Disease, death and money lost: the plight of Animal Care and Control

Dateline: Mon 05 Sep 2011

http://www.movetoact.org/wordpress/?p=417

For years, Warren Patitz has been an advocate for homeless companion animals in this city -- that's dogs, cats, rabbits, birds -- in short, any lost or abandoned animal. Now, in his blog, he takes his fight directly to Mayor Greg Ballard, for whom Patitz worked as a volunteer.

According to Patitz, when Ballard was running for office, Ballard promised to look into "a proactive spay/neuter plan" for the city/county-run Indianapolis Animal Care and Control on South Harding Street, at Patitz' request.

Writes Patitz in his Sept. 1 post:

"But almost four years later, nothing has changed for IACC. Many of us taxpayers are disappointed to see that mortar and brick and no-bid city contracts seem to have become the order of the day — again.

"We are saddened to see that public money can be found for a North/South (City Way) project ($98M), $33,5M for professional basketball, $12M for renovation of Georgia Street in anticipation of the Super Bowl, and a major renovation of a public safety director’s office, complete with an elite personal security force — yet IACC continues to lack the funds to even maintain adequate sanitation.

"And earlier this year, it was discovered that $54K of donations made by private citizens to aid desperately underfunded IACC somehow disappeared into the general fund"

Building a progressive city really is about more than sports and streets and safety -- it's about education, kids, libraries, fair wages for hotel workers and, yes, animals.

Patitz says it best:

"There are many ways in which tax dollars are spent to improve the quality of life in our community. To provide an acceptable, safe and clean facility where homeless companion animals can be cared for and adopted would cost a mere fraction of the amount spent on major downtown renovation, bike lanes and other improvements, but it would show that Indianapolis regards all living things worthy of decent and humane treatment. And it would be a solid investment in another part of the city’s infrastructure."

Will his plea fall on deaf ears? He speaks of the frustration felt by those who work for IACC, and the disillusionment of voters who care about this issue. Is Ballard listening? Is Melina Kennedy? Someone, please respond....

Thanks to Warren and others for continuing to publicize the plight of IACC, its employees and the animals who deserve better.

 

Comments

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

I agree, Ruth. As a proud owner of two senior citizen dachshunds and a vegetarian since 1986, these animal welfare concerns hit home with me.

2011-09-05 18:01:24

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

This sad story is echoed in virtually all Indiana cities. Not enough money for our four-legged friends.

It's a pitiful commentary.

But hey, Dr. Straub's new offices are spiffy, huh?


2011-09-05 18:11:45

hendy [Member] said:

Oddly, we have spay/neuter clinics working well in Monroe County. Yes, we need more adopters, but that's a universal problem. I guess it's all about priorities.

2011-09-05 21:27:46

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

Millions for bread and circuses, nothing for the animals that arguably have evolved past us.

It is especially distressing that the $54,000 raised by animal lovers to relieve conditions for them was rolled over into the general fund. (Jim Irsay spends that much on one hospitality night during a home game, enabled by the flow of cash in turn enabled by the corrupt CIB.)

2011-09-06 09:00:31

Jason [unverified] said:

I hate general funds. What they generally do is allow money dedicated for one thing to be rolled back over into the city's overall operating budget. What a waste.

The budget-tightening has affected Animal Control's response, as well. Many people don't have to deal with vicious dogs or worse, but in the more densely populated parts of the city wild animal enforcement is a major problem. Not just for feral or abandoned dogs, but for a variety of wild or domestic animal problems.

The worst is when you have the occasional late-stage rabid raccoon walking around in the middle of the day and there is literally nobody capable of dealing with it. The police lack the tools to deal with wild animals, and Animal Control will only respond on a call-out basis if they animal is contained. You've got kids walking around an animal with a disease that's extremely contagious, has irreversible symptom onset, and is 100% fatal if untreated. I've never understood how we have so few incidents of human rabies infection in Indiana, and how we could continue to take major health issues like this so lightly. Well, I do understand it but I'm trying to be less cynical.

But I must confess it's a real joy to see how raccoons, opossums, squirrels, coyotes, and even the occasional fox have evolved to urban conditions.

2011-09-06 14:02:02

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