Animal Care

Hundreds of dogs and cats waiting for adoption at Indianapolis animal shelter

Adoption fees are normally $60, but they’re being waived to help clear hundreds of dogs and cats from the shelter.

INDIANAPOLIS — Pet adoptions are free at the Indianapolis Animal Care Services shelter, which is nearly at full capacity.

Hundreds of dogs and cats are ready to find their forever home, said Roxie Randall with Indianapolis Animal Care Services.

“We’re close to having all of our cages filled up again,” she said.

Last weekend, there were nearly 100 adoptions, which is a high number, said Randall. 

“But on the flip side, we took in just as many animals as we were able to get out of the building,” Randall said.

The shelter is so full that there are animals in “almost every office,” Randall said. “Usually we don’t house an animal in an office except under extreme circumstances.”

There are more dogs than cats currently at the shelter.  

“But our cat numbers are quickly rising because kitten season is right around the corner, so we may be at capacity very soon,” Randall added. She said the warm weather may be a contributing factor to the large number of dogs at the shelter, because they’re more likely to be outside and possibly wander off and others may be in heat. 

All of the animals desperately need a home.  

“We exhaust every resource that we have for them, so as long as they stay healthy and friendly, they’ll stay on our adoption floor. They can be pulled by our rescue partners, even our adoptable ones can be pulled by them, as well as our medical and behavioral cases,” Randall said. “As an absolute last resort euthanasia, but those are for animals that are medically suffering or have behavioral issues and we feel they would be unsafe to go out to the public.”

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But adoption isn’t the only way to make a positive impact.  

“Fostering would be a huge help, because that gets them out of the shelter environment,” said Randall.  

The shelter provides “everything that is needed for a foster,” whether it’s “medical care, meds, if a crate is required, we can provide a crate, food, bowls, blankets.” 

The high capacity of animals currently at the shelter is an added strain on staff. 

Randall said the shelter is not able to offer walk-up adoptions every day because of staffing levels. Adoptions are currently available seven days a week, by appointment only every day except Wednesday, when the shelter does walk-up adoptions only from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

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The strain on staffing means “volunteers are also a huge help, because volunteers can come and walk the dogs or hang out with the cats and give them the people socialization that our staff just doesn’t have time to do right now.” 

The adoption fee is normally $60

And if any of these sweet puppy dog eyes win you over or you’re looking to expand your family, adoptions which are normally $60, are now completely free!