Alley Cat Allies is coordinating with residents in Spencer County, Indiana, to demand accountability and immediate humane reforms at the Spencer County Animal Shelter after live kittens and cats were put in a freezer to die.

On Sept. 21, County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Wilkinson announced he would not file criminal charges against the shelter for this heinous form of euthanasia. Alley Cat Allies is urging people to take action and demand that the Spencer County Commissioners and Common Council remove all individuals responsible for this cruelty, including officials who knew about it but took no action, from their positions. We are also asking supporters, advocates, and others to encourage officials to allow the Indiana State Board of Animal Health to inspect the shelter, and to work with Alley Cat Allies to make immediate lifesaving changes.

In August, a shelter employee and volunteers said publicly that the animal control officer in charge of the shelter, Christina Payne, instructed them to put live cats into bags and leave them to die in a freezer. The Spencer County Animal Control Board, which oversees the shelter, acknowledged that “unacceptable actions” occurred, but failed to take meaningful action to prevent such cruelty from recurring.

Payne still has her job, as do members of the Animal Control Board.

Alley Cat Allies is calling for the Spencer County Animal Shelter to close and for its animals to be cared for by a responsible facility in a neighboring community. The shelter would reopen after outside experts inspect and review the shelter’s current operations, staff is adequately trained, and regulations are implemented to prevent this cruelty from ever happening again.

To regain the public’s trust, we are asking the county to work with Alley Cat Allies to implement best practices at the shelter.

Alley Cat Allies was in Spencer County last week to work toward this change. We connected with local activists and met directly with County Commissioners to urge them to take immediate action to protect animals, increase shelter oversight, and respond to public outcry for accountability. We presented a letter with thousands of signatures from concerned citizens in Spencer County and around the nation who joined Alley Cat Allies in demanding immediate reforms.

Alley Cat Allies has helped shelters across the nation implement humane practices and policies, and we are fighting to do the same in Spencer County. So far, the county has refused the help of our expert staff and from other state and national advocacy groups. It is time to speak out louder so the Spencer County Animal Shelter finally makes the change its animals deserve.

Please join us and let Spencer County know that you expect immediate and effective action to make lasting change at the shelter. See our action alert here.