Indianapolis, Indiana – The Friends of Indy Animals recently received a $1 million grant, intended to support the construction of a new animal shelter in Indianapolis. This facility will replace the existing Indianapolis Animal Care Services (IACS) center, which has been operational since 1991 on the city’s southwest side. The present establishment can accommodate roughly 160 animals, a capacity often exceeded due to consistent overcrowding.
Becky Honeywell, the Executive Director of Friends of Indy Animals, highlighted the urgent necessity to bolster IACS’s efforts for homeless animals. “There is always…. always overcrowding, always an influx, and I would say in addition to that costs for services are rising,” she remarked.
While the city disclosed plans for a new shelter in 2021, budgeting $18 million from the Circle City Forward initiative, the anticipated costs have since escalated. Sherman Park, an eastside neighborhood undergoing redevelopment but marred by environmental challenges, has been selected for the new facility’s location. An additional $5 million is now projected for environmental remediation, supplementing the prior investment of the same amount. Furthermore, added funding might be essential for the shelter’s construction.
The Lilly Endowment, Inc.’s generous contribution to Friends of Indy Animals will be channeled towards the IACS’s new building. This nonprofit collaborates with IACS, furnishing extra assistance for various programs, services, and medical needs. They also extend help to families, enabling them to retain their pets.
Honeywell commended the IACS team, stating, “Despite a crumbling building that is really not designed for animal welfare, they do amazing work.”
While the city initially aimed for construction to commence in 2022, current endeavors focus on ascertaining the additional required funds. Consequently, construction and design planning are presently paused. Last year, an added $3 million was donated by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust for the project. Yet, a financial deficit persists.
Annually, IACS extends assistance to approximately 10,000 animals.