Today is National Spay Day. We bet you did not know that before now. In recognition of this, we take a quick look at the history of Indianapolis dog pounds, and then some happier vintage views of pets from around Indiana.
Indianapolis Dog Pound
Like many cities during the City Beautiful movement, Indianapolis created a city dog pound to help control the population of stray animals that were viewed as disease carrying nuisances. The turn-of-the-last-century Indianapolis dog pound was located on the southern edge of Greenlawn Cemetery, adjacent to the River Ave. bridge (now demolished–one bridge pier base can still be seen north of the Oliver Ave bridge). A view of that bridge, probably looking west from the dog pound property, is here. The 1898 Sanborn map shows a modest T-shaped building of concrete block, about half being dog pens, another third being the wagon storage and the remainder being other (unlabeled) rooms.
By the 1914 edition, that dog pound had closed; likely having been flooded the year before. Of note though, was that the champion Federal League Indianapolis Hoosiers baseball park was located immediately east of the closed pound building. The pound had moved to a tiny shed within the city asphalt plant at 930 E New York. One can assume that it was a lower priority politically than it had been 17 years before.
The 1930 Polk directory lists the pound as being at 4400 Massachusetts Ave. The 1940 directory then lists it at 2501 S Belmont Ave, within the old Sellers Farm property, the location of the city sewage treatment plant. This vicinity has since remained home to the Indianapolis Animal Control, though it is now located on south Harding Street.
Here are some photos of pets from many years ago. These were recently acquired in Greencastle, so they are likely all from Central Indiana.
Finally, a plug for the Spay-Neuter Services of Indiana, which now has a specialty license plate for those who would like to support the cause.