Animal Care

Crowded Indianapolis animal shelter ‘taking a toll’ on employees, pets

Employees at Indianapolis Animal Care Services are used to advocating for their pets.

They share photos of pit bull terriers and Labrador retrievers and domestic long-hair cats, along with snippets about their furry friends — all in first-person, from the animal’s point of view. 

“My name is Sylvester. Unlike my name, I am not a naughty kitty! I am 2 years old, I seem to impress everyone.”

“Hiya! My name is George and I am just the cutest guy!”

“If you are looking for a sweet pea who will be sure to brighten your days, consider coming to meet me.”

Those messages go out to the community with genuine hope that one day those animals will find their forever homes.

But until then, an exhausted, overworked staff, strained by the pandemic fights to keep the shelter running — and these days, they’re asking for help, both for the animals and for themselves.

“The staff is stressed out. The volunteers are, too. We don’t get to really spend as much time with the animals as we used to,” Lauren May, a senior animal care technician said. “So it’s kind of taking its toll on everybody.”