We’ve got finger-pointing, understaffing, underfunding (not even for food?), no accountability, bad public attitude, and where does it all lead? The animals suffer. Tonight’s board meeting at Indianapolis Animal Care and Control ought to be interesting. The Indy Star describes a complaint lodged against the city pound (the reader comments are always fascinating). The complainants make their case here as well. Yes, there are probably agendas all over the place, but the animals shouldn’t suffer as a result.
What is wrong with people?
…cats with paws slammed/stuck in the door of their cage in the receiving room overnight; a euthanasia procedure gone wrong causing a puppy to suffer a slow, painful 20-minute death; failure to rinse bleach solution from food and water bowls forces animals in the receiving room to drink from bleach-tainted water bowls if they wish to have any water at all; puppies and dogs kept in the receiving room (where cats are housed) are in cages that are too small, where they invariably step in and knock over or contaminate their food and water. They are seldom, if ever walked, so end up defecating and urinating in the cage (which is typically only cleaned once daily).
I’ve spent more time than I’ve cared to at several public animal control facilities in support of caring for animals under investigation as well as pulling them for rescue. I’ve often had a unique outsider’s view of some backroom activities because as a rabbit rescuer, I’m not seen as so much of a threat to the revelation of care and handling of the typically higher-valued dogs and cats, and since staff routinely don’t know much about rabbit care nor have the time and/or interest to participate in it, I’ve often been given relatively free reign of facilities to go find the supplies needed and to help in whatever way seems appropriate. As a result I’ve been a few feet from injection euthansias, I’ve seen the gas ovens, I’ve handled animals grossly neglected by their owners, and I’ve seen the filth. I’ve also seen caring, overworked staff, well-meaning administration, and the power of cooperation between public shelters and willing volunteers. When the politics come in, though, inevitably animals’ chances disappear or they are routed to worse “rescue” situations.
It’s too bad the politics are so entrenched in this case that I doubt there’s much hope for an overhaul. On the other hand, public controversy usually leads to short-term improved care (uh-oh, people are watching!) and brief interest from the community. I just hope some of it sticks.