Elwood postpones shelter euthanasia plan; group to start adoption fees | New

ELWOOD – A controversial order that would have allowed the Elwood shelter to leave animals for more than six weeks or have veterinary bills in excess of $ 1,000 euthanized was filed Monday by the Common Council.

The ordinance was developed because of the high cost of housing and treating animals entering the facility, 511 N. 14th St. Critics said it was created by three board members without consulting the organizations of animal rights advocates or local veterinarians.

The council agreed to let a group, comprising local animal rights activists and council members, Todd Buckmaster and Linda Moore, first develop and implement an adoption fee structure as a temporary stay. Volunteers will also be allowed to create fundraisers, which they say the city has rejected in the past.

“We strongly oppose the euthanasia of healthy animals that are brought in without fault of their own,” Kerry Kane of Heart of Hoosierland told the council during public comments. “If you enact this ordinance, you will not get any support from your citizens. “

Several activists, including Kane, said that while the trend has been for years for shelters without killing, Mayor Todd Jones’s administration has repeatedly shown no interest in saving the animals, rejecting fundraising suggestions. .

Jones said the annual budget for veterinary expenses is $ 4,000, but it’s typically used in April. He said the shelter’s budget was only raised by $ 3,700 from 2013 to 2016, but was raised $ 40,000 during his administration.

“Every month we seem to be chasing dollars,” he said. “We are trying to do the right things without jeopardizing other services in the city.”

Kane said the city’s financial troubles are on his own initiative. For example, there are few records of what goes on at the shelter, which limits the ability to apply for grants.

“We have no idea of ​​the number of adoptions, of surrenders to the shelter.”

In addition, Kane said, those who call for help are rarely able to reach anyone, reducing the confidence of potential donors.

“They are more inclined to adopt it and support it financially if they can reach someone.”

Costs would also be reduced if residents were held accountable for their animals by having them vaccinated and spayed or neutered, using Hamilton County as a model, Kane said. Vaccinated animals, for example, would reduce the number of sick animals brought into the shelter, thereby preventing other housed animals from becoming infected, she said.

“We should sterilize and sterilize every citizen. “

The shelter has a variety of partners who can help it operate efficiently and profitably, Kane said.

“We reach out to the right and left with established partners. “

One of the reasons council members seem unaware, Kane said, is that only one has ever visited the shelter.

Heart of Hoosierland’s Vicki Savage said it was a mistake for the city to consider euthanasia as it tries to attract new residents and businesses, as most expect a safe haven without death. Still, the refuge may be marketable, she added.

“I know there aren’t many municipalities the size of Elwood that have a shelter.

Annie Hinshaw has said that a policy of euthanasia is simply inhumane.

“To kill animals is to throw them away. No one deserves this. “

To follow Rebecca R. Bibbs on Twitter at @RebeccaB_THB, or call 765-640-4883.


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