Natasha’s Barn Cats
Indy Neighborhood Cats, Boone County
Six adorable cats lucked out on a new home!
Sometimes, the “return” of a Trap-Neuter-Return isn’t safe or practical for a free-roaming cat. That was the case for Tom, Jerry, Ben, Izzy, Claude and Rufus – recently trapped by our friends at Indy Neighborhood Cats. Lucky for them, Natasha had a barn in need of barn cats!
Under-socialized cats can thrive in a barn or a large property and make great outdoor pets for people with allergies. Even better, you’ll never find a mouse in that barn again!
The BEST way to get every shelter to zero-kill is by reducing intake at the source. Indiana Humane Services provides spay/neuter surgeries for TNR programs that save thousands of lives very year. Together we can make more cats live happy, healthy lives.
Speedway Animal Rescue, Marion County
Here’s a story of how our incredible animal welfare network works together to save a life:
Trooper is an 11-month old German Shepherd/Husky puppy that was found on the side of the road in Oklahoma after being thrown from a car.
A good Samaritan (who happened to be making the drive from Las Vegas to Indianapolis) with the help of an Oklahoma State Trooper rushed him to a local veterinarian, only to be told she would have to pay for his treatment upfront or he could be euthanized. She made the incredible decision to make him comfortable and drive through the night and take him to Noah’s Emergency Hospital ASAP.
Noah’s searched for someone who could care for Trooper, and Speedway Animal Rescue came to his aid. They placed him in foster care where he was on crate rest 6-8 weeks prior to his surgery.
We’re happy to report that Trooper made an incredible recovery has been fixed (with help from Indiana Humane Services.) He’s even found his furever home with his foster family, who loved him too much to ever let him go. Your donations make more stories like Trooper’s possible!
CARE, Bartholomew County
2020 has quickly become ‘the year of the cat’ and things are no different in Bartholomew County. Julie Robbins, a TNR volunteer with CARE in Columbus recently contacted us for help with a particularly daunting situation.
A mobile home park in Hope, Indiana was struggling to control a cat colony reported to have nearly 30 cats! Julie and her team have trapped-neutered-returned (TNR) 21 cats so far, thinking they only had 9 more to go. But they quickly realized there were another 20 cats plus several kittens.
One kittens, Marley, was very sweet, but struggling (he’s the black and white kitten in the photos!). Turns out that he had a hernia, which was fixed while he was neutered. This lucky little guy is now in foster care, awaiting his forever home. Your donations to Indiana Humane Services have made this possible!
This story has another hero – a cat-loving park owner. He’s working to improve the park and understands that a TNR program can be a vital part of that process, even offering to build shelters for the cats to keep them safely out of the elements. An understanding owner can make all the difference in a situation like this one!
Julie will continue to TNR and we will keep supporting the critical need for spay/neuter surgeries. Your support will make sure this work continues uninterrupted and continues to save lives!.
Humane Society of Hobart, Lake County
Our partners at The Humane Society of Hobart, Inc. have been trapping cats on a particularly hard-hit area of Hobart since last fall. They’ve been trying to help every community cat caretaker TNR their cats to stop the cycle. Community cats that are not fixed face many challenges and exploding populations. Many kittens born in a cat colony are born so sick that even with proper care, they cannot survive.
Here is a litter from just one of the community cat caretakers they’ve helped through TNR with surgery certificates from Indiana Humane Services:
“My name is Susan and I’ve been a caretaker of 7 cats for a few years. My story started with one older cat that wasn’t fixed, her name was Kiki. Then Tommy came along, and then one day this little Siamese kitten was just dropped off – I named her Loki. I couldn’t stand for them to be hungry, so I started feeding them. I bought kennels, blankets, straw, and other things to keep them warm for the winter.
Spring came & before I knew it, I had 6 kittens (I found homes for most of them except 2). The next spring, I had more kittens, again I found homes for most of them again but not all. I wanted so desperately to get them fixed so I could stop this never-ending kitten factory, but financially I was unable to. It just completely broke my heart. The saddest thing was when some were born sick or dead. I would cry like a baby every time, like they were my babies (they were my babies). I hated that I couldn’t stop all this from happening.
I didn’t know there were places out there to help until I met my Angel (that’s what I call her) Sandi Petee from Humane Society of Hobart. She asked if I would be interested in trapping them, explained to me how the program works and I jumped right on board! Sandi and Indiana Humane Services are a life saver. I can’t thank y’all enough! Now my kids won’t have any more babies! Thank you for saving my kids’ lives & stop us from having more babies!
Susan, Big Boy, Blackey, Prince, Itty Bitty, Baby, Rusty & Momma Cat!”
Volunteers for Animal Welfare, Franklin County
Baby was found as a stray by our partners at Volunteers for Animal Welfare in Cedar Grove. She needed emergency surgery to remove a tumor at the same time as being fixed. She was only 4-years old, adorable and had so much love and life left! After her surgery and vaccinations, she was adopted in a matter of days to a family that her foster describes as “the PERFECT home” – they were even willing to drive hundreds of miles to adopt her! Everyone is so glad that she’ll be sharing the rest of her life with such a loving family!
Community Cat Grant Funding
Catsnip Etc, Meow Mission, Elkhart Feral Cat Coalition, Elkhart County & St. Joesph County
After meeting with the leaders of three Community Cat rescue groups in northern Indiana, Indiana Humane Services wanted to do more to help. The women leading CatSnip Etc, Meow Mission & Elkhart Feral Cat Coalition were stretched thin, each running all-volunteer organizations with few resources.
Indiana Humane Services approached the Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust, A KeyBank Trust, to discuss grant funding. Now in our third year of grant funding, Indiana Humane Services has provided 400 additional surgery certificates to each group, with another 150 surgeries to be issued in 2020. This is a total of 1,650 cats that will be trapped-neutered-returned due to this fabulous grant!
The important work of our three rescue partners is helping the Humane Society of Elkhart County increase their live release rates. This shelter has moved from a tragic 49% live release rate in 2011 to an 81% live release rate in 2019. The shelter director, Rob LaRoy, contributes the shelter’s success to community cat programs, partnerships with rescue groups, and spay/neuter initiatives.
White River Humane Society, Lawrence County
In May of 2020 the Change in Venue Program (CIV) changed Mag’s life! CIV is a transportation program by CanINE Express Transport Project, where adoptable animals are moved to new shelters to increase their visibility and adoption rates. Mag was lucky to be one of the over 12,000 dogs they’ve helped move between shelters!
Mag was taken to Lakeshore PAWS in Valparaiso and posted for adoption. Thanks to the loving care of both shelters he was now a happy, social boy who loved people more than anything else. His handsome looks and great personality found him a home in just four short days!
Meow Mission Cats
Meow Mission, St. Joseph County
“Christina reached out to Meow Mission for help with a growing cat population she’d been feeding. She was overwhelmed with 10+ cats and who needed her help. Unfortunately, she could not afford to pay for the food the colony needed, let alone spay/neuter cost. Luckily, we were granted neuter certificates and could help Christina alter her entire colony at no cost to her. As we discussed our trapping plan, Christina was overwhelmed with gratitude and wanted to help in any way she could. Trapping day came, and Christina was right there to help. We trapped four cats pretty easily, but the others were just too hesitant. That’s when Christina lured the cats to the traps by laying in the yard and gently calling them. As crazy at it looked, it actually worked! Not only did Christina get all her colony altered free of charge thanks to Indiana Humane Services, we now have a great new volunteer who thinks outside of the box when trapping cats! Thank you Indiana Humane Services!!!!”
Perla is a busy mom. When her neighbor gave her a dog, she couldn’t refuse. The children were so excited! She stopped by Indiana Humane Services’s office to ask how we could help. Funding for a surgery was out of her budget, but she knew she had to have her dog spayed. Perla used our SNAP program, where income-qualified pet lovers pay just $25.
“Thank you so much for your help. I am glad Fluffy is spayed and won’t have puppies.” – Perla
Meow Mission, St Joseph County
One evening, a volunteer at Meow Mission heard a frightened kitten meowing. She investigated and found Willow trapped in a woodpile. Willow’s poor little leg had been crushed, and she couldn’t move. Unfortunately, Willow’s leg had to be amputated. But she’s a fighter and has recovered nicely. Indiana Humane Services paid for her spay surgery, ensuring little Willow would not have unwanted kittens – kittens that might end up in a woodpile – or worse. Willow has since been adopted into a loving home. Her new daddy is forever grateful that she was rescued.
Hope Haven Canine Rescue, Morgan County
Queen Elizabeth and her puppies were dumped in a forested area, hungry, cold, confused and infested with ticks. The starving and sick mother was unable to produce milk to feed her puppies. Hope Haven Canine Rescue swung into action, taking mama to the vet for urgent care and bottle feeding the puppies while they grew.
“We had to invest a lot to save the mother and her six newborns. With the free certificates from Indiana Humane Services, we were able to spay and neuter the entire family!” – Hope Haven Canine Rescue
Ambassadors for God’s Creatures, Madison County
“Our organization has been blessed by the support of Indiana Humane Services for our work in Madison County.” – Ambassadors for God’s Creatures
Brookside Neighborhood Collaboration
The Brookside Neighborhood has historically ranked at the top regarding animal calls for service, ordinance violations, and animal intakes at Indianapolis Animal Care Services. Fortunately, Brookside also has a strong and engaged neighborhood association and is geographically located between FIDO and the FACE Clinic.
This is one of many collaborative projects funded by Indiana Humane Services’ Pet Friendly plate and the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. Projects like these prevent shelter intake, allowing shelter staff to focus on the animals already in their care. This results in increased adoptions, a manageable workload for shelter staff, and increased morale and pride among staff.
Evansville Cat Colony
Feline Fix, Vanderburgh County
Evansville’s Feline Fix was overwhelmed by the number of cats and kittens needing fixed. They had recently completed a project involving 50 cats, when they were notified of a colony of 30 cats in need. With dwindling resources, Feline Fix turned to Indiana Humane Services for assistance. The two organizations joined forces, with Indiana Humane Services covering the cost of spay/neuter, while Feline Fix trapped and cared for this colony. Thanks to you, everybody wins!
Abandoned Dogs in Silver Lake
Save a Dog Rescue, Starke County
Last month, Save A Dog Rescue (SAD), came across a nightmare situation of dog abandonment and abuse in Silver Lake. SAD volunteers were working to trap a skittish momma dog, her pups and several other frightened and elusive dogs. The dogs had taken up residence in a countryside barn that is rotting and ready to collapse.
Char Swift with SAD came to Indiana Humane Services concerned. “I’m afraid we won’t be able to fund this. They just keep coming,” she said of the many dogs that continued to wander onto the property.
“When we heard their story, we couldn’t turn them away, even though we were out of spay/neuter certificates for the month”, said Cheri Storms with Indiana Humane Services. Indiana Humane Services vowed to provide five surgery certificates to fix some of the dogs and to reach out to our supporters to secure more help.
Morgan County Humane Society, Morgan County
Every Dog Counts Rescue, Boone County
Amie Marino is like so many of the individuals who reach out to Indiana Humane Services for assistance. She has a big heart and a lot of love for animals. She loves horses, but her caring also extends to the cats that are regularly dumped on her property. Four cats and four kittens have found their way to Amie’s farm.
Now the adults, Simon, Clover, Carson, and Lily, have been captured and fixed using Indiana Humane Services’s Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP). They all live happily as barn cats, keeping rodents out of the barn, and keeping the horses company. The kittens were fixed and found forever homes, thanks to a friend of Amie’s who helped place them.
“I am so thankful for this program,” said Amie. “I’ve had so many people dump cats on me as well as feral cats that randomly show up. With Indiana Humane Services, I’ve been able to afford to get them spayed and neutered instead of taking them to a shelter.”
Reigning Cats & Dogs Rescue, Lagrange County
Ollie, the heartworm positive dog, was in need of a hair dresser. But what Ollie needed even more was a foster home where he could relax while undergoing heartworm treatment before being made available for adoption. A volunteer named Christine stepped up to the challenge, offering her home with a fenced yard.
The problem? Christine had two unaltered dogs that needed fixed before she could be accepted into her local foster-provider program in LaGrange County. Christine was struggling financially but had a great vet history. That’s where SNSI stepped in, providing the certificates to get Christine’s two sweet dogs fixed. All three dogs are now fixed, and the rescue group, Reigning Cats & Dogs, has a new foster provider.
“Indiana Humane Services helps many of our rescues get fixed! We could not save as many lives as we do without them. My little rescue sports the Pet Friendly specialty plate on all our vehicles to help advertise and get them fixed!” said Kate Wheeler with Reigning Cats & Dogs Rescue, Inc.
Alone, scared and hungry, Deke had been abandoned by his owner. He wasn’t simply left behind, he was locked in an apartment storage unit with no food, water or daylight. Perhaps the owner had thought someone would find him. Perhaps he was left to die.
Fortunately for Deke, the apartment manager found him just in time. Deke’s weight had dwindled to less than 8 pounds, and his fur had begun to fall out.
But Deke’s luck was short-lived. He was picked up by an animal control officer and taken to the local shelter. As with most Indiana shelters, this one was overcrowded. Deke was scared and confused and lashed out at the staff. So he was slated for euthanasia.
Through a magnificent stroke of luck, Deke ended up in foster care and was eventually adopted into a loving home. With lots of food and love, Deke gained weight and became less fearful. He’s now a healthy 11-pound cat, covered in thick black and white fur – complete with a beauty mark.
Red Sky Rescue, Jackson County
Major had been found running as a stray in rural Indiana. He had not been neutered, so Indiana Humane Services funded his surgery. Once he was adoption ready, Major struggled to find a home. He literally waited in the shelter for six months, but Red Sky Rescue never gave up on him. Major attended the Mega Adoption Event in Indianapolis, where people loved on him, but found him to be too large of a dog. So back to the shelter he went – and sat – and waited.
Two days before Veterans Day, Major made his appearance at the Indy Pet Expo in hopes of finding his forever home. This was his day! Retired disabled veteran, Tim Hardge stopped by the Red Sky Rescue booth to meet Major. Tim had been looking for a dog that would meet the requirements of the Working Dogs for Vets program, and Major was the perfect fit!
Tim and Major connected immediately. Major now has a new home and will become a registered service dog within one year. This mighty duo has aspirations of competing in the Working Dogs for Vets national competition in April.