We have initiated a lot of extra programs to make our no-kill plan better, and now are working on a new and improved website.
We want to provide the public with a wealth of information, creating a one stop for all the information you could ever want about no kill, from our initial plan to those extra programs, including all those involved in making it happen.
An important program within the no-kill plan is pet retention, which plays a key role within our intake. Pet owners are given alternatives to relinquishing their pet at Animal Services. Those pet owners who still want to turn in their pet for one reason or another must make an appointment.
When they show up for the appointment, one of our staff will meet with the pet owner and the pet to assess their problem or reason the person can no longer keep the pet the dog or cat this person decided they wanted. The dog or cat they made the decision to care for throughout their life. This is the dog or cat that trusted their person to take care of them throughout their life.
Now, hanging in the balance is Animal Services. We should be the last resort for the pet owner. For whatever reason they no longer have a desire to keep the pet, they are shifting their responsibility to Animal Services. Our staff must now tend to the care of their pet while they move on with their own life. We do realize that not all circumstances are the same. We do not want to place blame on those pet owners who ultimately do not have an alternative. For these reasons, it is important the pet owner understands pet retention alternatives and the need to make an appointment.
Next, you have those pets abandoned by their owners. These dogs and cats are left to fend for themselves out on the street with no one to care for them because their human family did not care. These dogs and cats who cannot speak for themselves wander around, sometimes cold and wet, sometimes without food or water. Who would do this? Who would let a helpless, defenseless animal be so alone?
Eventually these stray pets end up at a shelter where they will be cared for, evaluated and hopefully placed into an adoption program where they can be loved by their new family. This new family promises to provide the love and care for life, a new beginning for the once-unloved stray.
Dogs and cats depend upon us to care for them. They cannot speak for themselves to tell us what they want or need. It is up
to all of us to determine what is in their best interest. Selecting a pet is an important decision, one that should be well-researched and planned. The staff at Animal Services is always there, willing and able to assist with that ultimate decision.
Help us to become a no-kill community. Help us by being a part of the solution and not a part of the problem. We are counting on each of you within Manatee County to be a part of our no-kill community.
We are not only saving the animals in our community, we are helping to achieve a no-kill nation. The more people see the success of no kill, the more easily and isolated killing will become. No kill has been said to be impossible. When others have succeeded, especially those comparable to our shelter, it became probable. When other counties see the successes and follow suit, no kill will become inevitable.
If you never have to look into the eyes of a dog or cat and make a choice, you are lucky. One day, we all would like to be lucky.
Adopt your new family member from Manatee County Animal Services today. Dont forget about our March adoption special. A best friend is like a four-leaf clover: hard to find and lucky to have. Adopt your best friend today! Dog adoptions for the month of March are only $30, which will include a health check, microchip, spay/neuter and a current rabies certificate/tag fee. This is a $60 savings off regular adoption fees.
Free and low-cost spay and neuter programs, call our information line at 941-749-3067.
Kris Weiskopf, chief of Manatee County Animal Services, writes this weekly column for the Bradenton Herald.