INDIANAPOLIS — Animal Shelters across Indianapolis are at capacity. At IndyHumane, they've seen an increase in people surrendering their pets due to financial hardship.
These are not just people that don't care about their pets and just want to off load them somewhere,” Donna Casamento the CEO at IndyHumane said. “These are people that truly do care but don't have the resources to keep those pets it their homes."
A big reason for the lack of resources is because of how expensive vet care is now, pet owners say.
"You got to deal with it," said Rodney Roby a dog owner of 15 years. “It affects your spending economy wise being able to enjoy life, instead you have a bill that's outrageous and you find it uncomfortable because you love your dog and at the same time you want to save it's life... so it becomes costly."
According toacccestovetcare.org, Marion county has a lack of vet care. The county scores at 28 out of 100, meaning vet care is difficult to access.
To help with costly vet care and pet supplies, IndyHumane is launching their pet resources center.
"We need to start focusing more on the people side of this thing,” Casamento said. “There is two ends to that leash. There is the one around the dog and there is the one holding it in their hand. "
The resource center’s goal is to offer the following services.
- Access to free food through IndyHumane’s Downtown Pantry
- Access to free vaccines, preventatives, and other medical care as needed
- Financial support to assist with rental security deposits
- Free pet supplies, crates, fencing, other pet equipment
- Access to self-rehoming pet sites
- Collaboration and referrals to local partners that offer specialized solutions for pet owners (fencing, expanded medical support, etc)
- Pet training and behavior resources
They hope to provide this kind of care to keep dogs like Sunshine out of the shelter.
"She came to us, sweet dog, completely emaciated,” Casamento said. “All she needed was groceries. we have a food bank we could have given those people the food to help sustain that pet in their home and keep their family together. "
That's why the IndyHumane hopes before people surrender their dog to a local shelter, they will call them and have a conversation about how they can help.
"Let us help you keep the pet in the home, let us help you do that so we can help another pet that is in need,” Casamento said.
To learn more about the IndyHumane resource center click here.