While nearly half of Manatee County is dealing with power outages after Hurricane Irma, the 37 furry temporary residents of the Humane Society of Manatee County are also sitting in the dark.
“We lost power just prior to the storm hitting this area and the power has been out ever since,” organization executive director Rick Yocum said.
Four of the staff members kept the dogs and cats company around the clock, moving them from the shelter to the clinic before the hurricane came. Fans are being run to the kennels so the dogs are comfortable, but they’re still waiting for the lights.
The office has moved to the parking lot and the clinic hardly has power, but the most damage the property received were downed limbs scattered around.
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At Manatee County Animal Service’s shelter they are over their maximum capacity and are flooded with calls for found animals, according to Sarah Brown, chief of the county’s Animal Services Division announced in a plea for relief from their rescue partners.
“We are waiving all adoption fees,” said Hans Wohlgefahrt, animal service’s outreach and events specialist. “It is really important for us that we are reuniting these animals with their owners or getting them adopted.”
Anyone adopting an animal will still have to pay the required $15 tax, however.
The standard stray hold, however, will remain and in most cases be extended to enable residents who have lost their pets to have time to reclaim them before being adopted out. The standard hold is five days for dogs and three days for cats.
“We don’t want people’s pets to be adopted but we want to do is make more room,” Wohlgefahrt said. “We are really hoping our community rescue groups will come help us place these animals.”
For anyone who lost a pet during Hurricane Irma or during the aftermath, the best thing is to come to the shelter, 305 25th St. W., Palmetto, which will reopen Wednesday morning. The county’s website also posts photos of found pets online at mymanatee.org/home/government/departments/public-safety/animal-services/animal-stray-found.html.
As they wait for the lights to come back on at the Humane Society, Yocum said, the organization is in need of supplies such as bottled water, bleach, paper towels, dog and cat food and cat litter.
According to Florida Power & Light vice president and chief communications officer Rob Gould, it may take until Sept. 22 for the west coast of Florida to be “essentially restored.”
Anyone can stop by the organizations location at 2515 14th Street W. to drop off donations, Yocum said.