Recent News

Press Release
Rescue groups and the public invited to participate
in 4th annual life-saving Rescue Rally

"Tails Ales"
August and September
Broadripple Brewpub

Just One Day no-kill event becomes a record five no-kill days in Indianapolis

“Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Work”
News Release(1/10/13)

Welcome to Indianapolis!
World class city and home of the 2012 Super Bowl…
Where corporate welfare is alive and well



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November Newsletter November 2009
Temple Grandin has a book entitled, Animals Make Us Human. How can we not be thankful for the animals; their invitation to recognize innocence, appreciate the gift of stewardship and the experience of our own frailties in our relations with them? How we treat animals (and people) speaks volumes about our own self. Can we ignore a culture of officials and agencies that deliver selective and calculated information that masquerades the reality of what animals experience at our own city’s shelter, funded with our tax dollars?

Move to ACT (mtA) is thankful for all of the organizations and people who work tirelessly, quietly and selflessly in the neighborhoods, rescue groups and agencies to end the needless suffering and death of animals in our community. We can perhaps remind our own selves that every day is holiday, but for many of those with no voice, it can be a hell of a day, and days of hell for animals can be brought to an end, but only if we do not allow our vigilance to sleep.

"Animal Shelter Appreciation Week" ceremony trivializes the conditions animals endure at municipal shelter

On October 29, Mayor Greg Ballard appeared in a photo shoot with Humane Society of Indianapolis (HSI) Director John Aleshire with a document proclaiming November 1-7 as "Animal Shelter Appreciation Week" in Indianapolis.

As a result of mtA’s efforts in the last several years bringing public attention to HSI’s pre existing practices, HSI now accepts strays, is making an effort to save cats exposed to disease rather than "depopulating" them, has a food pantry, an enthusiastic and passionate staff with IT and management skills of Tristan Schmid and Christine Jeschke, and is exploring opening a wellness clinic in the Fountain Square area.

As the Mayor stands before the camera with the HSI director to acknowledge this Animal Shelter Appreciation Week ceremony, animals at Indianapolis Animal Care and Control (IACC) suffer in crowded, dirty conditions with a HVAC system that invites disease and fails federal safety standards.

"Animal Shelter Appreciation Week in Indianapolis recognizes the importance of shelters working to promote the invaluable role they play in our communities and to increase public awareness of animal welfare issues, shelter services, and public safety."

Here is a proclamation announced only weeks after eliminating a management team at IACC that had, for the first time, made the welfare of the animals in the city shelter a priority and was just gaining momentum.

Anyone who has been even peripherally involved with the rescue of animals from IACC would be stunned by this statement: "Whereas, animal shelters act as safe havens for homeless and abused animals, providing them with comfort and care; ..."

Animals who manage to come through the doors at HSI fortunately are going to be beneficiaries of a safe haven and medical care. Citizens and volunteers involved with helping the animals at IACC know that the Indianapolis municipal shelter is anything BUT a safe haven. Healthy animals run near-certain risk of becoming ill, abused (as in "…jacking the shit out of them") or killed. Read this observation from an IACC visitor here

Has Indianapolis’ Mayor even bothered to visit and tour the city facility on South Harding St; a facility that receives 18,000 animals a year? One would think that before firing the shelter administrator upon the advice of those who lobbied for his removal, the Mayor could at least have visited the agency to see first-hand what goes on there.

The previous administrator, Doug Rae, refused to tolerate animal abuse. He had researched the cost and installation of surveillance cameras to protect both the staff and animals, had a quote and a donor to fund the project.

Because of a small number of self-interested animal groups and certain city-county councilors who gathered at HSI on July 25 to influence city officials in getting Rae fired, there will be no camera surveillance to protect the staff and animals at IACC. Will animals continue to be at the mercy of city employed individuals as described by Ms Lobdell at the tax payers (and especially the animals’) expense? The new interim administrator will have her hands full and we hope will deal swiftly with any abuse.

There is at least one city in the country that seems concerned about how the animals in its care are treated and will use technology to monitor.

Also in the proclamation: "Whereas, the City of Indianapolis appreciates the work of animal shelters and the important services they provide to the community and encourages citizens to support the Humane Society of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Animal Care and Control and other shelters throughout the city;..."

"If you can’t adopt a dog or cat, there are plenty of other things you can do to show shelter animals you care" states HSI’s website.

What is the recommendation to show the animals you care? Give money to the Humane Society or volunteer.

Are there alternative recommendations to show the animals you care?

Donate to or volunteer with a local rescue group that is pulling animals out of IACC. Most small rescues have neither a brand name nor grant writers from which to benefit, but depend on garage sales, candle and bake sales, silent auctions and similar events for funding their humble treasury and life-saving missions.


Also consider making a tax deductible donation to the Friends of Indianapolis Animal Care and Control Foundation, Inc (FIACCFI). Learn more about the Friends Foundation Primary Funds here.

Spinning Numbers
Or "Smoke and mirrors?"

The public was provided numbers representing animal dispositions at the November 11 IACC board meeting. Numbers for October were compared to the pre-existing month, with an initial perception of instant improvement with the new interim administration. However, colder weather impacts these numbers and no comparison is presented with animal dispositions with the same time last year that would give a better comparison. Of special interest (but not mentioned) was an overlooked number on page three. Thirty-two (32) animals died in the kennel. DIED IN THE KENNELS! You have to go back sixty-nine months to February, 2004 to find a higher number of animals that died in the kennel (41). Is the city immune from the accountability of providing medical care to the animals in its own shelter?

Is this the balance in the equation between public safety and animal care?
"I'm ultimately responsible for everything that happens in city government…. We have to get this equation right. That's what the citizens deserve. This hasn't been right in years and years and years." —Mayor Greg Ballard October 8, 2009

Future mayoral candidates will be queried as to their positions on animal welfare issues so that voters can make informed choices.
Surrendering a pet, doors closed?
How are animals (and the people with them) treated when they interface with the city’s two largest animal organizations when knocking at their doors? MtA received these recent accounts (below) from citizens of their experiences with HSI and IACC. Hopefully these are only isolated incidents:

Here is my recollection as to the way my contact with the Humane Society about surrendering a pet unfolded:

I called the Humane Society three times last Thursday morning (9/17) attempting to "schedule an appointment for surrender". Each time I was placed on hold indefinitely only to then be dumped into a voicemail system saying all counselors were busy and to leave a message. I left a message. I did receive a call back almost four hours later on my VM asking me to call back to schedule an appointment, which I did and was again sent through the VM system. I did not leave another VM.

I attempted to call HSI three times yesterday (Tuesday 9/27), again being put on hold, and was then, on my third attempt, finally able to get someone live. I asked to schedule an appointment to surrender my dog and the polite woman said "Certainly, we have available appointments beginning next Wednesday in the afternoon..." I hesitated for one second and she then added... " but if you want, you can take the dog to Indianapolis Animal Care and Control where they have an Adoption Center and they can take the animal immediately."

I asked her what the chances were of my pet being adopted from IACC, that I had heard they kill a lot of animals and she said that she could not say since she did not work at IACC.

I scheduled the appointment surrender my dog at HSI for next Wednesday, 3pm. I mentioned to the woman that it had been difficult to schedule this appointment, that I'd called several times and did she get a lot of those comments from people. She said she could not say, but that a lot of people had been on vacation and they were short people.
On Sunday, October 4, 2009, my son and I went to IACC to have a foster dog checked for heartworm. Being a Sunday the shelter was closed to the general public, but foster parents and volunteers are welcome.

In the back parking area there was a car driving around with a dog in the back seat. I asked the 2 gentlemen in the car if there was something I could help them with. They said they needed to surrender their dog and the dog was not a stray. I explained the shelter was closed and the Humane Society of Indianapolis was open on Sunday and they could take the dog there. The men said they had called HSI and were told to bring the dog to IACC. I explained again this is a city shelter and was closed on Sunday. They said that HSI wouldn’t take their dog but told them to come to IACC even though it was Sunday and they would take the dog.

After I went into IACC I told one of the staff that the men were outside and HSI told them to bring the dog to IACC and she said that often happened. She then just looked at me and said, “we are closed”. She never went to help them even though they kept ringing the bell.
What is missing?
  • Honest, ethical and accountability that embraces genuine customer service sensitive to the needs of animals the agencies claim to serve
  • Accurate information to the public and donors, as opposed to misinformation about their organizations and numbers that misrepresent the status of animal care in our city
  • Action that addresses the care and treatment of 11,000 animals who will be destroyed at IACC this year and dumped as trash in the landfill

Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially where the welfare of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict upon our soul when we look the other way.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1929-1968
American Civil Rights Leader

The mission of Move to ACT is to heighten community awareness of animal welfare issues and to advocate for improved policies and practices. MtA seeks truth and responsibility and is guided by principles of respect, accountability and integrity.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Board of Move to Act
Move to Act
phone: 317-641-9300 web: