The Dogs Of The Monon
Topic: Indianapolis Living
The Mayors Action Center is a sucking void - a black hole where all things go to die.
Trust me on this.
Saturday, I ignored the cold and decided to get some yard work in before the snow/rain/whatever passes-for-weather-nowadays started. Outfitted dutifully with headphones and a few layers of clothing, I was well into my work when out of the corner of my eye, I saw, what looked like, a pit bull bounding up from behind me.
I whirled around and startled the dog. It was brown and white and wagging its tail. I assumed that was a good sign, since an elderly lady was mauled by two pitbulls just a few streets over back in December. Luckily, this dog wanted to play.
"Go home!" I yelled. I was leery. Who wouldn't be? I see strays all the time in my neighborhood. The dog chose not to listen and followed me to the rear of my house. I tried to ignore the canine, but along came a second dog - just as eager to get my attention as the first. "Oh hell no" I thought. Neither had tags and neither looked familiar.
I went inside and tried to find the number for Animal Control. The emphasis is on tried. The new IndyGov website was buggy enough to give me several errors when I tried the "Report a Problem" link. Still someone annoyed and cheesed off, I took a moment to read the site. "Try the Mayors Action line to report strays - we have officers constantly patrolling" it said.
Ok... so I did. The Mayors Action Center is no better. The generic "contact us" form has "Request Basketball Goal" as its default selection and no where in their list does it say anything about reporting problem animals. So I called the Action Line.They were closed.
So I called the general number for Animal Control. Even though it was within their hours of operation, I got voicemail. The voicemail, very cheerfully, told me to call the Mayor's Action Line.
Do you see where I'm going with this? I called the cops.
The cops were actually helpful, because I spoke to a real live person. They, however, suggested that I call the Mayor's Action Line. Non-plused, I asked for an alternative. They were kind enough to not only give me the first number for Animal Control that I had tried, but they supplied me with a second number to call.
Someone picked up at Animal Control. I'm assuming they were living since they were kind of responding to me.
"Hi, I need to report some stray dogs roaming my neighborhood."
"Uh... well - there are two dogs - one is brown and white and appears to be either a pit bull or some sort of boxer breed. The second is golden, with a long coat - medium sized."
".... So... yeah - it's a problem because there have been attacks in the neighborhood recently and the Monon trail is right here. People come through the area to bike and jog."
"Ok. We'll send someone out."
And that was about it. Did someone come out? I have no idea. What I do know is that after I hung up the phone and went outside, I saw the first dog running through my yard to the trail. From the trail I could hear a dog-walker screaming at the stray to get away from his own dog.
To sum up: Animal Control - awful. The Mayor's Action Center - even worse. Both need to figure it out. God help anyone who has to use either service in a more urgent situation. No wonder the police get all the calls - someone will actually pick up there.
(Note: I heartlessly ripped the title of this post from a Bikes of Indy forum post of the same topic.)
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