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A witness protection program ... for dogs?

Published On: Dec 24 2013 03:03:52 AM CST
Updated On: Aug 23 2013 10:48:27 AM CDT
Witness protection for dogs

WXIN

When an animal is found abused or neglected what happens to them while the abuse allegations are investigated?

Some go into witness protection programs, where they are given a chance to heal and forge a brand new identity, according to Indianapolis TV station WXIN.

The program in Indianapolis is a joint effort between Animal Care and Control and the animal rescue group "Every Dog Counts."

Animal Care and Control calls Tara Harris with "Every Dog Counts" in cases of abuse or neglect. She keeps the dogs at a secure location so they can be rehabilitated while the investigation proceeds. Dogs even get a whole new identity, just like humans, and their care and food is all paid for, WXIN reported.

"A sick or injured dog can rapidly rack up $1,000, $2,000 or $3,000 in veterinary bills," said Harris, who relies heavily on donations.

When donations run thin, Harris uses her own money to keep the program going.

"To have it called the witness protection program I suppose is fitting, but it is something that is very helpful for us and for the animals," said Dan Shackle, chief administrator for Animal Care and Control.

It's a program that is more or less an underground effort.

It's not a government undertaking, but Harris said it's just as necessary and rewarding.

"It is as therapeutic for me as it is for them," she told WXIN.