No-Kill offering free adoptions to welcome spring

March 19, 2013 

Take a spring break and join us this Thursday through Saturday for our annual Spring Fling at the Manatee County Animal Services shelters.

Whether you're looking for a cuddly kitten or cat, a mixed-breed or a pure-bred puppy or dog, our volunteer adoption counselors will help you add a four-legged furry forever friend to your family. Visit one or both of our shelters, from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday or Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in downtown Bradenton at 1002 B Manatee Ave. W, or 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday or Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at our Palmetto shelter at 305 25th St. W.

Spring into a free adoption. The pet adoption fee has been waived for this event! The free adoption includes the dog or cat of your choice, spaying or neutering, full vaccinations including a rabies vaccination and a general health check. We will also provide your new pet with a microchip for permanent and unalterable identification. Getting a wonderful pet for free is sure to put a spring in your step! Manatee County residents will have to purchase a $15 license certificate and tag.

To get a jump on the event, spring onto the internet and go to www.mymanatee.org/pets and select "Dogs and Cats Available for Adoption." You will be able enjoy a preview of all the wonderful pets waiting for you at the adopt-a-thon. All the animals you see here are currently available for adoption.

If you want even more choices, go back and click on "Lost and Found." This option will show you many of the same pets with the addition of pets that will be available in the

near future. Although your favorite may be a few days away from being adoptable, you can still visit them at the Palmetto shelter and adopt them after their hold period is up.

You will notice that some of the dogs and cats pictured are housed downtown (kennels marked DT). If you haven't seen our new downtown Bradenton facility, stop by and visit. The cats enjoy large "condos" filled with scratching posts and toys and always appreciate some human interaction. The downtown dogs look forward to your visit as well and love to come out for a romp in one of our playrooms.

If you still have spring in your step, head over a few miles to the Palmetto location, where more than 50 adoptable dogs are eager to charm you. Our wonderful volunteer dog walkers and helpful staff have been kind enough to leave notes on the temperament and special attributes of many of the dogs, which will help you choose just the right puppy or dog for your family.

Don't miss the "Pit Crew." This special group of Pit Bulls is in training to earn their Canine Good Citizen's Award, and all adopters of these dogs are welcome to continue the training by joining the weekly sessions. These hand-picked canines are learning to sit, stay, heel and walk beautifully on their leashes. While they are not part of the special rate, they are well worth their adoption fee of $80.

If a permanent addition does not fit into your plans, spring into action as a Manatee County Animal Services volunteer. There are many opportunities for you to help, including our newest One to One Adoption Project.

Here's how it works: Simply pick out your personal "pet project" from either of our shelters and sign up to be their sponsor. Then, on your schedule during shelter hours, leash up your new friend and take your dog to area events, Petco, The Downtown Bradenton Farmers Market, shopping or walking in the park. An "Adopt Me" vest will be provided. Market your dog on social media and spread the word. One to one and one by one, you can help our dogs get a second chance at happiness.

On behalf of Manatee County Animal Services, Happy Spring -- hope we see you soon!

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 too.

Kris Weiskopf, chief of Manatee County Animal Services, writes this weekly column for the Bradenton Herald. For information, call 941-742-5933.

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