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Group Petitions Gary Mayor To Close Down Animal Shelter

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GARY, Ind. (CBS) — A group of animal lovers in Indiana are petitioning the Gary mayor to close down the local animal shelter.

Charlene Swift of the Indiana Save a Dog Rescue started a petition on Change.org because she thinks the Gary animal control unit has had problems for months.

“The ACO officers show no transparency, we find out after the fact that dogs were euthanized,” she says. “We’d go show up [at the shelter] to rescue the dog and it’s been euthanized with no explanation and that’s been occurring since March.”

The petition, with more than 650 signatures, asks Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson to close the shelter, and transport the animals to Lake County until problems can be addressed.

In response, the mayor says the city recognizes what the problems are and has been working to address them for the last six weeks.

“We’ve done everything including clean the facility from top to bottom, painting, working with volunteers, also reaching out to the Animal Rescue Corps,” she explains.

She adds it’s not necessary for the 10 animals in the city’s care to be sent to Lake County, because the city is already getting help from the humane society and other pet advocates.

She also has a plan in place that begins with an assessment from the Animal Rescue Corps, which will hopefully lead to a new or renovated facility down the road.

But Swift says more needs to be done immediately.

“If we wait until July to put proper procedures in place, then there’s going to be many more dogs that are going to die,” Swift said.

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