Pick up a book and a reading companion from your library. See the schedule of the Animal Adoption Car.

Library patrons can always pick Clifford, Old Yeller and even 101 Dalmatians off the shelves, but this summer at Indianapolis branches they can leave with real live pets.

That’s the purpose of a program where IndyHumane is bringing its Pet Adoption Wagon to branches of the Indianapolis Public Library.

IndyHumane’s pet adoption truck

The truck, which contains kennels for up to four large dogs and about 18 cats or small dogs, stops at locations throughout the city.

IndyHumane is using the vehicle as a way to publicize its low-cost vaccine clinics, spay and neuter services and other resources. Recently, the float has been at a first responder conference and on college campuses to help students de-stress during finals weeks.

IndyHumane pet adoption van.IndyHumane pet adoption van.

IndyHumane pet adoption van.

“It allows us to actually bring the shelter into the community,” said Katie Trennepohl, program manager at IndyHumane, an animal welfare organization. “It brings us into the community and puts us around people who wouldn’t normally think about the shelter.”

Visitors can come into contact with the animals in the library branches. Dogs are on a leash, while cats remain in the kennels.

“If there is a connection and they are serious about adoption, then we can get them on the wagon to communicate more off the leash,” Trennepohl said.

An adoption can be completed within an hour.

“The process depends on how long it takes you to establish a connection and how quickly the adopter makes that decision,” she said. “If the animal has already been spayed or neutered, they can go home with the adopter after the event; straight from the car.”

The paperwork, she said, takes about 15 minutes, with most of the process involving conversations with adopters to make sure the match is a good one for the pet and the household.

“We would love to adopt everyone from the float, but it is more important to us that we find the right homes for the animals and it should also be up to the adopters to find the right animal,” Tennepohl said. “Bringing a new pet into your home is a big commitment and we want to make sure everyone is thinking about it; that the whole family participates.”

In most cases, people visiting the animals in the adoption vehicle are interested in learning more about the process.

However, those who have decided to adopt a pet should have every member of their household at the event to meet the potential new family member, she said.

The fee ranges from $50 to $350 depending on the breed, size and age of the animal.

All pets adopted from IndyHumane have undergone a medical examination, are microchipped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated and tested for heartworm.

The IndyHumane pet adoption vans at the Indianapolis Public Library:

  • Franklinweg: Wednesday, June 5 – 11 a.m. – 1 p.m

  • Wayne: Tuesday, June 18 – 11 a.m. – 1 p.m

  • Irvington: Wednesday, July 3 – 11 a.m. – 1 p.m

  • Laurens: Wednesday, July 17 – 11 a.m. – 1 p.m

An adoption event from the IndyHumane community.An adoption event from the IndyHumane community.

An adoption event from the IndyHumane community.

More animal-themed events at the Indianapolis Public Library

The adoption float events are part of the Indianapolis Public Library’s pet-themed Summer Reading Program 2024, which runs from June 1 to July 31.

The Indianapolis Public Libraries also participate in a Paws for a Cause program, where children can make tie blankets and pull-along toys to donate back to IndyHumane.

The library has used animals in the past to stimulate reading, said Keshia McEntire, public relations manager for the library, including the Silly Safaris program that brings animals to the branches; and another where young people read for guide dogs.

“Part of us doing this was we wanted to motivate kids through things they love, which is animals; and also give them the opportunity to learn more about ways they can serve in their communities while motivating them to read,” McEntire said.

The summer reading program is free and open to adults and youth.

Prizes are awarded for reading time and include snacks, toys, tickets to an Indianapolis Indians game, free pizza from Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, passes to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis haunted house, passes to the Eiteljorg Museum and passes to the Indiana State Museum and Historic Site.

The program includes the launch of an Early Literacy Tracker that allows families with children ages 0 to 5 to count the time spent with their child reading, writing, singing, playing and talking toward their summer reading goal.

Potential pet adopters are not required to be part of the summer reading program.

Contact IndyStar reporter Cheryl V. Jackson at [email protected] or 317-444-6264. Follow her on X: @cherylvjackson.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Indianapolis Public Library dog, cat adoption event coming soon