INDIANAPOLIS – A multi-agency team led by the Indianapolis Department of Code Enforcement invited FOX59 along as they conducted an all day sweep of animal rescues, pet stores, grooming businesses and pet daycare facilities.
“We need to keep track of them and keep tabs on them,” said Brandon Dickinson, licensing administrator for the Department of Code Enforcement (DCE).
Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, the Indianapolis Fire Department and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department joined DCE on the sweep.
Indianapolis Animal Care and Control Administrator Dan Shackle explained how they, along with code enforcement, chose the businesses and nonprofits they would visit on Wednesday.
“Unlicensed, licensed, some we have had problems in the past, some we were unaware of and some we can use as a baseline,” said Shackle.
Some employees at the businesses and nonprofits were surprised by the sweep while one employee at the Southside Animal Shelter told FOX59 they got a warning from Animal Care and Control on Monday.
“It gives us a chance to heavy clean,” said Brandi Crumpton, a Southside Animal shelter employee.
She also said they were told to be ready to explain how they take care of the animals and how to follow state guidelines among other protocols and procedures.
FOX59 asked Shackle about reason behind the advance warning.
“We want to make sure that we are working with our partners, and we ultimately want to make sure that what we’re doing is setting them up for success because we need to continue to partner with good operations,” said Shackle.
Southside Animal Shelter is a partner agency of Animal Care and Control.
Shackle said no serious animal welfare violations were discovered during the sweep at any location, but his agency did cite All About Dogs Rescue. He explained how some food and water bowls were empty and there were cleanliness issues. They would return in 30 days. The fire department also cited the nonprofit as did code enforcement because it does not have a current license. It is considered an Animal Care and Control partner agency as well.
Code enforcement gave one warning and 14 citations, most of which centered around zoning issues. Clippity Do Dog was the second business to be cited for being unlicensed.
The team revisited the Fish Bowl Pet Shop, which was violation-free. Members claim it’s a testament to their crackdown in the summer, when nearly 400 dogs, birds, lizards, and fish were seized by many of the same people involved in the sweep. At the time, investigators said the pets were living in deplorable conditions.
“The good news so far today is everyone heeded the message when that made news,” said Dickinson.
“The animals don’t have a voice, and we need to be looking out for them. We need to do our best to make sure they’re safe and taken care of,” he said.
The investigators and inspectors separated into four groups for the sweep.