History and Rationale

In October 1997, The Foundation Against Companion Animal Euthanasia (FACE) purchased a 4,400 square-foot building with a one-half-acre lot at 1505 Massachusetts Avenue. Construction on the building began in March 1998. The facility was completed in December 1998. On March 8, 1999, we opened this state-of-the-art, low-cost spay/neuter clinic to the public. While this facility has served us well for the past 17 years, the demand for our services greatly exceeds the capacity our current location is able to offer.

Since opening in 1999, we have performed more than 240,000 spay/neuter surgeries. At the time FACE opened, 22,000 cats and dogs were killed in Indianapolis shelters annually.  Since then, FACE Low-Cost Animal Clinic’s efforts to engage the community, and support families and their companion animals have reduced the number of cats and dogs euthanized to fewer than 2,300 annually.  Without the efforts of FACE Low-Cost Animal Clinic it is estimated that over 50,000 cats and dogs would be euthanized in Indianapolis shelters each year.

When we opened, a staff of three employees performed 35 surgeries each day and vaccination clinics were limited to one hour, four times each week.  In 2003, we increased square footage of the facility from 4,400 square feet to 7,000 square feet to accommodate the growing need for services. We now have over 40 employees who perform approximately 75 spay/neuter surgeries daily; a first-come, first-serve medical clinic five days per week; and vaccination services seven days per week.  We manage the humane services of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and community cat diversion, keeping cats out of shelters and preventing cat euthanasia.  The clinic also offers pet adoption for displaced dogs and cats, and leads the semi-annual mega adoption events.  We are considered a high-volume spay/neuter clinic and are recognized as a national expert in spay/neuter services for underserved populations.

In 2012 FACE merged with IndyFeral, a local “community cat” program.  IndyFeral was established as a means of changing the way community (stray, feral, and unowned) cats have been traditionally viewed and managed in Indianapolis. Through IndyFeral, community cats receive medical care and spay/neuter services. Over 4,000 community cats are fixed annually and more than 3,000 community cat resident caretakers are registered in the program. While the merger brought many positive changes, it also increased the need for more surgery and kennel space, which was already limited with the current facility.
The growing need for FACE services and programs have maxed out space in the current facility.  In order to address waiting lists and rescue more animals at risk of being euthanized, the clinic needs to double in size from 7,000 to 14,000 square feet.  It is unrealistic to continue to operate as a high-volume clinic in such a small space.

In June 2014, FACE met with IFF to assess the current market, space needed for expansion, and capital costs. IFF is a regional nonprofit that assists nonprofit organizations with loans, real estate, financial health research, and community investment analyses. They completed a comprehensive space-needs analysis, financial analysis, and market analysis, followed by formal recommendations to FACE regarding clinic expansion. They have continued to assist us in architect selection, and may serve in the general contractor role as well as loan issuer. As part of IFF’s assessment, the following factors were considered when deciding the direction for the new facility:

  • FACE owns its current location, which is located within the Mass Ave Brookside Industrial Corridor, a federally designated Promise Zone, and a high-need zip code (46201). FACE leadership had a strong desire to remain in the 46201 zip code, or the near east side if at all possible.
  • Current occupancy expenses are approximately $9.00 per square foot.
  • When IFF searched for potential new locations in the range of 14,000 to 20,000 square feet, the price per square foot started at $18.22.
  • The current location’s zoning is designated as Community Improvement District (CID); this location space was formerly commercial.

Based on this assessment, FACE made the decision to build a new two-story building immediately adjacent to the existing clinic at 1505 Massachusetts Avenue.  The existing facility will be renovated and the two buildings will be joined together, creating a larger clinic.