Manatee no-kill supporters gear up for Canine Christmas adoptions

October 30, 2012 

A very important program within our no-kill plan is comprehensive adoptions. Part of the overall adoption program is to organize off-site adoption events. The largest dog event in Manatee County is Canine Christmas.

Over the years, Canine Christmas has grown and the local participation and support is overwhelming. Laurie Crawford is the founder and president of the Animal Network Inc., sponsor of this great event. Laurie wrote the following to give you an overview of this upcoming event:

As Kris mentioned in his introductory statement, offsite adoptions are a crucial element in the no-kill formula.

Luckily for us, one of the biggest adoption events in the county happens in just a couple of weeks.

The Canine Christmas Festival is in its 14th year. It will be held 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 17 on the beautiful grounds of Bishop Animal Shelter SPCA.

You can find all of the details for this event by checking out the website, -- be sure to watch the great video made by Duke Overstreet to get a real idea of the experience.

Manatee County Animal Services will be represented, as well as many other rescue groups from Manatee County and beyond. Many pure-breed rescues will also be there, so if you love a certain breed you just might be in luck.

One of the most anticipated elements of the event is our second attempt to set the Guinness World Record for most dogs doing a sit-stay at the same time. We need 101 dogs to set the record and we fell short by only 11 dogs last year, so we want all the participants we can get for this challenge.

To prepare for the sit-stay, Trish Antonelli from Dawg Phonics has volunteered her time to do a sit-stay boot camp at Bishop on the two Saturdays before Canine Christmas. She will be available for advice on how to work with your dog to get them into prime sit-stay form. Trish will also be available to answer any of your training questions, so use this free opportunity to get free advice from a professional trainer.

These mini boot camps will be at 10 a.m. Nov. 3 and 10.

Another part of no kill is pet retention, and all of us in the rescue game know that a trained dog is much more likely to stay in a home. The Guinness Sit-Stay Challenge will take place right after the event at 3:30 p.m. So let's get going, Manatee County, and make Bradenton the place where records are established. Maybe next year we can try and break the record for most adoptions done in one day.

Please join us in celebrating our unique relationship with our dogs. For additional information, you may contact me at 941-746-3611 or

-- Laurie Crawford

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

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