Indianapolis News and HeadlinesIndianapolis Local News


Hamilton County shelter overflowing, in ‘capacity crisis’ after new intakes

Humane Society for Hamilton County
Posted at 9:57 PM, Apr 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-24 13:55:04-04

HAMILTON COUNTY — The Humane Society for Hamilton County says they are in a ‘capacity crisis' because they have taken in more dogs than they can house.

The shelter has space for 124 dogs. Currently, the shelter is housing 131.

Dogs are being housed in office spaces, medical kennels, and anywhere they can fit them.

“We get absolutely everything here, 24/7, 365 [days a year]. It doesn’t matter how full we are,” Rebecca Stevens said.

Stevens is the president and CEO of the shelter. She says there is just simply not enough space for all the dogs they have.

Most of the dogs were surrendered by their owners. Stevens said the COVID-19 pandemic is partly to blame.

During the pandemic, there was a surge in pet adoptions. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), more than 23 million Americans – nearly 1 in every 5 nationwide – adopted a pet.

“I think commitment, ability to work through problems and challenges and patience [are the issues],” Stevens said.

Humane Society for Hamilton County

Stevens also says there are far too many dogs being brought in from Marion County.

“It puts us in a very heart wrenching position. I have to tell my staff at the front desk that we have to turn away people because we can’t take them all here,” Stevens said. “We’re not designed to be the open admissions shelter for Marion County.”

Overcrowding issues emphasizes the need for people like Bryon and Peggy Myers.

“The animals need someone to care for them and give them unconditional love back,” Bryon said.

Bryon and Peggy foster dogs from the shelter.

“Getting used to being in a home with a family is so important,” Peggy said.

Humane Society for Hamilton County

For now, the four-legged friends will wait with their tails wagging for someone to give them their forever home.

WRTV reached out to Indy Humane and IACS for a comment.

Indy Humane does not suggest anyone from Marion County to take animals to Hamilton County. If they do not have space, they suggest taking pets to IACS.

WRTV has not heard back from IACS.

To adopt a pet from the Hamilton County Humane Society, you must be at least 18-years-old, have proof of home ownership or approval from your landlord and have a valid government I.D.

For more information and to see pictures of the animals up for adoption at the shelter, click here.