Dogs on Manatee's kill list are adopted or transferred to Lakeland

14 dogs saved from Manatee kill list

rdymond@bradenton.comMarch 25, 2014 

MANATEE -- Anne Forrest of Bradenton clasped her hands in prayer moments after arriving at Manatee County Animal Services Monday in Palmetto.

She was determined none of the 11 dogs at risk to be put down would be killed.

She left ecstatic.

All 11 dogs listed Thursday to be euthanized by 5 p.m. Monday due to lack of space in Manatee County Animal Services kennels are now safe, said Joel Richmond, Manatee County Animal Services supervisor.

Two were adopted Friday, Richmond said. Four were adopted Saturday.

Five remained. Two more were adopted Monday morning.

Florida Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals officials from Lakeland took the final three named Mrs. Riley, Taylor and Sprinkles.

Florida SPCA Lakeland ended up taking 14 dogs Monday to create some additional kennel space made scarce by the recent raid at Napier's Log Cabin Horse Animal Sanctuary in East Manatee.

"I couldn't sleep last night," said Forrest, chief executive officer of The Arthritis Foundation, Florida Chapter. "I had to come. I am so relieved."

Forrest lost three of her own dogs last year to old-age ailments. They were all 14 and over.

"It was a tough year," Forrest said. "I have one old girl left named Hannah. She is enjoying being an only dog for a change. I was worried about her reaction to me returning home from work with two or three new siblings in tow."

But if all the dogs hadn't been adopted Monday, she was ready to help the cause.

"I couldn't stand it," Forrest said. "At the Arthritis Foundation we all love animals."

Debra Starr of Animal Network said she was overjoyed Monday.

"It's wonderful when the community is made aware of a problem and comes together to solve it," Starr said.

The crisis began Thursday with an email from a local animal service supervisor to rescue agencies, informing it was necessary to put the dogs down if they were not adopted due to space constraints.

At 6:30 a.m. Monday, Connie Johnson, safety net manager at Florida SPCA Lakeland, texted Adam Lamb, chief of animal care and medical services at Florida SPCA Lakeland, and informed him she had seen the Herald report and wanted to do something.

Lamb also heard later that morning from a donor who wanted to help.

After working out details, Florida SPCA Lakeland drove to Manatee County in three vans to pick up 14 dogs.

Suncoast Animal League in Palm Harbor also took four dogs Monday, including several from the Napier raid.

"We've established ourselves as a leader in the fight to help save dogs that are endangered," Lamb said. "These animals will be safe. We only euthanize in cases of extreme behavior or medical problems.

"We wanted to make some space so they can operate" in Manatee, Lamb said. "For me, this is why we get up every morning."

Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7072 or contact him via Twitter @ RichardDymond.

Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7072 or contact him via Twitter@ RichardDymond.

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