A VIEW TO NO-KILL: Community thanks as we work toward no-kill goal

November 1, 2011 

We are blessed in Manatee County. Locally, we have the support of our community, our commissioners and all the animal welfare organizations. Our arms have reached out to Manatee County and our plan to become a no-kill community has touched the hearts of many more.

I am proud to say that Sarasota County and Miami-Dade have asked for our plan. Animal groups in Atlanta and our own capital city in Tallahassee have also been given the plan.

We have made an impact and brought awareness that dogs and cats all deserve a second chance. We are in the beginning stages of our plan and all of us realize this will not be an easy journey. Even though each day is challenging and fulfilling, we need your continued support and assistance.

We know, at Animal Services, that we need to reduce the intake on the front end while increasing the outcome on the back end. One way is for pet owners to understand that Manatee County Animal Services should not be your first choice when you decide to no longer care for your pet. Try family, friends or others who may want your pet.

If your reason to give up your pet is for behavior, medical or grooming issues, Animal Services is working with local businesses that may provide a reduced cost or maybe even free services to help you keep your pet. Don’t give up on them.

Another way to reduce intake is by scanning dogs and cats in the field to find their owners. If the pet owners are home, their pet may be returned. This has already proven to be a success as several pets have made it home in the past two weeks.

On the outcome side, pet owners need to actively look for their lost pets. If your pet is not tagged or microchipped, there is a good chance we will never know who they belong to. Never give up. Check our website and come to the shelter often.

Animal welfare organizations need to continue to transfer animals from Animal Services. While building and increasing their foster programs, more dogs and cats can be transferred.

And, this cannot be stressed enough: If you are looking for a dog or cat to fit into your family, look no further. Animal Services has the pet you have been looking for.

Opt to adopt. Don’t breed or buy while shelter pets die.

Do your part. If you don’t want to adopt, maybe you could foster a pet or volunteer at the Animal Services shelter. Give it a try, no obligation. Thank you all for the continued support.

Don’t forget about our November adoption special. We have Falling Prices. Adopt any dog or cat for 30 percent off the regular adoption fee. Dogs are $56 and cats are $42 this month, and that includes the required license certificate and tag. A microchip is also included!

Check out Manatee County Animal Services on Facebook. Like us and share us with all your friends. Our website, www.mymanatee.org/pets, has a wealth of information, including your new family member for adoption.

Kris Weiskopf, chief of Manatee County Animal Services, writes this weekly column for the Bradenton Herald.

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