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Indy shelter asking for help to avoid surrenders, says staffing is tight due to pandemic

Public's help is needed
Posted at 9:27 PM, Dec 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 17:30:08-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Animal Care and Control (IACS) says it needs the public's help.

The issue is staffing, which has been impacted by the pandemic.

“With our staff broken up in two teams, our resources are reduced, and if we had the same volume of pets coming to the shelter as we normally would, we would be in a very critical situation at the shelter,” said Deputy Director Katie Trennepohl. “Prioritizing our intake allows us to not only control the number of animals coming into the shelter to ensure adequate care, it also allows us to control the number of people coming to the shelter, thus limiting the possibility of exposure to staff, volunteers, and the public.”

The shelter is hoping the public will prioritize emergency animal intakes. IACS is still accepting stray or found animals, but is asking residents to take a few steps before making an appointment to bring the animal to the shelter:

  1. Check for a collar and tag. Some pets have a collar with the phone number stitched in.
  2. Post a photo and information of where the pet was found on Indy Lost Pet Alert, NextDoor, your neighborhood social media group, and your social media accounts. Most lost and stray pets tend to stick close to home.
  3. Take the animal to the nearest vet clinic to check for a microchip.
  4. If there’s a microchip, contact the owner and reunite the pet with its family. If there’s no microchip, hold onto the animal (if you can) and continue searching for its owner. The shelter offers resources to help residents hold onto stray or lost animals until the owner can be found.

“IACS’ number one priority is to keep our essential team members, volunteers, the public, and the animals of Marion County safe,” said Chief Communications Officer Brandi Pahl. “We live in a great community where we all take care of each other. By helping stray pets get back home safely without coming to our shelter, you are reducing the stress on that animal, helping them get back home quickly, and keeping a kennel space open for another pet that is in need.”

Additionally, as cold temperatures settle in, IACS has tips for keeping your pet warm.

  • The best place for your pet is inside, but if kept outdoors, your pet must have access to dry shelter. A structure with space to move around will help shield animals from the cold winter air.
  • Keep animals warm and safe by using straw in outdoor shelters. Blankets and towels draw moisture and don’t provide as much insulation and warmth as straw.
  • Animals are just as susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite as you are. Bring them inside as often as you can and, when nature calls, accompany them when they venture outdoors.
  • Keep water available outside and check the dish every few hours to make sure it hasn’t frozen over. Consider investing in a heated water dish to avoid the hassle of a frozen water bowl.