Dogs saved from euthanization at Manatee County Animal shelter

jdeleon@bradenton.comFebruary 13, 2014 

MANATEE -- Eight dogs in jeopardy of being euthanized at the Manatee County Animals Services shelter Friday have all been saved.

The dogs had been on the kill list, but were either adopted, fostered or removed by local animal rescue groups Thursday morning, according to Joel Richmond, enforcement supervisor at animal services. The shelter has been bombarded with callers since the Bradenton Herald reported on the dogs' plight, he said.

"Somebody just came in and committed to the last four," Richmond said just before noon Thursday.

The shelter is over capacity in part because of the roughly 300 animals seized Feb. 5 by law enforcement from Napier's Log Cabin Horse and Animal Sanctuary in East Manatee. Although the shelter regularly deals with overcrowding and kill lists, the large seizure aggravated the situation.

Of the eight dogs at risk of being euthanized, three were adopted, one was transferred to Dogs on the Move and four others will be taken to a local rescue.

No other animals are being considered for euthanization right now.

"We won't assess our needs until next Thursday," Richmond said.

While animal services only has 29 dogs left of the 52 canines and 56 cats taken in from Napier, space continues to be an issue, with two additional seizures taking place elsewhere in the county this week.

On Tuesday, animal service officers impounded 22 small dogs from a home in Palmetto, according to Richmond.

"The owners were overwhelmed with too many animals, and it had the potential of becoming a neglect issue if not addressed," Richmond said. "The officer thought it was in the best interest of the animals for them to surrender them, and so the owners did that."

All Palmetto dogs have been transferred to various rescue groups, he said.

On Wednesday, the Manatee Sheriff's Office Child Protective Services called animal services to a home in Bradenton, where 32 dogs were taken.

"Due to the conditions of the house, they requested the animals be taken," Richmond said. "They voluntarily surrendered ownership of the animals in the best interest of the children due to the feces."

It is still undetermined if any charges will be filed against anyone.

Only five of the rescued Bradenton dogs remain at the shelter.

Animal services is accustomed to handling these cases, Richmond said.

"But to have three large-volume seizures in a weeks time has been difficult and challenging," Richmond said. "Thanks to the animal community, it has really stepped up by taking a load of the animals."

All animals taken from Napier remain at the shelter and various rescues and are not yet permitted to be adopted pending further investigation.

At the shelter, Richmond said none of the Napier animals required major medical attention.

"We have given them their basic vaccinations and baths," Richmond said.

With the shelter and all the local rescues in need of resources, Bishop Animal Shelter gave $25,000 worth of food Tuesday and volunteered as a drop-off location for anyone to donate food.

On Thursday, Bishop officials were made aware Whispering Ranch Feed in Myakka, which took in all horses seized from Napier, needs supplies for the horses. Bishop has committed to donate hay and is encouraging others to donate more.

Jessica De Leon, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.

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