I went with a good friend to Peppy's Grill, a great 24/7 diner in Fountain Square. While eating, I saw a cat while looking out the window. It was in the yard of the residence next door, so I figured it belonged to someone nearby.
I later saw the same cat while going back to my car. After getting my dog into the car, I approached the cat and it practically ran to me as I came to it. I really don't know much about animals, especially cats, but it seemed relatively young, nourished, and very friendly.
While petting it, a car drove up to me. The driver, also a neighbor nearby, said that I should take the cat. I explained to him I have a dog who just thinks that all cats are weird looking squirrels so I didn't see how that'd work out, and I asked if he knew who it belonged to. He said the previous resident of the rental property next to Peppy's Grill abandoned the cat after they moved.
During the Public Safety Committee meeting, many of those during the public comment section talked about the high number of animals that are euthanized at the shelter. While I do love animals (I've owned several dogs, cats, and parakeets at one time or another), I also recognize that the primary role of a county run animal shelter is public safety. If animals can be adopted or put into foster homes, that's a plus. But if there's too many, euthanasia has to be an option.
I read a statistic, maybe it was in a news article or maybe it was during the hearing, that an average of 22 animals per day are euthanized at the shelter. It's kind of hard to say it's only a Marion County problem, because people across Indiana can come here and drop off animals, but let's assume these 22 animals are all from the central Indiana area.
It probably means that there are too many pets and not enough responsible owners within Marion and the doughnut counties.
So what can we, both as a society and politically minded people, do? I don't have all the answers, but it's certainly something that needs to be addressed, even after the buzz over Animal Care's budget fades away.