Monday, October 05, 2009

Dog Bites By The Numbers In Indianapolis

The folks at the Feral Bureau of Indiana aren't happy at all with Mayor Greg Ballard's decision to terminate Indianapolis Animal Care & Control Director Doug Rae. They point to comments Public Safety Director Mark Renner has made about Rae's tenure suggesting that his actions since taking control of the agency at the beginning of the year have posed public safety concerns. In other words, the number of dangerous dogs roaming around the City randomly biting Indianapolis residents has gotten worse under Rae's tenure. His critics blame that on his decision to move two dog catchers to the City and his aggressive adoption policy, which they claim has resulted in dangerous dogs making it back out into neighborhoods. Greg Brush of the Feral Bureau of Indiana takes issue with those claims, pointing to some striking statistics. He cites statistics that show you are more likely to get raped, become the victim of an aggravated assault or have your car stolen that getting bitten by a dangerous dog:

In 2008, you were:

450% more likely to have your vehicle stolen than to receive a “minimal” dog bite

720% more likely to be the victim of aggravated assault than receive a “moderate” dog bite

270% more likely to be raped than receive “serious” dog bite.
By category, in 2008 there were 1,423 reported cases of "minimal" dog bites, 712 "moderate" dog bites and 165 involving "serious" dog bites. But those dog bite numbers are from 2008 before Rae took charge of IACC you might say. "So far this year, there are 55 fewer reported dog bites from the same time in 2008 (a 5% decrease)," Brush says. "At the same time, IACC has responded to over 2,000 more service calls this year than last, an 11% increase. By the available statistics, IACC's performance has improved over 2008," he continues. Brush points out that the serious dog bite cases reported in 2009 primarily involved owned dogs and not dogs roaming freely where IACC can be accused of not doing its job. Renner counters those numbers with his own. He says the number of animals impounded at the county shelter so far this year is down 1,837 compared to 2008 and complains that response times have increased by more than 9 hours. At the same time, Renner complains that overtime for shelter workers is up 26%. What's the old saying? "Numbers never lie but liars always figure." I'll let you be the judge as to whose numbers should be believed.

Brush is quick to point out who was standing behind Renner at his announcement today. Representatives from Indy Feral and the Human Society, two organizations he has accused of plotting to oust Rae from day one and meeting in private with Public Safety officials to that end. "Unfortunately, they don't have the integrity to voice their concerns publicly, only through underhanded, end-run manipulation through their pet City-County Councilors," Brush writes. "These organizations also have a vested financial stake in controlling the city's shelter," he continues. "These organizations were mentioned during Rae's firing." "So it was very appropriate that the architects of this clandestine effort would be present to relish their accomplishment," Brush concludes.


Indy Student said...

Do you have a link to where Brush's quotes come from? I didn't see anything on their website.

artfuggins said...

These numbers are cooked.

indyernie said...

About twenty five years ago I was at the Indianapolis Humane Society center on Michigan road. A young lady with a little girl brought in a cat. I overheard the conversation between her and a staff member. They were moving and didn’t think they could care for the cat anymore. The staff member reassured the lady that the cat would be “OK and taken care of“. The lady and the little girl left crying.
I looked at a few dogs and about a half hour later I was leaving. As I passed back through the lobby area I noticed the lady and the little girl at the counter again crying. They had a change of heart and returned for the cat only to be told that the cat had already be put down.
Until then I supported the Humane Society since then I have never retuned or sent them another dollar.
If the Humane Society is involved in Rae’s dismissal then I ‘m skeptical.

Advance Indiana said...

Note that I'm having trouble with Blogger in trying to moderate comments. There are a number of comments that I'm unable to post right now. I'm awaiting a fix from Blogger.

artfuggins said...

I think Brush must have gotten his ponytail caught in the door. His numbers are so far from what the actual numbers. He obviously is trying to paint a positive picture for the reign of Doug Rae...that will not be an easy task to do.