MANATEE -- After more than a year hiatus, the Manatee County Animal Services Advisory Board was officially resurrected Monday.
During Monday's meeting, the board, which advises the commission on animal-related issues, appointed Jean Peelen and Rebecca Neal as the board's chairwoman and vice-chairwoman, respectively.
While the board didn't tackle any specific issue Monday, Peelen instructed all the board members to come back to the next meeting with issues that the board could put on their agenda for the next year. The board elected to meet every month.
"We can take our cue from the resolution which sort of outlines what we can do and can't do," Peelen said. "We would really like the input from the chief at where you think we could slot in. ... I am delighted that we are going again."
The board is in "a position now to get some things done," Neal said, adding that she's ready to get going again.
"I think it will be good to come back with some different topics and be able to move something forward, which in the past has been tough," she said.
A policy regarding the sale of puppies from retail stores is one of these topics Commissioner Carol Whitmore asked the board on Monday to possibly consider during future meetings.
"I really think this is a policy that if you think needs to come forward, that you bring up at the next meeting," Whitmore said.
Also during Monday's meeting, Sarah Brown, the county's Animal Services chief, delivered an update about Animal Services, which as of Monday had 133 dogs and 29 cats.
"We are well overcapacity of where we should be," Brown said. "Eighty is really our capacity at the shelter. We have a lot of dogs right now. Cats are down but that will be certainly changing in the near future with kitten season."
Expanding the foster program, a new behavioral evaluation system and the number of volunteers at the shelter were among the updates Brown provided Monday.
While still in need of more volunteers on Saturdays, Brown said they are starting to see more volunteers come in, which will help.
"Once we have the volunteers then we can do all these other great things," Brown said. "Everyone seems really excited and ready to work. I think the staff is really excited to have this big group of volunteers coming in to help so I see a really great team on the horizon."
Board member Lisa Williams said it is time to get going again.
"I am just looking forward to a lot of positive activity," Williams said.
Claire Aronson, Manatee County reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024. Follow her on Twitter @Claire_Aronson.