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The Journal Gazette

Friday, October 05, 2018 9:15 am

Verbatim: Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control to remodel facilities

The city of Fort Wayne issued the following news release today:

Fort Wayne, IN – Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control director Amy-Jo Sites today announced plans to remodel the medical and triage area of the shelter. The remodel will improve the level of care given to each animal and efficiency of the medical team.

Sheltering standards and the care given to each animal has changed drastically since the shelter was built 20 years ago. The original intent of the current surgery suite was only for sterilization surgeries. Today the shelter is proud to be able to do much more invasive medical procedures and save the lives of animals that would otherwise be euthanized. Currently there is only one surgical table, one prep table and no designated area to do medical exams or necropsies for cruelty and neglect cases in the triage area.

“With two surgery tables like what's going to be in our remodel that would expedite the process and we would be able to get through those surgeries much quicker which will open up time for our veterinarian to get through more medical exams, administering more rabies vaccines and more time to conduct cruelty and neglect case exams,” Operations Manager Laura Rowe said.

The second part of the plans call for a private space to perform forensic exams and necropsies (animal autopsies). Cruelty and neglect cases are a vital service Animal Care & Control provides for citizens of Fort Wayne.

“Over the last 35 years we have, along with other social service agencies, found a direct link between human and animal violence. What we're finding is that most cases of domestic violence or battery started with an animal,” Director Amy-Jo Sites said. “We don't have an appropriate space to determine what happened to an animal and without being able to identify what happened to an animal we can't take those abusers to court and that circle of violence continues.”

The project plans will be introduced at the Fort Wayne Common Council meeting on Tuesday, October 9, and will likely be discussed on Tuesday, October 16. The potential fiscal impact is estimated to be $298,000. With the support of the Animal Care Commission, Animal Care & Control is prepared to fund up to half of the costs for project through a capital campaign.