City of Fort Wayne – In an effort to save as many lives as possible, Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control is implementing a new initiative, called the Pet Assistance and Rehoming program, aimed at preventing pets from having to enter the shelter by keeping them at home with their owners whenever possible.

More than 10,000 animals come through the shelter’s door each year. It is our goal to provide the best outcome for each and every one of those lives. As an open admissions shelter that does not turn an animal away for any reason, ensuring a positive outcome for each one is one of the biggest challenges.

Implementing the Pet Assistance and Rehoming program means the shelter no longer accepts walk-in owner surrenders. Instead, pet owners first work one-on-one with a staff member to address the underlying issues that are preventing them from keeping their pet, or learn how to rehome their pet without bringing it to the shelter.  If pet owners ultimately decide they must surrender their animal to the shelter, they can do so by appointment only. 

"One of our main priorities is helping people hold on to their beloved pets, and this program allows us to focus on providing resources to help them do that," Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control Director Amy-Jo Sites said. "Competition is tough when our kennels are full and we need to make decisions on outcomes for these animals. By implementing this new life-saving program pet owners are giving us more time to find a positive outcome for their pet by keeping it in their homes or even rehoming it themselves."

Life-saving efforts like this have been very successful in communities similar to Fort Wayne. A municipal shelter in Charlotte, North Carolina reported more than 800 fewer animals were surrendered to the shelter in the first year staff began spending more one-on-one time with pet owners. The shelter was concerned that a shift toward scheduling surrenders could lead to more animals being dumped or brought in as strays instead of owned animals. In fact, the shelter saw fewer stray animals come through its doors and that number continues to decrease.

Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control has been awarded a $5,000 matching grant from the Best Friends organization to help support this program through the Pet Retention Fund. With the community’s support we hope to raise an additional $5,000 by September 15 to help families in our community.

To learn more about the Pet Assistance and Rehoming program click HERE. If you'd like to donate to the Pet Retention Fund click HERE

Fort Wayne, IN – The City of Fort Wayne has received the official BETTER CITY FOR PETS™ certification, as part of the Mars Petcare BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program, showcasing its commitment to creating a pet-friendly community. More people than ever view pets as members of the family, and with 85 million pet-households in the United States, Fort Wayne is on the forefront of creating a vibrant community where pets are not only welcome, but thrive.

The City of Fort Wayne received high marks for its Community Cat Program, partner organizations working together to reduce pet homelessness, and Humane Education programs that ensure future generations of responsible pet owners. Signage around the city and in recreational areas was also spotlighted.

“We are honored to receive the BETTER CITY FOR PETS™ certification to showcase the great work we’ve done to allow more people to enjoy the benefits of life with their pets. With the help and support of our passionate local residents, we’ve seen the community come together to reduce pet homelessness and take steps to encourage responsible pet ownership,” Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control Director Amy-Jo Sites said.Mayor Tom Henry 1

In January, Mars Petcare launched the BETTER CITY FOR PETS™ certification, an extension of the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program which works with local government, businesses and non-profits to help communities make four-legged friends welcome.

“We understand that part of attracting and retaining top talent falls on making our city a better place for their pets too. Being certified as a BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ city highlights the wonderful work our city, businesses and residents are doing to improve the lives of pets in Fort Wayne. We continue to look at new, innovative ways to keep our city pet-friendly and welcoming to all of its four-legged residents,” Mayor Tom Henry said.

 The certification, created in partnership with urban-planning organization, Civic Design Center, evaluates cities based on 12 traits of pet-friendly cities across four categories: businesses, parks, shelters and homes. Applicants that received a certification demonstrated their commitment to creating a pet-friendly community and fostering the well-being of all citizens and pet companions.

“We established the BETTER CITY FOR PETS™ certification to celebrate cities that are creating positive and welcoming environments for people and their pets, and encourage more cities to recognize the benefits of our four-legged friends,” Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Mars Petcare Jam Stewart said. “We’re excited to announce the inaugural group of certified cities and look forward to continuing this progress with The BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program.”

The full list of BETTER CITY FOR PETS™ certification recipients is available here. To learn more about how to get involved in this initiative, please visit www.bettercitiesforpets.com.

 

About BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™

The BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program was created by Mars Petcare US, the world’s leading pet nutrition and health care business, to help communities become more pet-friendly by bringing the voice of pets and their owners to places of influence and advocating for fewer pets in shelters, more pet-friendly places, and happier, healthier lives for both people and pets. Mars Petcare works with key partners, businesses and local governments to better understand how to improve communities by: providing safe and welcoming shelters that lead to forever homes; encouraging pet-friendly, responsible homes for pets; welcoming more pets into local businesses, and giving pets plenty of park space to play. For more information about Mars Petcare and the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program, visit BetterCitiesForPets.com.

Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control is joining animal shelters across North America to save the lives of shelter cats and ensure every single cat in a North American shelter gets exactly the help they need. It's all part the Million Cat Challenge - a joint campaign of the Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida and the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program.

The Million Cat Challenge is based on five key initiatives that offer every shelter, in every community, practical choices to reduce euthanasia and increase live outcomes for shelter cats.

 

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Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control, along with its coalition partners, has made great strides in saving the lives of cats in our community. In 2010, four years before the Community Cat program was implemented, the live release rate of cats was just 13 percent. Now that’s no longer the case thanks to implementing Community Cats, our growing adoption program and innovative programming. In 2018, 70 percent of all the cats that came through the shelter’s doors were returned to their owners, adopted, transferred to rescue partners or were returned to their neighborhood as a Community Cat.

“Of the over 5,000 cats we see, a quarter of them are surrendered to us by their owners,” Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control director Amy-Jo Sites said.  “ We have been working on creating a program to assist pet owners keep them in their homes. Our focus is to make sure cats in our care are not euthanized because we don’t have enough space.  We have been creating new relationships with businesses and other shelters in an effort to ensure we route cats to the program that would best suit their needs. Being part of the Million Cat Challenge is more than a slogan; it really is a pledge to save lives. “

"The shelters who have taken the Challenge are leading the way in finding and implementing new approaches to saving cats' lives," said Dr. Kate Hurley, director of the UC Davis program.

About the Million Cat Challenge

The Million Cat Challenge was founded as a shelter-based campaign to save the lives of one million cats in North America over five years. The core strategy of the campaign focuses on five key initiatives that offer every shelter, in every community, practical choices to reduce euthanasia and increase live outcomes for shelter cats. The Challenge launched in 2014 with funding from Maddie's Fund, a national foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals. Challenge co-founders Drs. Julie Levy and Kate Hurley are available for interviews. For more information, visit www.millioncatchallenge.org.

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Adoption Lobby Hours:

12:00 - 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
12:00 - 6:00 p.m. Wednesday

Adoption Office: 260-427-5502

Closed Mondays FOR ADOPTIONS
To submit a pet adoption profile, you must do so 15-minutes before closing to allow sufficient time for processing.


Business Office Hours (lost & found- receiving lobby- citations or other law enforcement concerns):

11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Mon-Fri
CLOSED Saturday & Sunday


Animal Control Officer Assistance
260-427-1244
9am-8pm Monday - Friday
After 8pm, weekend & holidays,
call 260-449-3000

After Hours / immediate officer assistance:
1:00 a.m. - 6:00 a.m. Emergencies
260-449-3000


General Contact Information:
Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control
3020 Hillegas Road
Fort Wayne IN 46808
260-427-1244
After 8 p.m. and on weekends and holidays, call 449-3000 for assistance.
Fax: 260-427-5514

 

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