I attended Nathan Winograd’s No Kill Equation Conference with over 100 other people, some from as far as Oregon and Houston (Cover, “Saving the Strays,” April 16-22). What was apparent to all of us is that the largest, best-funded, “most respected” humane organization and shelter in our area was absent. No one from the Humane Society of Indianapolis attended this workshop about how to save the lives of our homeless animals.
I found the equation straightforward and simple: Do good things for animals, tell people about it, ask for their help.
Almost all of the 10 steps to no-kill are in existence in Indianapolis in some form: TNR, high-volume low-cost spay/neuter, rescue groups, foster care, comprehensive adoption programs, pet retention, medical and behavior rehabilitation and volunteers. The last component and, in my opinion, the most important is that of having a compassionate director that actively puts these steps in place.
The Humane Society of Indianapolis promotes itself all over the city. I see ads on PBS and hear them on NPR. But I have never seen the resources of your organization put behind promoting the animals. It is clear to me that the only thing being promoted is the organization itself and its fundraising.
Receiving a $50,000 marketing grant to focus on “branding” the organization when the money could be applied saving lives is offensive. The leadership of your organization has already branded the HSI by its actions: arrogant absence from the conference; begrudging, if any, cooperation with rescue groups; exorbitant adoption fees; 42 empty kennels last Friday; the mass killing of cats and kittens — spinning it as de-population — at the CHANCE of illness; refusing to take in local strays while importing animals from outside. No matter how clever the excuses and polished the spin, it is obvious that the Humane Society of Indianapolis is acting in a way that is anything but humane.
Please step up and raise the bar for animal welfare in the city. Join us in the no-kill solution. Replace your leadership with a passionate, compassionate leader that will actively put life-saving programs in place and commit to saving the animals.
No kill is the right thing to do. It is doable. It is possible. It is our future.Kathleen Egan