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INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Animal Care Services is urging local residents who find a stray animal to help it find its way home as the shelter struggles with space.

“Right now, we just don’t have the space at the shelter,” said IACS Deputy Director Katie Trennepohl. “For every animal that comes in, one must leave to make room.”

Staff are exhausting all resources to get more animals adopted, returned to owners, in foster homes, and pulled by rescues. However, if strays continue to enter the shelter, IACS will be forced to use euthanasia.

Here are a few steps residents can take to help a lost pet get back home:

  1. Check for a collar and tag. Some pets have a collar with the phone number stitched in.
  2. Post a photo and information of where the pet was found on Indy Lost Pet Alert, NextDoor, your neighborhood social media group, and your social media accounts. Most lost and stray pets tend to stick close to home.
  3. Take the animal to the nearest vet clinic to check for a microchip. (Vet Clinics that IACS has partnered with are shown on the map that is attached.)
  4. If there’s a microchip, contact the owner and reunite the pet with its family. If there’s no microchip, hold onto the animal (if you can) and continue searching for its owner.

City-County ordinance (Sec. 531-208) states that an animal can be held by a citizen for 14 days while actively searching for the owner. The 14 days start when the animal is reported to Indy Lost Pet Alert. If no owner comes forward, the citizen can take ownership of the animal.