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.
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:
- 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:
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.
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.
7929 North Michigan Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268
There is usually a waiting period of several weeks to surrender your pet.