As snowbirds leave, Manatee County Animal Services needs dog walkers

April 18, 2014 

The snowbirds have started flying home and that will be a hard time for the dogs at the Manatee County Animal Services at both the downtown and Palmetto locations.

My husband and I are snowbirds who have been walking the dogs at Manatee Animal Services for two years. We really enjoy our daily exercise and the love we receive from these dogs. We have met some wonderful people there who we now call friends.

We find it heartbreaking to think that there are approximately 50 dogs who will not get one walk a day once all the snowbirds leave.

When I first started walking I was afraid of the size and breed of most of these dogs. Ontario has banned all pit bulls and I had never met one.

I guess the old saying is true, "you are only afraid of what you don't know." We have come to know and enjoy all the dogs that we walk.

I don't understand why the citizens of Manatee County aren't joining us to ensure that these dogs are getting daily exercise, socialization and ultimately adoption. Part of me wonders if it is due to the bad press that MCAS has received.

I would like to say that I feel there are no real villains in this overpopulation of dogs in Florida. There are only the victims and that is the dogs.

With so many dogs picked up as strays or surrendered, it is important that we all work together so we can help these dogs get loving homes.

By volunteering at Manatee County Animal Services you will be working towards getting a dog adopted. (A thrill you will never forget!) You will find it addictive and a fun way to spend some of your time and give back to the community.

Sharon Cruickshank

Bradenton/Whitby, Ont.

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