controversy that’s plagued IACC leadership.
“I’m definitely nervous, it’s a big job,” said Trennepohl. “But, it’s an exciting opportunity too. I definitely plan to stay here for the long haul and make some differences.”
Trennepohl said she believes the IACC chief will get more support under the new mayor’s structure, which includes placing animal ordinance enforcement and city shelter adoptions under the Department of Code Enforcement, rather than the Department of Public Safety.
“I think it will make a huge difference, just the support we have from the mayor’s office,” said Trennepohl.
The city’s live release rate is currently 85 percent, Trennepohl said, which means 85 percent of the animals are leaving the shelter alive – through rescues, adoptions, fosters or by being reunited with their owner.
The numbers are a huge improvement from 2011 when Indianapolis Animal Care and Control reported a 49 percent live save rate.
Trennepohl said to be considered “no kill,” the agency needs to get to 90 percent.
“We want to get to the point where we’re not euthanizing for space, for time limits on animals,” said Trennepohl. “So we will be working with rescue groups and our partners throughout the city. I just want to be very transparent with the groups here so they know what’s going on, so they can support us with what we need.”
The agency has been working hard to make the shelter more inviting to people looking to adopt.
“We definitely want this to be a happy place for the animals, and a place where people want to get their own pets” said Trennepohl.
To adopt from Indianapolis Animal Care and Control: (317) 327-1397.