The Brookside Neighborhood on the near east side of Indianapolis has historically ranked toward the top for animal calls for service, ordinance violations, and animal intakes at Indianapolis Animal Care Services (IACS).
Because Brookside also has an engaged neighborhood association and is located near both FIDO and the FACE Low-Cost Animal Clinic, FIDO chose the Brookside Neighborhood for an intensive, one-to-two-year case management-focused pilot project with an end-goal to effectively change cultural norms related to the care and treatment of dogs and cats in the neighborhood.
FIDO is leading this project in partnership with the Brookside Neighborhood Association, IACS, FACE Low-Cost Animal Clinic and Spay-Neuter Services of Indiana.
The partnering groups will work from within to empower residents to provide long-term, humane conditions for their own pets, and will also work to raise the expectation of all neighbors that animal neglect, breeding, dog bites, etc., will not be allowed in their neighborhood. The local neighborhood association will play a central role in the long-term success of this project.
The mid-summer kick-off event in Brookside Park was a resounding success.
More than 100 Brookside households and more than 150 Brookside pets were assisted with spay/neuter, vaccinations, micro-chipping, flea treatment, collars, leashes and more.
The partnering agencies provided a variety of humane education tables to inform residents regarding dog behavior and training, pet safety, the care and treatment ordinances, community cat trap-neuter-return, and the FIDO lost dog recovery program.
FIDO has since launched a weekly alley outreach program in the Brookside neighborhood to find and help backyard dogs. The outreach program engages the services of an off-duty IACS officer who is educating neighbors on animal laws and ordinances.
FIDO has also employed the volunteer services of an experienced humane cat trapper to lead an intensive trap-neuter-return program for community cats in Brookside.
FIDO will soon be launching a “Pack Walk” program to showcase well-trained and happy dogs in the neighborhood.
FIDO is also partnering with the local schools in the neighborhood and with the Peaceable Kingdom Project to reach local children and faith-based neighbors with humane messaging.
One key objective of the pilot project is to achieve a 90% compliance rate for spay/neuter, vaccinations and micro-chipping for dogs and cats in Brookside. Another important goal for the neighborhood is a 75% reduction in calls for animal service, ordinance violations, and animal intakes at IACS.
After processes and messaging have been refined and optimized through the Brookside pilot project, FIDO will replicate the program in other Near East Side neighborhoods, and ultimately across all high-need neighborhoods of Indianapolis.