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Letter to
Town of Rockville, IN
Parke County, Indiana
On May 10, 2013 a sad and unfortunate event occurred. A small brown chihuahua/dachshund mix dog named Otis escaped his tether while outside and was hit by a vehicle and left to suffer on the side of the road just a couple blocks from his home. Although Otis was still alive and breathing when people noticed and rushed to his aid, no one knew how extensive his injuries were. Because our town and county does not have ordinances or policies regarding domestic animals, all decisions were made at the responding police officers' discretion.

Although Otis was wearing a harness, he was presumed a stray. No attempt to locate his owner was made and no attempt to scan for a microchip was made. Also, because our county does not have procedures in place on how such events should be handled and who should be contacted, Otis did not receive a medical evaluation. Based on two phone calls, one to our local veterinary clinic's emergency line, and one to a veterinary technician -both site unseen- the decision was made to relieve Otis of his supposed suffering by transporting him to the location of the Rockville Police Department and shooting him.

We, as citizens of Indiana, do not agree with how this situation was handled by the police department and the veterinary clinic. Otis deserved a chance and there are many ways that this tragedy could have been prevented, yet none of those options were utilized because of lack of communication between agencies.

With our petition, we are proposing to enact new policies, procedures, and protocols regarding domestic animals so that we may prevent this or a similar occurrence from happening again. We shall work together with local officials, police departments, veterinarians, and the local humane society to create better protection and a better future for our companion animals.

Our Mission Statement:

It is our mission to promote animal welfare and to bring awareness to communities and agencies on proper animal care during emergency situations and to make sure that protocols are made, kept in place and adhered to, for the welfare of the animal and with respect to their owners.

Our goals are to help and encourage City/County/State organizations to enact new protocols which will better protect animals from unlawful acts.

The protocols that we are asking for are as follows:

1. That all injured animals are required to be medically evaluated in person by a DVM immediately upon discovery and that a serious attempt to locate the owners within a reasonable amount of time is made before making any decisions to euthanize.

Under Indiana Code 35-46-3-7, a person who:

(1) has a vertebrate animal in the person's custody; and
(2) recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally abandons or neglects the animal;
commits cruelty to an animal, a Class A misdemeanor.

Neglect of an animal, as defined by Indiana Code 35-46-0.5, means:
(D) failure to:
(i) provide reasonable care for; or
(ii) seek veterinary care for; an injury or illness to a dog or cat that seriously endangers the life or health of the dog or cat.

2. That all appropriate euthanizations are carried out by a DVM or a licensed individual who is trained or associated with an animal agency.

Under Indiana Code 35-46-3-12 euthanasia must be conducted by:

(1) a person employed by a humane society, an animal control agency, or a governmental entity operating an animal shelter or other animal impounding facility; and

(2) the person must euthanize the domestic animal in accordance with guidelines adopted by the humane society, animal control agency, or governmental entity operating the animal shelter or other animal impounding facility.

3. That all deceased animals be disposed of in a respectful and safe manner. (Most states either don't have a protocol or law for this manner, or they are not clear. Most codes are only set in place for wildlife and livestock, but not domesticated animals). Proper disposal should be incineration in a licensed facility, licensed dump site or buried four feet or deeper. Disposal in a trash can, dumpster or unrecognized location is unacceptable. This is for the purpose of disease control.

4. Once an animal is medically evaluated and treated by a DVM or other trained and licensed employee (i.e. DVM, animal control, animal shelter personnel), said animal should be surrendered to either their owner or to local animal rescue services.

It is also our goal to make sure that once these new codes are put in place that every effort is made to ensure that they are followed. If said procedures are not kept and/or violated, we ask that law enforcement agencies act upon it and place appropriate consequences and discipline to the individual/s including but not limited to law enforcement officials themselves.

Under Indiana Code 35-46-3-12 a person who knowingly or intentionally kills a domestic animal without the consent of the owner of the domestic animal commits killing a domestic animal, a Class D felony.

The main goal over all is to work side by side with local and state officials, as well as the public to ensure a better quality of life and/or death of domesticated animals.


We the Undersigned

Making a Difference for Parke County Animals in Memory of Otis started this petition with a single signature, and now has 631 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.