Indianapolis Animal Care Services on Wednesday announced a $3 million grant from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust that will be used to help fund the construction of a new IACS facility on the city’s near-east side.
The planned facility, which would replace the existing and outdated shelter 2600 S. Harding St., is expected to be built on a 22-acre parcel owned by the city at 710 Sherman Drive as part of the City’s redevelopment of Sherman Park. The site formerly was home to an RCA/Thomson Consumer Electronics plant that was demolished in 2017.
The project was announced in February 2021 and received an $18 million commitment from the city’s Circle City Forward initiative. An overall cost estimate for the project has not been disclosed, but Mayor Joe Hogsett said a funding gap remains.
The city said predevelopment work is underway at the new site. Additional environmental remediation is expected before a groundbreaking for the new facility can take place. Designs for the campus are yet to be finalized.
Plans call for the new campus to include an on-site medical facility, which the current facility does not have. The existing facility was built in a day when most animals brought to the shelter were euthanized and it typically operates at capacity.
“For over 30 years, Indianapolis Animal Care Services has been located in a building not originally intended to be a full-care animal shelter,” Hogsett said in written remarks. “Thanks to Circle City Forward funding, and the generosity of donors, we are looking forward to a long-overdue update. This donation from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust will provide significant help toward bringing that improvement to fruition.”
The trust is named after the wife of Eugene C. Pulliam, founder of Central Newpapers Inc., the former parent company of The Indianapolis Star and The Arizona Republic.
“We are thrilled to be able to contribute $3 million to this project, one of the largest single grants we have ever awarded in Indiana,” said Kent Agness, trustee for the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, in written remarks. “The new facility will provide much-needed, expanded companion animal resources, education, and support.”
Katie Trennepohl, deputy director of the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services, said the move will fulfill needs for IACS as well as the east-side community.
“Being on the near-east side will allow us to provide resources in a community that is historically underserved and where we see the greatest need for animals in Indianapolis,” Trennepohl said.
When the new facility is completed, all operations will move from Harding Street to the new campus. It is unclear what will happen to the old facility after the move, said Department of Business and Neighborhood Services spokesperson Brandi Pahl.
Pahl said the new facility could be completed in the next two years.