Animal Care and Control rescue policies spark debate

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The interim head of Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, Spencer Moore, met with the Department of Public Safety Thursday morning to discuss policy changes at IACC.

Rescue groups around Indiana have questioned the policy changes, saying they would make it more difficult for shelters to rescue animals. There has been confusion surrounding the changes, largely due to the fact that there weren’t specific, written policies before Moore took over at IACC.

Moore said many of the policies he is enacting weren’t even his idea. The previous administrator had started to implement some of the changes, but they weren’t communicated before Moore started.

One of the most contentious changes is a longer wait time for rescues to come in and take animals. They could now have to wait up to seven days before taking any animals. Moore says that rule will not be set in stone and ACC supervisors and rescues can work together, and using their best judgement on a case-by-case basis.

“As any supervisor should have, she’ll have discretion to have that fluctuate if she wants to keep that animal a little longer or let it go a little sooner,” said Moore.

The goal is to allow citizens the opportunity to adopt a quality dog, before its taken away by a rescue.

“This is a taxpayer supported kennel, and that taxpayer should have the same playing field to have access or at least the opportunity to adopt a quality animal,” said Moore.

Still, rescues and Indy Humane worry that stalling adoptions or rescues in any way could hurt the animals, and drive the euthanasia rate higher.

“What’s troublesome is that our rescue groups and our shelters do an incredible amount of good work to make sure as many animals as possible have loving and forever homes and to make sure we don’t have to put animals down,” said Indy Humane CEO John Aleshire.

Some rescue groups don’t think holding the animals longer is fair to taxpayers or animals.

“The animals are going to languish in the shelter. It’s not good for taxpayers, and it’s not good for the animals. The longer the animals are in the shelter the longer it costs to house them. That’s taxpayer money,” said Jodi Schermerhorn with Rescue Farm.

Aleshire warns changes need to be carefully considered by city leaders. He says rescue groups have expressed their worries to him.

“They hear that the restrictions are just so cumbersome that they may stop going to Animal Care and Control and rescuing animals,” said Aleshire.

Animal Care and Control is still working on putting together written policies to have on record.

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