Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

IACC Budget discussed at Public Safety Committe meeting

Friday, October 21st, 2011

The following editorial is submitted by local animal advocate, Robin Kennedy. Ms Kennedy points to the slick accounting of the Ballard administration to comingle $52,000 of public donations into the 2012 budget of IACC as well as the disregard of not consulting the division administrator on the proposed budget cut.

On September 4th the Public Safety Committee met to hear public comments and consider the 2012 budget for Indianapolis Animal Care and Control. The proposed budget would have cut nearly $200,000 gutting the materials and supplies for the shelter including money for medical care and spay and neuter surgeries. Public Safety Director, Frank Straub and the committee in what can only be considered poor business practice made this decision with no input from the Shelter’s Director, Teri Kendrick.

However dozens of animal welfare advocates packed the room to let the committee, Mayor Ballard and Director Straub know that this is unacceptable. So many people turned up for the meeting that it had to be moved to another room. And many more people emailed and made phone calls in support of the animals. Many thanks to all the rescuers, rescues and advocates that came together to show their support for the animals of our city.

While we appreciate 2011 funding levels being restored in the 2012 budget we need to realize that IACC continues to be woefully under funded. In 2009 18,000 pets came through the back door of IACC. Funding of $185,000 to cover materials and supplies for 18,000 pets equates to $10.27 per pet. Not nearly enough to adequately care for the number of pets they receive. Forcing the staff at IACC to make the choice of substandard care for the majority of pets or to increase the number of pets killed everyday. The number of pets killed everyday is at about 20 per day or about 40%.

In addition to the inadequate funding there is No food budget for a City Department that cares for 18,000 pets per year. This is completely irresponsible. What backup plan is there if donations dry up? In addition to that, there is no provision made for the different species including wildlife that is surrendered at IACC.

While the Public Safety Committee and Director, Straub would have us believe that they are actually funding the budget to 2011 levels, this is misleading. There has been approximately $52,000 in donated money that has been unavailable to IACC for an extended period of time due to red tape; this money is now being made available. However it is incorporated in the 2012 budget, this actually results in a decrease of the 2012 budget that will likely go unnoticed by the public.

In a statement made to WTHR Channel 13 on September 14th Mayor Ballard said “it’s not a doomsday scenario either”. Mayor Ballard, I beg to differ for 40% of the animals that die every day at IACC it is a doomsday scenario.

Robin Kennedy
Animal Advocate