Archive for the ‘Political mumbo jumbo’ Category

What happened to Papenmeier?

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Dennis Papenmeier, recently appointed administrator of Indianapolis Animal Care & Control, apparently has already run aground of city politics. The new chief of the embattled agency, who attended the awards presentation for the move to ACT Rescue Rally in February, has been placed on administrative leave for unspecified reasons, and no one at the Department of Public Safety is talking.

Since Papenmeier has expressed interest in and concern for the welfare of the animals, one can only assume he has ticked off the powers that be. Putting the animals first has not gone well for previous administrators, as former administrator Doug Rae (dismissed after 8 months in 2009) would attest. Secrecy surrounds the “internal investigation” that led to Papenmeier’s indefinite leave, which was revealed in a small article in The Indianapolis Star on May 1.

Papenmeier was appointed to the post in December. Previously, the veteran city employee had been special projects manager at the Department of Code Enforcement. He is the 11th IACC administrator in 12 years.

What are city officials not telling us this time?

Super Bowl of Sports or Super Bowl of Killing?

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

January 5, 2012

Dear Mayor Ballard,

As the Mayor of Indianapolis, is your administration willing to end the killing of adoptable companion animals in our city for just one day?

On June 11, 2012, communities all over the United States will end the killing of healthy and treatable animals, even if it is just for one day.

Nationwide Campaign to Make USA No Kill on June 11, 2012

The community has been well informed that Indianapolis Animal Care and Control Division has received 63,000 animals since 2008 and killed 50% of them on the Ballard administration watch,… that has committed less than 0.5% of the city budget to the division.

After watching 7 seconds at time stamp 3.01- 3.08 of the video of animals pouring into a dump truck from a conveyor belt, how hard would it be for the administration to do what is right, respectful, commit and say, “Yes, let’s end the killing of healthy and treatable animals now.” ??

Is Indianapolis the Super Bowl of sports? Or the Super Bowl of killing healthy and treatable animals?

Warren Patitz
Indianapolis, Indiana

“World Class” city — Third World animal care: Indianapolis

Monday, November 14th, 2011

A flurry of media attention has recently been focused on Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, the most perpetually neglected municipal division in the self-anointed “world class” city (not!) of Indianapolis — host to the 2012 Super Bowl. This is a city with an administration that can (and does) spend 50% of the division’s budget to complacently kill one animal per hour without remorse.

According to Indianapolis Mayor Ballard in a channel 6 interview, “You do what you can with the resources given.”

It seems the city can materialize the resources of millions of taxpayer dollars where desired: $33.5M for a basketball team, $100M for a “North South” development deal, $12M to renovate a downtown street with heated sidewalks for a single upcoming football game, finance (with tax dollars) and give away a Broad Ripple parking garage to the contractor, and support a unilateral decision by the city council president to sign a secret near-$250K redistricting contract.

At the September 4th Public Safety committee budget hearing, it was made patently clear that the city can and will co-mingle the precious resources of public donations for IACC into the city budget. Clever accounting, eh?

The city of Indianapolis suffers not from an overpopulation of animals, but from an overpopulation of memory-impaired politicians who do what they want with private and public money and have no concern about killing 9,000 animals a year. The city suffers not from insufficient money, but from the absence of a moral compass.

The true signature of our “world class city” is the graphic footage in the October 27th news report of animal carcasses rolling off a conveyor belt into a dump truck headed for the landfill.

Surely we can do better than that with “the resources given”.

Thanks to Channel 6 and Kara Kenney, who investigated and reported on the abysmal conditions and operations of Indianapolis Animal Care and Control.

Oct 27
City Without Solution for ‘Horrible’ Animal Problem
Record Shows Shelter Kills 1 Animal Every Hour

Oct 28
Advocates: Indy’s Animal Overpopulation 100% Preventable
City Euthanized More Than 8,000 Animals Last Year, Records Show

Nov 5
*Buffy The Microchipped Dog
(See letter below, printed with permission from a reTails board member)

Nov 8
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is re-elected Mayor.

Nov 9
Indy Animal Care and Control Head Stepping Down

Nov 11
Lost Dog Nearly Euthanized Despite Microchip
Animal Care and Control Policies Questioned

* Behalf Of Maureen Owen?
Sent: Saturday, November 05, 2011 11:37 AM?
To: reTails list?Cc:
?Subject: [reTails List] Buffy the microchipped dog?

I wanted to share with all of you the saga of Buffy and the letter I sent to?Teri Kendrick, Administrator of IACC. If the city had to be accountable to the same ordinances taxpayers are, and if they would provide the same?level of humane treatment to the animals under their care as they mandate to pet owners, reTails would never have had to be in existence. In the meantime, though, we will continue to save as many ‘Buffys’ as our limited resources and funding allows. A huge thank-you to both of the reTails?fosters that saved this dog. ??

A few days ago, reTails transferred a stray dog from Darcie Kurtz, kennel manager of IACC. The dog was in imminent danger of euthanasia, per Ms. Kurtz. The dog was taken to Allisonville Animal Hospital where it was examined for arthritis, and as a matter of routine, was also scanned for a microchip. A microchip was found immediately, and the information led directly to the owner. The owner was even a client of AAH, and the dog had been in for treatment as recently as last month. The dog had been missing for 2 weeks, lost during a storm, and the owners were overjoyed to get their dog back, but appalled that the dog was not scanned at IACC, and because of not being scanned, was going to be put down.??

This is not the first time I have presented the problem of animals not being scanned for microchips to IACC staff, and Ms. Kurtz in particular. Each?time, I am told that all animals are scanned, and the problem will be addressed. The owners of pets in the city are required by law to have microchip or tag identification on their pets. They are penalized if they fail to follow the law. When IACC fails to uphold their legal duty to scan each animals for a microchip, the shelter or staff is not penalized; the animals, owners and taxpayers are.?

There is absolutely no excuse for this to happen. Scanning requires only 30?seconds and it is just waving a wand over the animal. My granddaughter, who is 9 years old, is able to do it without help. This doesn’t take extra manpower and whoever brings the dog back to a kennel could easily scan for a chip. If a dog is able to be killed, it is able to be scanned. ??

I have been asked time and time again what my problem is with IACC, and time and time again I tell them there is no accountability for any actions, any infractions, any abuse or neglect that has occurred to an animal at IACC. The city does not abide by its own ordinances and yet they are not fined. No one is held accountable. Animals die when people fail to do their jobs at IACC. You have even stated that you would have issues releasing a dog to an owner that has not picked up an animal within a certain time, you have said you have problems with owners who have lost their pets and don’t think of them as kindly as we would. Any animal can get lost and life happens…kids open doors, gates get opened, petsitters don’t know the routines of the dogs and dogs scamper off. This can happen to diligent owners, and though there are irresponsible pet owners, it is not acceptable to treat the public as irresponsible. They are taxpayers and they expect competence and respect from you, and they expect humane treatment with their pets and they expect city workers to do their jobs. ???

It is extremely difficult to find a lost pet in this city. There is no centralized lost/found location, and going to ACC to find their pet is almost worthless, as it requires searching every kennel and even offices every day. Who can take time off work every day for weeks to go search the facility for their dog? After the 4-day wait, the animal can be killed and many are. Most people are not even aware their animal could be there. Most dogs do not wander far from their homes, but the dogcatchers don’t make any effort to ask, or even leave any handouts in the area. Think of the tax dollars and animals’ lives that could be saved with a few minutes of the dogcatcher’s time. Preserving the life of a pet is secondary to punishing the owners for their pet being loose.

The excuse is always that IACC has no time or money for this. Think of the time, manpower and tax money wasted hauling the animal, housing, paperwork, fining the owner and ultimately, killing/disposing of the animal.

Channel 6 bravely showed graphic video of the killed animals at IACC, being dropped off the conveyor belt into the garbage truck. This is one of the repercussions a pet owner faces when their dog is lost, and it is inexcusable.

What is needed at IACC is a caring, compassionate and passionate director, such as we had with Doug Rae. It was the city’s only hope. He was willing to go the distance to fight the union and make the drastic changes that need to occur to stop the killing of over 9,000 animals a year, and he was discarded for “too many MAC stray dog calls”. Despite having more dogcatchers, Ms. Kendrick, stray dog calls still seem to be the number one call to the MAC, according to the story presented by Channel 6 last week. Mr. Rae was given only 8 months to solve decades of bad sheltering practices and you’ve had two years and have made NO progress.

This isn’t about the firing of Doug Rae, though. It is about the city not doing its job and animals dying as a result.

Maureen Owen Board Member, reTails, Inc.

Mayor overrules the chairman of the Animal Control Board

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Animal Control Board meetings to be televised

Kudos to Mayor Ballard for overruling the IACC board chairman, David Horth, request that government channel 16 be excused from taping / broadcasting the IACC board meetings.

Heather Gillers, of the Indianapolis STAR, reports:

“If I have to carry a camera in there myself and televise it, we’ll do that,” said Chris Cotterill, the mayor’s chief of staff. “That’s how strongly the mayor believes in transparency.”

“Horth said he was trying to cut down on ‘grandstanding and showboating’ in the public comments portion of the meeting.

This kind of elitist attitude is contrary to the health of transparency in both government and animal welfare.

Government Access TV dismissed from IACC board meetings by Chairman David Horth

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse, it does.

The buzz word in local government is, “transparency.” But don’t count on it at your local Indianapolis Animal Care and Control (IACC) Agency. Government access TV Channel 16 has been dismissed from IACC board meetings by newly elected board chair David Horth as of December 10, 2009.

Citizens who are interested in their city’s governance and how their tax money is being spent rely on the government access TV channel 16 to view board meetings. Many interested citizens have circumstances that preclude them from attending the live meetings. This audience includes those busy with animal rescue, those without transportation, the elderly and those with disabilities. Newly appointed Indianapolis Animal Care and Control board chair, David Horth, has asked channel 16 to stop coming to the meetings for the time being because with his experience he “…doesn’t feel we’ve benefitted at all from having the television cameras here.”

Mr. Horth, haven’t the pets of the month benefitted from the TV exposure? Too bad only 15 people saw the dog and cat available for adoption at this past meeting. Didn’t the “Friends of Animal Care and Control Foundation” benefit from their presentation to the public at the last meeting?

IACC is a troubled and grossly under-performing agency of city government and the decision to eliminate access TV suggests that it does not want the public to know any more than possible about its operations. For this reason especially is public access TV coverage needed.

Despite Mr. Horth’s dismissal of channel 16 from recording and broadcasting the meetings, constitutionally, he can’t dismiss public recording of this public meeting.

See the video clip for more of why Chairman Horth feels it necessary to deny the public the opportunity to view the channel 16 government access TV recordings of the IACC board meetings.

For the record, David Horth is also the board chair of the Humane Society of Indianapolis that hosted a meeting on July 25, 2009 with select city county councilors and HSI collaborative “partners” that led to the ouster of the pre-existing IACC administrator and his administrative team.

After the administrative change the city promoted the improvements in a press release:

Channel 6 recently visited with the new administration and the findings were not quite as wonderful:

Stray politicians are running in packs and putting the public at risk for swallowing misinformation

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

No one is going to argue that serious injury from a dog or multiple dogs can be devastating, just as can serious injury from a motor vehicle accident, firearm or abuse from a human caregiver. Period

But when politicians are proclaiming that Indianapolis Animal Care and Control (IACC) administrator Doug Rae has put the public at risk of stray dogs (that might bite?) by re-allocating two “dog catcher” (hardly complimentary to the men and women who go into dangerous situations putting their lives at risk) positions to kennel technicians, the public is being fed a myth. What IS putting the public at supposed risk regarding stray dogs is the pointing of dog calls to the MAC (Mayor’s Action Center) communication system (that functions during business hours only) because calls to the MAC do not get priority recognition. How effective is a “dog catcher” responding to a call about stray dogs when the complaint has sat in the idle MAC center for a day or several days before it is forwarded to IACC? It would serve the public if interim (and aspiring) safety director Mark Renner would acknowledge and correct this, but to date (and for many administrations) it has not been addressed.

Let’s look at the reported dog bites in Indianapolis at this time last year as compared to those for this year:

01/14/08 – 10/02/08 1,092 bites
01/12/09 – 10/01/09 1,037 bites

This is a decrease of 55 reported bites. Also consider that the number of service runs by the “dog catchers” this year exceeds that of last year by 2,018. It’s hard to understand what criteria is used by Mr. Renner in determining Mr. Rae’s failure to protect the public when in fact IACC performance has exceeded the previous year even under the constraint of a 5% budget decrease!

But it does makes sense to blame Mr. Rae for failure because it shields the public safety division from the accountability of not fixing this problem by having calls routed in such a way that they receive the desired priority that the public is demanding.

Just what is our risk of being killed by a dog(s)?

According to the CDC the risk of being killed by a dog is 1 in 18 million and is among the rarest of fatal mishaps, .

What other comparisons can we use to put this into perspective?

We are 2x as likely to win a super lotto jackpot

5X more likely to be killed (not struck) by lightning and dog bite fatalities fall far behind other rare causes of death including 5 gal buckets, party balloons and swings.

Very Rare causes of accidental deaths
(Annual data based on 10-15 yr CDC sponsored studies of individual cases)
Average # of deaths per year:

Lightning 82
Forklifts 68
Dogs 16

Rare fatal injuries in children
(Annual data based on 10-15 yr CDC sponsored studies of individual cases)
Average # of deaths per year:

Human Caregivers 826
5 gallon buckets 22
Playgrounds 15
Balloons 11
Dogs 10

Unintentional injury deaths
per CDC Web based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISGARS) for 1999-2002
(Average number of accidental deaths per year)

Cars 43,730
Other 14,818
Falls 14,440
Poison 14,142
Choking 5,555
Fires 3,410
Drowning 3,334
Guns 791
Bicycles 774
Dogs 16

Perhaps we need to introduce an ordinance banning buckets, balloons and swings?

Where is the oxygen?