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IACS cuts ties with animal rescue amid allegations of neglect and abuse

Criminal investigation underway into Michigan City based animal rescue
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IACS has sent a total of 17 dogs to Fur Ever Family Rescue in Michigan City, including Steve (pictured).  Note: this picture was taken before Steve left IACS.
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Posted at 1:59 PM, Jan 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-23 14:36:39-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Animal Care Service is cutting ties with a Michigan City-based animal rescue amid allegations the rescue mistreated animals in its care.

The Michigan City Police Department opened a criminal investigation into Fur Ever Family Animal Rescue, 207 Earl Road in Michigan City, after receiving “information from multiple concerned citizens and animal groups regarding the treatment of rescue dogs.”

“Numerous evidentiary items have been collected thus far and no rescue dogs remain at the business," the police department said in a statement to WRTV. “The business is currently closed. The investigation is still on-going but upon its completion, the findings will be sent to the LaPorte County Prosecutors Office.”

No criminal charges have been filed against the Fur Ever Family Animal Rescue’s operator, John Naughton, records show.

The rescue says on its Facebook page that it is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, but WRTV could not find any organizational or financial information for the rescue using Guidestar, a website that gathers information on nonprofits.

Indianapolis Animal Care Services started using Fur Ever Family Animal Rescue in September 2022.

An IACS spokesperson says a total of 17 dogs have been sent from Indianapolis Animal Care Services to Fur Ever Family Animal Rescue.

In a January 17 email to staff and volunteers, IACS Deputy Director Katie Trennepohl said she had received concerning stories that dogs were not properly cared for while at the rescue.

“First and foremost, we have confirmed that all of the dogs that came from IACS are no longer in Fur Ever Family’s care,” read the email. “They are now being cared for by other rescues who stepped up to help.”

Since the rescue is located outside of Indianapolis, IACS has no enforcement authority to get involved, said Trennepohl.

“As a result of the allegations of neglect and abuse, IACS will no longer work with Fur Every Family Animal Rescue,” said Trennepohl. “IACS staff and volunteers work hard day and night to care for and find the perfect placement for every animal that comes through our doors. This situation has been deeply disturbing for all involved, I want to ensure you that we are having conversations as to what we can do differently in the future to protect animals pulled from IACS.”

WRTV Investigates has called, emailed and messaged Fur Ever Family Animal Rescue on Facebook, and we have not been able to reach anyone for a response.

In a January 18 Facebook post, the rescue said “WE ARE CLOSED.”

Michigan City Police is asking anyone with information to please contact Det. Washluske at (219) 874-3221 Ext. 1081 or by email at swashluske@emichigancity.com.

The Michigan City Animal Control and Michigan City Code Enforcement teams are assisting in this investigation.

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