Animal rescues

Animal Rescues Face Food, Shelter and Healthcare Challenges | Local News

While most communities in Madison County rely on private or government partnerships to rescue animals, there are many challenges, including housing, food, and Indiana law spay/neuter requirements before they cannot be relocated.

The rights of owners who have had confiscated animals come into conflict with immediate rescue needs as they care for confiscated animals. People accused of abuse and neglect have the right to due process, which includes reserving the right to reclaim animals.

The problem is that the legal process can take months, potentially leaving rescues to foot the bill.

Indiana law provides a mechanism that preserves the rights of the owner while ensuring that the care of the animal remains that person’s responsibility. Those who choose not to waive animal rights as their court cases progress have the option of posting a bond for each animal.

Typically, the owner should agree to pay $300 per month per animal.

But Maleah Stringer, executive director of Anderson’s Animal Welfare League, said the problem is that even if an owner doesn’t pay the bond, there’s no guarantee the animals will be released for adoption. That’s fine for a few animals, but it’s a huge strain when it comes to hoarders who have dozens.

“The rescuers are in limbo. It puts rescues in a bad position,” Stringer said. “It makes rescues not want to escalate. Next time, they’ll remember that and they won’t want to interfere.

Heike Ramsey, adoption/fostering coordinator for Homer’s Helpers, said an additional issue is that Indiana law was changed in July and now requires animals to be spayed and neutered before they can be rehomed. , an additional expense for rescues.

“At the end of the day, we all have to work together,” Ramseys said. “It’s about the animals.”

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