Indy CARES financial program to help pet owners


INDIANAPOLIS — A lot of people are going through tough times right now.

Inflation makes it hard to make ends meet, and sometimes these extra expenses can put a strain on the care we need to give our pets.

According to Indianapolis Animal Care Services, many people give up on their pets due to financial hardship. This puts even more strain on them, as they are overwhelmed with the number of animals they are currently caring for.

So, in 2018, the shelter created the Indy CARES program, which helps pet owners keep their pets at home.

Grant Keizer and his family were about to return their dog, The Count. The count ate a sock. He was sick and needed surgery that was going to cost his owner five thousand dollars. It’s not something the Keiser family could afford.

“The IACS worker who was there gave us a voucher,” said Grant Keiser, a CARES beneficiary. “We were like no, we can’t afford to go to the vet, and they said that would fix it. We took him to the vet and the good one took care of everything.

The CARES program has been in effect since 2018, but lately pet owners are using it more than ever. This year alone they have served over 450 people and last month there were 163 hijackings.

“Shelter diversion basically means we do what we can to keep animals in their homes and out of the shelter,” said Ashley Temple, program director for Indy CARES. “We do this by offering resources, support, education, medical care, and supplies – anything a homeowner might need so they don’t have to surrender, that’s what we try to provide.”

The Earl is now happy, healthy and back with his family. The Keizer family says that without the Indy CARES program, that probably wouldn’t be the case.

“The generosity of strangers brought our dog back to us and we were able to keep him,” Keiser said. “It was just a relief to find a member of our family.”

There is no income requirement to participate in the Indy CARES program. They treat each situation on a case-by-case basis.

For more information about the program, click here or call Indianapolis Animal Care Service at 317-327-1397.

Indy CARE also has a free vaccination clinic to protect dogs from parvovirus. The IACS says the treatment is expensive and it is more contagious in the summer.

The clinic will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 21 at Caring Place Church, 2901 North Post Rd. Any dog ​​or puppy in need can get vaccinated.

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Jennifer R. Strohm