Winding down

Fall is definitely here and winter is right around the corner. The rescue usually winds down in November and December. There is a two-fold reason for doing this.

Alumnus AJ doesn't like the rain.

Alumnus AJ doesn't like the rain.

First, it's just the natural rhythm of life here in the Midwest. Day light savings time 'falls back' and darkness begins to crawl forward earlier in the evening. This throws us off as much as the dogs and usually everyone sleeps more. The weather turns wet and cold, eventually add snow into the mix, and people stay indoors. No one thinks - hey let's get another dog, when they're wiping snow and muck off of the bottom of their current dog's feet every time they come inside from a freezing cold bathroom break. Having two dogs means twice the amount of work, and living in the Midwest, that's a lot of work in the winter. Two doggy coats to put on, eight feet to wipe, extra snow shoveling to do to clear favorite (and necessary) poop spots, two dogs to towel dry and then the obligatory house zoomies (times two) because it's just so much fun to go run around in the snow.

Current 2017 Adoptabull Libby at the shelter.

Current 2017 Adoptabull Libby at the shelter.

The second reason we dial it back in November and December is because people's lives get busy. Regardless of what holiday you celebrate, people get together and/or travel at the end of the year. This extra change in schedule and foot traffic is not conducive to pulling a dog from the shelter. We prefer a quiet environment for at least the first three days when a new dog comes into the shelter. Why, you may ask? The shelter is a stressful environment and so is the process of us pulling a dog from the shelter. Imaging you had spent the past 1.5 years (in dog time or 90 days in human time) at the shelter. One day someone shows up, bathes you, puts you in a car, drives you away, introduces you to other dogs, and integrates you into their home. That's a lot of change for a dog and will stress them out. The body's natural response to stress is to release cortisol. Cortisol is a naturally occurring steroid hormone in the adrenal gland. Cortisol has positive affects like accellerating the metabolic response rate (opening air paths and blood vessels to allow more oxygen to aid in flight from life threatening situation) or negative affects like increasing the healing times of wounds. Once a body receives a spike of cortisol it takes approximately 72 hours for their body to process the hormone and balance back out.

Not only do our foster families get busy over the holiday's, in the past, we have had adopters decided to return their dogs at this time of year too. I have personally spent a Thanksgiving day driving 3 hours to pick up an adoption return. The following year I spent a Christmas morning picking up a foster return. So I can tell you from personal experience that it is in the benefit of the rescue to slow down in November and December because there is an increased chance of crazy stuff happening.

Usually we pick back up around the end of February and March (when Spring is right around the corner). That is not to say we won't pull dogs for the next four months, it's just that if we do we will be very intentional about which dogs would work the best given the conditions. 

What is leash reactivity?

After publicly announcing our leash reactivity class, we have received a lot of inquiries about the topic.

What is leash reactivity?

This is a umbrella term used in dog training to describe a series of behaviors a dog may exhibit while on lead. This includes but is not limited to: lunging, barking, growling, jumping and vocalizing.

Dogs can be reactive to just about anything that you come across on your walks. Most commonly pet parents struggle with managing dogs that display these behaviors when they see another dog approaching. There are many reasons why a dog may become leash reactive. In our class, we will address the underlying causes for reactivity and give owners a better understanding of how to properly work with their dog to decrease these types of behaviors.

Click the image below for an in-depth article about the causes of leash reactivity written by Tom Mitchell. Tom is a veterinarian, clinical behaviorist and companion and sports dog trainer, providing a unique perspective on all things dog.

2018 Indy Pet Resource Flyer

Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Services

Be a responsible pet owner. Pets should be spayed or neutered to improve their health and behavior and prevent overpopulation. 

FACE Low-Cost Spay Neuter Clinic

1505 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46201

(317) 638-3223

Low-cost spaying and neutering for dogs and cats. Special programs for community cats. No income requirements. 

IndyHumane Animal Welfare Center

456 N. Holmes Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46222

(317) 602-3423

Low-cost spaying and neutering for dogs and cats. No income requirements, but additional discounts for households receiving public assistance. Special programs for community cats. 

Low-Cost Spay Neuter Clinic - Brownsburg

409 N. Green St., Brownsburg, IN 46112

(317) 852-0537

Low-cost spaying and neutering for dogs and cats. Special programs for community cats. No income requirements. 

Low-Cost Spay Neuter Clinic – Noblesville

1721A Pleasant St., Noblesville, IN 46060

(317) 706-0537

Low-cost spaying and neutering for dogs and cats. Special programs for community cats. No income requirements. 

Spay-Neuter Services of Indiana (SNSI)

1100 W. 42nd Street, Suite 205, Indianapolis, IN 46208

(317) 767-7771

Low-cost certificates for spaying and neutering at participating veterinary clinics throughout Indiana. Available year-round to pet owners meeting income requirements; in February and October, the program is open to all pet owners in need. 


Community Cat Programs

Contact the clinic for prices, services, and special promotions. Help reduce the stray and feral cat overpopulation. If you are feeding community cats in Indianapolis, you are required by the city’s TNR ordinance to spay/neuter, vaccinate, and ear-tip for identification all cats in your colony. 

FACE Community Cat Program (IndyFeral)

1505 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46201

(317) 638-3223

communitycats@faceanimalclinic.org

Offers Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) assistance for caretakers of community cats. TNR referrals provided for those outside of Indianapolis. 

IndyHumane Animal Welfare Center

456 N. Holmes Avenue., Indianapolis, IN 46222

(317) 602-3423, ext 150

bethany@indyhumane.org

Offers Trap-Neuter-Return assistance for caretakers of community cats. 

Low-Cost Spay Neuter Clinic – Brownsburg

409 N. Green St., Brownsburg, IN 46112

(317) 852-0537

Offers Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) assistance for caretakers of community cats. 

Low-Cost Spay Neuter Clinic - Noblesville

1721A Pleasant St., Noblesville, IN 46060

(317) 706-0537

Offers Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) assistance for caretakers of community cats. 


Emergency Veterinary Service

Airport Animal Emergi-Center

 5235 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46241

(317) 248-0832

Special night, weekend, and holiday hours 

Indianapolis Veterinary Emergency Center

5425 Victory Dr., Indianapolis, IN 46203

(317) 782-4484

Daily 24 hours 

Noah’s Animal Hospital & 24 Hour Emergency Center

5510 Millersville Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46226

(317) 244-7738

Daily 24 hours 

VCA Advanced Care

7712 Cross Point Commons, Fishers, IN 46038

(317) 578-4100

Daily 24 hours 

Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Care

4625 E. Stop 11 Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46237

(317) 534-6000

Daily 24 hours 

If you find a sick or injured animal requiring medical help, and you cannot provide help yourself, take the animal to Indianapolis Animal Care Services, 2600 S. Harding St, 46221, Mon-Sat 12pm-6pm. To request pick-up from an officer, call the Mayor’s Action Center at (317) 327-4622, Mon-Fri 7:30am-5:30pm. During off-hours, call police dispatch at (317) 327-3811. Or use the IACS officer RequestIndy online portal. The animal must be confined and you must be standing by.

Shelter drop-off hours are Sun, Mon, Tues, Fri, Sat from 10 am to 5 pm, Thurs from 10 am to 7 pm. 


Low-Cost Medical Care, Wellness Exams, Vaccinations, and Microchipping

For their long-term health and safety, pets should receive annual wellness checks, vaccinations, heartworm preventative (dogs), and permanent identification. By law, pets must be treated for illness and injury. 

Indy pet resources chartpng

To Report Suspected Animal Neglect/Abuse/Abandonment

Regardless of whether the animal is a pet, stray, or wild animal, Indianapolis Animal Care Services (IACS) is the enforcement authority for animal ordinances in the city. IACS officers are dispatched through the Mayor’s Action Center or police dispatch.

  • For crimes in progress: Call 911.
  • For suspected abuse, neglect, or other animal violations:
    • Call the Mayor’s Action Center (317) 327-4622, Mon-Fri 7:30am-5:30pm
    • Submit the case location and details online through Request Indy.
  • During off-hours: Either call police dispatch for assistance at (317) 327-3811 or report online through Request Indy.
  • For dog fighting information or reporting: Contact Canine Crime Stoppers, (317) 262-TIPS

Pet Lost and Found

If you’ve lost a pet:

  • Visit the Indianapolis Animal Care Services shelter daily.
    • 2600 S. Harding St., Indianapolis, IN 46221, Sun, Mon, Tues, Fri, Sat 10 am to 6 pm, Thur from 10 am to 7 pm.
    • Bring a photo ID and proof of pet ownership. Stray animals are held for 4 days until pets are eligible for release to other shelters/rescues or for adoption.
  • Look on-line with Indy Lost Pet Alert. For the most up to date information, visit the Indy Lost Pet Alert Facebook page. You should look through found pet postings for your pet and also make a lost pet posting for your pet.
  • Lost pets housed at Southside Animal Shelter and the Humane Society of Indianapolis are reported to Indy Lost Pet Alert and posted via their Shelter Alerts. Animals are held at both shelters for 4 days until released for adoption.
  • FIDO: If your lost dog is staying in the same area but cannot be captured, contact FIDO Lost Dog Recovery Program at 317-221-1314, for help with generating sightings of your lost pet and ultimately capturing your dog.

If you’ve found a pet:

  • Scan the pet for a microchip. Any shelter or vet clinic will scan found pets at no charge.
  • Report the found pet on-line with Indy Lost Pet Alert. For the most updated information, visit their Facebook page.
  • If you are able to keep the pet in your home, you must adhere to the Indianapolis care and treatment ordinances. After scanning for a microchip and posting on Indy Lost Pet Alert, after a 14 day stray hold, you become the owner of the pet.

The following organizations may be able to help:

ARPO (Alliance for Responsible Pet Ownership)

(317) 774-8292

May be able to help you foster the animal in your home, by providing medical and adoption assistance, after the 14-day stray hold period.

Humane Society of Indianapolis

7929 N. Michigan Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268

(317) 872-5650

Can scan for chips, check reports, and provide resources to house the animal until the owner can be found or an appointment is made.s

Indianapolis Animal Care Services

2600 S. Harding St., Indianapolis, IN 46221

Sun, Mon, Tues, Fri, Sat from 10 am to 5 pm, Thurs from 10 am to 7 pm.

Surrendering a stray animal to IACS should be the last option because the shelter is usually full due to the fact that they are an open-admission shelter, turning no animal from Indianapolis away.


Re-homing Your Pet

First steps to take:

  • Usually the best option is to keep your pet. Seek assistance with the many pet resources listed in this flyer.
  • Arrange for a trusted friend or family member to take your pet.
  • Make sure your pet is spayed or neutered prior to re-homing.
  • Do not place your pet through on-line ads such as Craig’s List, garage sale sites, or Facebook groups. Many tragic outcomes have resulted from this approach.

The following organizations may be able to help re-home your pet:

ARPO (Alliance for Responsible Pet Ownership)

(317) 774-8292

May be able to help you find a new home if you are willing to keep your pet in your home until another suitable home can be found.

Humane Society of Indianapolis

7929 N. Michigan Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268.

(317) 872-5650

There is usually a waiting period of several weeks to surrender your pet.

Indianapolis Animal Care Services

2600 S. Harding St., Indianapolis, IN 46221

Sun, Mon, Tues, Fri, Sat from 10 am to 5 pm, Thurs from 10 am to 7 pm.

Surrendering your pet to IACS should be the last option because the shelter is usually full due to the fact that they are an open-admission shelter, turning no animal from Indianapolis away.


Pet Food Pantries

Recipients must provide photo ID, proof of spay/neuter for their animals, and proof of financial need.

FIDO Pet Food Pantry

1505 N Sherman Drive, Indianapolis, IN, 46201

Held the first Saturday of each month from 10 am to 4 pm. 


Dog Assistance, Humane Education, and Outreach

These organizations offer dog owners outreach assistance to keep the dog in the home.

FIDO - Friends of Indianapolis Dogs Outside

(317) 221-1314

Offers outreach, direct assistance, and humane education to improve the lives of chained and penned outside dogs. Spay/Neuter is required for supplies and services to be provided. S/N is available for free or very low cost.

IndyHumane Animal Welfare Center

456 N. Holmes Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46222

(317) 602- 3423 x133

iHelp@indyhumane.org

Offers comprehensive humane education programs for students.

Indy Pit Crew

(317) 592-9614

Offers low-cost or free spay/neuter assistance, microchipping, vaccinations, training advice, and humane education for bully breeds.


Wildlife and Exotic Pet Care and Rescue

 

A Critters Chance

For wildlife rescue call (317) 945-6154

For exotic pet rescue email anosie@gmail.com.

Specialize in wildlife rehabilitation, humane nuisance prevention techniques, and exotic pet rescue.

All Wild Things

6058 N. Keystone Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46220

(317) 255-9453

Mon, Tues, Thurs 8am-6pm; Wed and Fri 8am-4pm, Sat 8am-12pm.

Complete care for exotic, nontraditional pets, birds, and injured/orphaned wildlife.

Avian and Exotic Animal Clinic

9330 Waldemar Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46268

(317) 879-8633

Mon-Thurs 8am-6pm; Fri 8am-4pm; Sat 8am-3pm. Complete care for exotic pets, birds, and injured/orphaned wildlife; 24-hour emergency assistance for injured/orphaned wildlife: (317) 902-3825.

DNR listing

Licensed wildlife rehabilitators in Indiana who have state or federal permits.

Providence Wildlife

(317) 902-3825

Cares for displaced, orphaned, or injured wildlife, 24/7, 365 days a year, provides education programs.


Rescue Resources for Cats Trapped in Trees and Roofs

Indiana Tree Service

(317) 476-3019

Ask for John Jay Stofleth.

DJ’s Tree Service

(317) 791-9790 or (317) 345-9376

Ask for Jose.

Re-homing Requests

Re-homing Requests

We are a small all-volunteer foster home network. We do not have enough open foster homes to rescue all of the pit bulls at Indianapolis Animal Care Services that are on the rescue only list, not to mention, other area shelters.

Foster plea Bishop and Morty.jpg

On top of the shelter rescue needs, we receive at least 25 requests a week to take owner/stray surrenders. Combined with shelter requests that means we receive at least 50 rescue requests in one week or 2,600 a year!

It takes time to get a dog healthy and move them through the rescue. On average our dogs stay in the rescue for about 90 days. However, now that we are pulling dogs on the rescue only list, many of those dogs have medical or behavioral needs that take longer to address which results in a longer stay in the rescue. Historically, when we were rescuing puppies and healthy shelter dogs Casa del Toro saved about 75 dogs a year. So when our volunteers are constantly bombarded by rescue requests (2,600), knowing our capacity (75), it can make our already emotional work even more overwhelming!

Before I was in rescue, which is also before Facebook and other social media outlets, I rescued a pit bull puppy off of Craig's List. My pup had severe aggression issues so I contacted three pit bull resources (ASTRO, Casa del Toro & Indy Pit Crew) to ask about help. I wasn't looking to surrender my dog, I was looking for training recommendations and a second option about the behavior I was seeing. Only ASTRO responded to my email. Their reply was honest and straightforward. They validated my concerns in the aggression I was seeing in my pup and encouraged me to look at the situation honestly and unemotionally. Casa del Toro and Indy Pit Crew never even responded to my email.

So you can imagine when I became President of Casa del Toro, I decided that it was important for the rescue to respond to every email and voice message personally. We have done that for at least three years and I still meet people in public that say "I reached out to Casa del Toro and no one ever got back with me". I know how that feels for the people looking for help, however, I also know that's not true anymore. For years I have personally responded to every email inquiry through the website but somehow the complaint is still there. I cannot tell you how many times after I replied to an email saying the rescue doesn't have the resources available to take owner surrenders the person responds back to me and says 'It's okay, we found a home for the pup'.

So here we are dedicating important volunteer hours to calling back all voice mails and writing individualized responses to all re-homing requests, even though many of those responses direct inquiries back to the resources found here on our website. Is that an appropriate use of our volunteers? Are we saving pit bulls by writing individualized responses? Or should we focus volunteer efforts on building more foster homes, moving our dogs quicker through the rescue so that we can rescue more dogs? These are not easy questions to answer.

We focus our rescue efforts on pit bulls that are at Indiana shelters and in risk of euthanasia. Right now we do not have the resources to assist with out-of-state requests (pulls or surrenders) or to accept owner/stray surrenders. Please do not contact us for a surrender request.

If you are looking to re-home these tips are found on the 2018 Indy Pet Resource Guide:

2018 Indy Pet Resource Guide

2018 Indy Pet Resource Guide

  • Usually the best option is to keep your pet. Check the 2018 Indy Pet Resource Guide for more resources.
  • Arrange for a trusted friend or family member to take your pet.

  • Make sure your pet is spayed or neutered prior to re-homing! Contact Spay Neuter Services of Indianapolis for assistance with low-cost spay/neuter surgery.

  • Do not place your pet through on-line ads such as Craig's List, garage sale sites or Facebook groups. Many tragic outcomes have resulted from this approach.

The following organizations may be able to help re-home your pet:

  • Alliance for Responsible Pet Ownership (ARPO):

    • (317) 774-8292

    • May be able to help you find a new home if you are willing to keep your pet in your home until another suitable home can be found.

  • Indianapolis Animal Care Services (IACS):

    • (317) 327-1397

    • 2600 South Harding Street, Indianapolis, IN 46221

    • Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 10am - 5pm; Thursday from 10am - 7pm

    • Surrendering your pet to IACS should be the last option because the shelter is usually full due to the fact that they are an open-admission shelter, turning no animal from Indianapolis away.

  • IndyHumane

    • (317) 872-5650

    • 7929 North Michigan Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268

    • There is usually a waiting period of several weeks to surrender your pet.

 

Fostering the most important role in rescue

First, the basics.

One of the most important ingredients to a successful foster experience is our partnership with our foster homes. These are the people who will - ideally - support Casa del Toro during the weeks and months that we have a dog. Our fosters should never feel alone with this big project! We have a good track record with solid adoptions.

CDT number of dogs adopted.png

Casa del Toro takes matching foster dogs to foster homes as seriously as we take creating those final adoptions. Using drama and desperation to find homes shows up in some rescue circles, but it's not a sustainable way to do business. We avoid the drama and drama junkies!

Interested in Fostering?

Do you think fostering might be for you? Then it's a good idea to look over our foster contract.

  • Will CDT help you with obedience training? Yes. 
  • Vet care? Yes.
  • What about the foster dog during your family vacations? CDT offers boarding when necessary.
  • How does CDT problem solve and promote? Multiple emergency contacts provided.

 

 

In return for being a good support system for our fosters, Casa del Toro wants to know that our fosters are willing to follow CDT guidelines and instructions. We want our fosters to be good about communicating questions and concerns that will undoubtedly come up along the way. No question is stupid - really. Ask, ask, ask. 

Casa del Toro will need to know about your lifestyle and your skill level before giving you a dog to foster. We'll want to see if your personal dog has good manners and if he's comfortable with sharing his home.  (Your dog doesn't have to be friends with our foster dog - but he should tolerate its presence. More on that later.) We'll also want to make sure that everyone in your household is okay with the project and willing to participate in some way, especially, with double-checking those doors and gates, and reinforcing the new house manners you'll be teaching the dog.

Alumni Lyric Blue & Bishop ~ Labor Day 2017

Alumni Lyric Blue & Bishop ~ Labor Day 2017

The original Ping Pack (L-R: Zuzu, Roxy (RIP), & Icecream)

The original Ping Pack (L-R: Zuzu, Roxy (RIP), & Icecream)

These are some beginning need-to-knows offered to us by CDT trainer Shawna Ping. Shawna is the foster coordinator and an emergency back-up foster for CDT. That means she's over-seeing the details of all of the dogs' progress and makes herself available to the foster homes as questions come up. Anyone who fosters with Shawna learns a ton about dog training - lucky them.

 

  • The dogs coming from shelters often smell bad and have fleas. You aren't getting a shiny coated, well mannered, clean house pet. You will be proud when you make him one.
  • Fostering can be long term so be ready to make a commitment. It's fun, it’s rewarding, but it can take time to find the right match for your foster.
  • Know you own pets and their needs. If your personal dog is 15 and wobbly, let us know so we can match up a dog that will be suited to yours.
  • Just because your dog doesn't chase cats doesn't mean a foster won't initially think that’s a fun game. Let us know if you have a cat, make sure your foster has been cat tested, and follow introduction instructions.
  • The dogs coming from shelters often have kennel cough. And sometimes they get sicker before they get better. It'll go away, but come up with a plan to keep the germs away from your personal dogs until your foster is well.
  • Fosters might develop a behavior you find odd or interesting. You may find tail chasing cute, but it can be an obsessive behavior that has to be handled. Always bring up any new or odd behaviors. They could signal health issues or a behavior that needs to be addressed with training.
  • Let you neighbors know you have a foster and if possible, have them see/meet him. If your foster dog inadvertently gets out, your neighbor may recognize him.