‘Witness protection’ for dogs gives canines chance to heal

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Fox 59 News got an exclusive look into the witness protection program–but this one isn’t for humans.

This witness protection program for dogs is a joint effort between Animal Care and Control in Indianapolis and the animal rescue group “Every Dog Counts.” Abused and neglected dogs go into hiding while their abuse allegations are investigated.

Animal Care and Control calls Tara Harris with “Every Dog Counts” in cases of abuse or neglect. She keeps the dogs at a secure location so they can be rehabilitated while the investigation proceeds. Dogs even get a whole new identity, just like humans, and their care and food is all paid for.

“A sick or injured dog can rapidly rack up $1,000, $2,000 or $3,000 in veterinary bills,” said Harris, who relies heavily on donations.

When those donations run thin, she does spend her own money.

“To have it called the witness protection program I suppose is fitting, but it is something that is very helpful for us and for the animals,” said Dan Shackle, chief administrator for Animal Care and Control.

It’s a program that is more or less an underground effort. It’s not a government undertaking, but Harris said it’s just as necessary and rewarding.

“It is as therapeutic for me as it is for them,” she said.

To become involved with this group, and to follow the progress of abused or neglected dogs rehabilitated through this program, like the Facebook page for “Every Dog Counts.”