MANATEE -- After seizing hundreds of animals from an East Manatee County animal rescue last week, Manatee County Animal Services will euthanize seven dogs Friday partly because of overcrowding at its shelter.
About 300 animals were seized from Napier's Log Cabin Horse and Animal Sanctuary when multi-law enforcement agencies raided the animal rescue to investigate possible animal cruelty and fraud.
While overcrowding and kill lists are a constant struggle for the agency, the situation at Animal Services was aggravated by the number of animals taken in from Napier.
"The space issue is part of it," Joel Richmond, enforcement supervisor at animal services, said. "Right now we are approximately 15 to 20 animals over capacity."
Richmond said animal services always scrambles to adopt out animals or transfer them to other shelters before euthanizing them.
"It's pretty routine. Usually these rescue groups are good about getting these animals out in time," Richmond said. "Fortunately we have
had a great support system with the rescue groups and the community."
Laurie Crawford, president of the Animal Network and an Animal Services Advisory Board member of Manatee County, said executions are an unfortunate reality.
"Eight as compared to the hundred of animals that were brought in is a reflection of the great rescue groups we have in the area willing to pitch and work together," Crawford said.
Fifteen years ago, Crawford said she recalls when animal services killed up to 40 animals daily.
The Manatee County Animal Service No Kill plan's mission is "to save as many animals as possible by achieving a 90 percent save rate."
Ten percent usually accounts for animals too ill or dangerous to be adopted, she said.
"If everybody got their dogs and cats spayed and neutered we wouldn't have this problem," Crawford. "We can't just blame animal services for these problems, or Napier for that matter."
It's a community problem, she said.
"I encourage people who are interesting in adopting an animal, this would be a perfect chance to go down and look," Crawford said. "It's a community problem, we need the community support, the rescue groups have done their part, more than their part."
Anyone interested in adopting an animal can call Manatee County Animal Services at 941-742-5933.
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.