How Dog Friendly is Indianapolis, Really?

Indy is pet friendly for the most part.

There’s an annual mega pet adoption day at the state fairgrounds where you can go meet your new Fido and plenty of low cost animal clinics who are friendly and ready to help with any medical needs.

According to a report done by the local ABC news station, Indy’s “live save rate” in 2015 was 79 percent, meaning that more dogs and cats were being rescued than previous years. By far the most popular breeds at animal shelters in Indy remain pitbulls, but fun fact: though pitbulls are given the stigma of hostile, they are actually rated as more docile and family friendly than golden retrievers.

All signs in Indy point to adopting a new furry friend, but what do you need to know about Indy before moving here with a pet or adopting?

Dog Parks

One of Indy’s road blocks, when it comes to owning a dog, is the dog park issue. Right now there are no dog parks in the downtown area—a space that desperately needs one, especially for apartment dwellers. The city discussed creating one in the Brookside neighborhood, which is directly east of Mass Ave. However, neighbors in the area have resisted since the park would bring a monthly fee and take up space in an already free park.

Renting With a Pet

Like many cities, landlords in Indianapolis are less than thrilled to lease to a tenant with an animal. Housing is going to cost you when it comes to owning a pet. Expect to pay at least $300 in a pet deposit and be limited to one to two animals (at most) no matter where you rent. There are select landlords who may wish to meet the animal before you move in or can even be haggled down in price when it comes to monthly fees or the pet deposit.

Pubs and restaurants

Almost any bar or restaurant in the city is perfectly fine with animals on the patio and will bring out a bowl of water and lots of love for your pup. There are even a select few locations that allow animals inside.

Most of them happen to be craft breweries. Probably the most well known is Metazoa Brewing located on College Ave between Fountain Square and Mass Ave. Metazoa was founded by and for animal lovers. Five percent of their sales go directly to animal and wildlife organizations. To top it off, they allow literally all animals inside the brewery as well. If you stop in for a pint you will likely see dogs, cats and maybe a rabbit or iguana.

Center Point Brewing also allows animals on a leash inside the bar area. Considering it’s down the street from FACE, one of Indy’s most well known low cost animal clinics, it’s the perfect stop after a long day at the vet. Flat 12 brewery has a special hashtag #DogsofFlat12 for canine visitors, but more than that they actually brew a safe-for-dogs-to-drink beer. Hotel Tango Whiskey, one of Indy’s handful of local distilleries, allows animals inside the bar. Be warned though, the resident bobcat named Fletcher might not come down from the attic if there are too many pups around.

Emily Taylor