Starting in the summer of 2011, Advancing the Interests of Animals devoted considerable time, effort, and resources by leading a project to construct sturdy metal coverings over the outdoor dog kennels of the Indio, California city shelter. After repeated pleas from AIA and the community urging the city to give protection for the dogs in the outdoor kennels, the city finally agreed to allow them to be constructed, but would not financially support the project. AIA is proud to have donated major funding for the construction, which provided welcomed relief from the intense desert sun for the animals.Unfortunately, the new coverings addressed only one of the many deficiencies and problems at the Indio shelter. Needless suffering and deaths continued to occur due to the shelter’s deplorable conditions and inhumane treatment of dogs and cats housed there.
Overall, AIA devoted more than two years attempting to work with and assist the city to improve the shelter’s condition and encourage more humane care for the animals, yet our efforts were consistently met with resistance. Ultimately, concluding that the city was unwilling or unable even to comply with county and state regulations governing shelter operations, AIA decided to file a lawsuit in 2012 against the city, its police department and the shelter.
The necessity of Advancing the Interests of Animals’ legal action was validated when a Grand Jury report, released in May 2013, confirmed almost all of our allegations. The Grand Jury’s report also contained sensible recommendations very similar to the ones AIA suggested the shelter implement to immediately improve conditions. Ultimately, the city chose to close the shelter, paving the way to more humane treatment for Indio’s homeless animals.