Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions

How long do you hold animals after impounding them?

Indianapolis Animal Care Services is required by city ordinance to maintain animals for a minimum of four (4) days for their owners to claim them.  After that period, these animals become city property and the shelter works to find the best possible outcome for each animal.

Why did an Animal Care officer enter my yard and impound my animal? Isn't that illegal?

Animal Care officers hold special police powers that grant the authority to pursue at-large animals and impound them even if they return to their homes.  In addition, if an Animal Care officer sees an animal is in need of care and treatment, your animal may be impounded.

How much do I have to pay to reclaim my animal?

An impound fee ($20 one-time fee, per animal) and kennel fee ($5 per day, per animal) apply for any animal reclaimed by its owner.  Animal Care services accepts cash and Visa or Mastercard credit cards.  Personal checks are not accepted as payment.

Why do I have to have my animal microchipped?

All animals in Marion County must have permanent identification at all times (Section 531-202) which serves as proof of ownership when you attempt to claim your animal.

Identification includes the following items:

  1. An identification tag with the owner's name address and phone number(s).  NOTE: Vet tags and pet name tags do not satisfy this requirement.
  2. A microchip implanted under its skin

What do I need to bring to Indianapolis Animal Care Services to reclaim my pet?

Your identification, proof of pet ownership, proof of current rabies vaccination for your pet and cash or a credit card to pay all fees.

Where is Indianapolis Animal Care Services located?

Indianapolis Animal Care Services is located at 2600 S. Harding St. just five minutes from downtown Indianapolis, midway between downtown and Interstate 465 on the south.  Indianapolis Animal Care Services provides lost and found information, pet adoptions, animal safety presentations and volunteer opportunities. View directions here.

How can I help Indianapolis Animal Care Services?

Consider A Donation
Become A Volunteer

Where can I get my pet spayed or neutered at a lower cost?

According to the Humane Society of Indianapolis, in six years, one female dog and her offspring can be the source of 67,000 puppies and in just seven years, one female cat and her young can produce 420,000 kittens.  Be a responsible pet owner and have your pet spayed or neutered.

Indianapolis Animal Care Services can provide the names and phone numbers of low-cost spay/neuter throughout Marion County.  To obtain this information please contact us at 317.327.1397.

My pet is missing, what should I do?

The first thing to do, after thoroughly searching your own neighborhood, is to stop by Indianapolis Animal Care Services to view the stray animals and check the lost and found bulletin board.  You can visit us as often as you wish but you should stop in at least every couple of days to make sure the animal has not been brought in. Descriptions of the same animal can vary from one person to the next; so don't rely on a phone call to identify your pet.  And, remember, the more effort you make, the greater the chance of finding your pet.

I found a dog or cat that no identification tags. Can you help me find its owner?

First take the animal to any veterinarian or shelter to determine if the pet has a microchip.  If the pet does have a chip, the vet or shelter will call the owner(s) on your behalf and let them know how to retrieve their pet.

If the pet does not have a chip, we suggest you make found flyers and post them in and around your neighborhood as well as at your local animal shelter(s).  If you are unable to house the pet, you can bring it to your local animal shelter.

Can I adopt a pet from Indianapolis Animal Care Services?

Absolutely!  Indianapolis Animal Care Services has a wide selection of healthy pets available and ready to be placed in a loving home. Please visit Indianapolis Animal Care Services or visit Pets Available for Adoption to view available animals.

The fee to adopt your new pet is $60, which includes spay/neuter procedure, first round of booster vaccinations (except rabies) and a microchip.  All pets are spayed or neutered at local veterinary clinics and new owners can pick up their new pet following the surgery from the veterinarian's office.

What if I can no longer take care of my pet, can I surrender my pet to Indianapolis Animal Care Services?

Yes you can, but it is important to note that not all animals surrendered can be held for adoption due to the number of animals brought to the shelter and space limitations. Animals that display or have displayed aggression, destruction, or fear-biting may be euthanized.  The shelter can and may euthanize the animal on the day it is surrendered depending on the circumstances.

For these reasons, it is important for the owner to make every attempt on finding the pet a new home and to seriously consider alternatives other than surrendering an animal to Indianapolis Animal Care Services. Animals may be surrendered Monday-Saturday, Noon-6pm.

How do I report animals that are stray or abandoned, sick or injured, not receiving proper care, aggressive or dangerous, attacking or biting or barking?

If you live in Indianapolis, please call the Mayor's Action Center at 317.327.4622, 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday for service requests or information. You may also visit to make a report online.  

For after hour emergencies including sick/injured animals, dangerous and aggressive animals and animal attacks in progress, please call 317.327.3811.

To report nuisance wildlife please call the Indiana Department of Natural Resources at 317.232.4010.

Can I leave my dog on a chain?

City ordinances specify the way in which a dog may be tethered. A dog “shall not be tethered by use of a choke collar, or any collar too small for the size and age of the animal, or by any rope, chain or cord directly attached to the animal’s neck.” A dog tethered by choke collar or similar could easily strangle or hang himself without proper supervision. The ordinance also dictates the length and type of tether, as an animal on too short of a tether or an improper one is at risk for injury or even death. In Indianapolis, a tether may not be shorter than 12 feet in length, and must have swivels at both ends. The tether must also not be of an unreasonable weight that prevents the dog from moving about freely, such as heavy, thick chains.

While tethering a dog for short periods of time can be a good solution when a fence is not present, owners who keep their dogs continuously chained are in violation of the law and basic animal welfare. It is important to ensure that the city’s ordinances are followed for the safety of the dog, other animals, and persons in our community. FIDO (Friends of Indianapolis Dogs Outside) is a local organization that works in partnership with the City by offering free or very low-cost supplies and services, such as inside training crates and fencing, to dog owners who want to comply with the tethering laws.

To contact FIDO visit

Does IACS provide owner requested euthanasia?

If your pet has reached a point in his or her life when euthanasia is appropriate due to illness, injury or other suffering, we will provide humane euthanasia for your pet and take care of the remains for no charge if you are a Marion County resident. For out-of-county residents, we charge a $40 fee for this service. We offer this service Monday -Saturday from 12 noon - 6 p.m.