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October Newsletter October 2009

During the last several months Move to ACT has witnessed behavior of a small number of self interested animal organizations (henceforth called SIAGs) that has damaged the integrity of animal welfare in Indianapolis. This behavior is seen in the calculated and misguided extremes to which organization leadership will go to achieve control under the guise of "collaboration."

To be clear: it is the leadership of these organizations responsible for this behavior. In no way is this behavior identified with the many genuine caring and concerned individuals who work for or volunteer with these groups.
Silence sanctions
The responsibility Move to Act has to the animals is to bring to the public's attention the other side of the equation in regards to the social politics that has polluted our local animal welfare arena. It is politics that has resulted in the dismissal of Doug Rae from the administrative position - and the four members of the IACC team he had just gotten in place - at Indianapolis Animal Care and Control. We believe this is a serious setback for the animals who do and will find themselves in need at IACC.
Timeline back to the status quo
July 25: A secret meeting is hosted by the Humane Society of Indianapolis (HSI), with a small number of SIAGs - IndyFeral, FIDO, Indy Pit Crew, Angela Mansfield and other city county councilors and city officials (including Acting Safety Director Mark Renner) to discuss Indianapolis Animal Care and Control (IACC).

Sept 9: IACC advisory board meeting is cancelled per acting safety director's administrative secretary Erin Pratt.

Sept 23: Rescheduled board meeting cancelled. Read Sept 27 post here. Advisory board chairman Warren Patitz is removed from the board by Mayor Ballard 2 hours before the second board meeting cancellation.

Sept 30: Open letter to the mayor. (Note: After publication of this letter in the Indianapolis Star, the mayor did meet with deposed chairman Patitz on October 7).

October 5: IACC Administrator Doug Rae is fired. Prosecutor Teri Kendrick is appointed the new administrator.
This is announced at a 13 minute news conference by Acting Safety Director Mark Renner. Present on camera at the news conference was IndyFeral's Lisa Tudor, HSI Director John Aleshire and HSI board chair David Horth.

Oct 6: Three of Rae's administrative staff is fired.

Oct 7: A fourth staff (kennel operations manager) is fired.

Just when Doug Rae had reversed the work-force culture that protect ed and perpetuated gross animal abuse and neglect at IACC and was bringing order to chaos, a small but noisy alliance of SIAG's orchestrated enough momentum - with the assistance of a small group of city county councilors and disgruntled members of the local AFSCME union, to oust Rae from his position. Rae was the first and only experienced administrator of Indianapolis Animal Care and Control. Rae had also been the only administrator who would not accept the bullying of the union or SIAGs. Did that contribute his dismissal campaign?

Oct 14: At this first board meeting since the Rae and staff dismissal, it was an obvious nervous David Horth who was moderating the meeting and an obvious absence of the government cable channel 16.

At Present: Thanks to the efforts of those SIAGs who orchestrated Rae's dismissal to be replaced by a political appointee with no sheltering experience - this is what the animals are experiencing at the city shelter now. Acceptable? This is the result of the "balance" to be had between "care" and "control?"

Contact information for your Indianapolis city county councilor can be found here

Contact information for IACC here

Contact information for HSI Director John Aleshire, who has indicated that his organization 'now has open lines of communication' and is helping out with IACC, is: 317.872.5650 x104.
Collaboration or Control?

"When the groups collaborated during Rae's tenure," said Humane Society of Indianapolis Executive Director John Aleshire, "we didn't have Animal Care and Control at the table." (Indianapolis STAR, Oct 6, 2009.)

"For whatever reason, we didn't have Animal Care and Control at the table in that process and it's frustrating, because we need them. They're the biggest kennel in town," said John Aleshire, Humane Society of Indianapolis. Read the story

Biggest "kennel" in town?

At "the table," means that Rae:

  • Wouldn't agree to kill dogs because the public is not capable of adopting them as expressed by two HSI "partners" at a local facilitation meeting to orchestrate collaboration?
  • Wouldn't agree to an out-of-county clinic, one that would not provide follow-up recovery, as the designated spay/neuter clinic for IACC which HSI promoted?
  • Wouldn't send an officer to HSI to transport stray dogs back to IACC because he lacked sufficient staff simply to care for the animals already at IACC?
  • Wouldn't deliver dogs selected by HSI, to HSI , for adoption using an animal control officer when - again - he lacked sufficient staff to care for the animals at IACC and respond to field calls? (No other rescue groups seem to feel the entitlement expecting IACC to deliver dogs to them)
  • Attended one HSI "summit" meeting, but sent another IACC representative to two others (summit meetings which haven't seemed to accomplish a thing)?

Silver Lining

If there is a silver lining in all this, it is to shine a light on a deplorable situation. Animal welfare in Indianapolis appears to be infected with the malignant need to manipulate. Consequently, five enthusiastic people at IACC are removed from positions where they were just beginning to make a difference. But the real victims are the thousands of animals who will cross the threshold of the municipal shelter and again be at the mercy of a political appointee who has never run any animal shelter, let alone a municipal open- admission animal shelter receiving 18,000 animals per year.

Again, we recognize that many kind and caring people work and volunteer with these few organizations. We separate those compassionate individuals from the behavior of the leadership that guides a particular agency.

Read disclosure of both IACC and HSI here

"Like minded"

Note of interest: HSI, seeking $3 million to open a proposed clinic has announced it will share clinic space with "like minded animal-focused individuals and groups" IndyFeral, FIDO and Indy Pit Crew; the same "animal-focused" groups that helped orchestrate Rae's dismissal.

To what degree should we value the life of the animals who share our planet? This reflects our view: God And DoG

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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.

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Move to Act
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