INDIANAPOLIS — Many people are falling on hard times right now.
Inflation is making it hard to make ends meet, and sometimes those extra expenses can strain the care we need to give to our pets.
According to Indianapolis Animal Care Services, many people surrender their pets due to financial hardship. That puts even more of strain on them, since they are overwhelmed with the number of animals they are currently caring for.
So, in 2018 the shelter created the Indy CARES program it helps pet owners keep their pets at home.
Grant Keiser and his family were close to surrendering their dog, The Count. Count ate a sock. He was sick and needed a surgery that was going to cost his owner five thousand dollars. That is not something the Keiser family could afford.
“The IACS worker that was there offered us a voucher,” said Grant Keiser, a recipient of the CARES Program. “We were like no we can't afford to go to the vet, and they said this will take care of it. We took him to the vet and the voucher took care of everything.”
The CARES program has been in operation since 2018, but lately pet owners have been using it more then ever. This year alone they have served over 450 people and last month there were 163 diversions.
"Shelter diversion basically means that we are doing what we can to keep animals in their home and out of the shelter,” said Ashley Temple, the program director of Indy CARES. “We do that by offering resources, support, education, medical care, and supplies — whatever an owner might need so they don't have to surrender is what we try to provide."
The Count is now happy, healthy, and back with his family. The Keiser Family says without the Indy CARES program, that likely wouldn’t be the case.
"The generosity of strangers brought us our dog back and we were able to keep him," said Keiser. “It was just a relief to have our family member back.”
There are no income requirements to participate in the Indy CARES program. They handle every situation on a case-by-case basis.
For more information about the program click here or call Indianapolis Animal Care Service at 317-327-1397.
Indy CARE also has a free vaccination clinic to protect dogs from parvovirus. IACS says it's expensive to treat and is more contagious in the summer.
The clinic will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 21at Caring Place Church, 2901 North Post Rd. Any dog or puppy in need can get the shot.
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