She is one of the most playful, loving puppies you’ll ever see but on June 11 she was tossed into a dumpster at a Speedway convenience store in east Bradenton.
You’d never know it, however, watching the dog, which has been named Daisy, bounce around the play area at Manatee County Animal Services with sheer joy in her eyes, quick to give everyone who comes near her lots of licks as her tail dashes back and forth at the speed of light.
“She loves everyone from the moment she sees them,” said Hans Wohlgefahrt, Animal Services outreach and events specialist, as Daisy dashed across the play area in hot pursuit of a tennis ball. She quickly brought it back, and just as quickly, found a nearby bone to be more intriguing as she plopped down to give it a chew.
She’s not the type to sit still for long, though, as she happily greeted everyone who stopped by to watch her play and resumed chasing tennis balls.
Daisy is coming out of a week-long quarantine after being rescued last week by Waste Management employees who found her inside the dumpster before it was emptied into their truck. By all indications, Daisy was put into the dumpster while still inside her crate,but fortunately for her and the dog-loving world, it came open so she could get out and show herself to the workers.
Dozens have commented on social media or sent emails to Animal Services inquiring about adoption, but Wohlgefahrt said only in-person applications will be taken seriously. About seven people have applied, but it’s not too late to get in the running.
“We hold onto them for five days regardless of how they come in,” Wohlgefahrt said. “We often don’t know the scenario of their story and we wanted to see if Daisy’s owner would come forward, but nobody did.”
After the quarantine period ends, the animals become the property of the county. At that time, the animals are scheduled to be spayed or neutered, given all the shots they need, micro-chipped and essentially prepared for adoption. Staff is paying extra attention to Daisy’s potential new owner.
“We take the adoption process seriously with each dog and potential new owner,” Wohlgefahrt said. “But in Daisy’s case we have a few restrictions because we want to make sure she goes to a good home because she’s been through enough and want to find an appropriate match.”
It will take someone who has the time and energy to match Daisy’s high-energy personality.
“She never stops moving for long,” Wohlgefahrt said. “She will be a great match for someone that can exercise her enough and she’s a puppy, so she’ll need training.”
In the meantime, Daisy is becoming an ambassador for Animal Services, which hopes to see a lot of people come to see Daisy before she’s adopted and perhaps go home with another dog that is a good match for them.
“The truth is that Daisy just happened to capture everyone’s attention this time,” Wohlgefahrt said. “We have a general idea of what happened to her, which isn’t often the case. Our officers are on the streets every day getting these animals out of bad situations and we get in a lot of strays where we don’t know their stories but probably have a similar one to Daisy’s.”
Animal Services routinely posts photos of incoming strays in hopes the animal is missing and can be reunited with their families, “But in some cases they aren’t missing, they just aren’t wanted anymore and that’s heartbreaking to any animal lover.”
A dedicated staff and a small army of volunteers work daily with the dogs, of which there is currently about 100 waiting to be adopted. It’s not just important to keep the dogs physically and mentally healthy, but it’s also a vital part of the adoption process.
“They don’t come here with any notes,” Wohlgefahrt said. “We pick them up and then get to know them and learn how they interact with people and other animals. We learn their personalities. Some older dogs like to be couch potatoes and then there is Daisy. Like wow, someone’s going to need a lot of energy.”
Animal Services works hard to make the right match to ensure the adoption sticks long term.
As to the June 11 discovery of Daisy in the dumpster, it is a crime to abandon an animal, and Daisy was lucky to survive the manner in which she was left.
“It’s very serious,” Wohlgefahrt said. “It could have led to an awful death.”
Wohlgefahrt said people have other options and Animal Services is there to help. There process has frustrated some on social media from time to time, but Wohlgefahrt said it isn’t about the people, it’s about the animals.
“I think a lot of people still don’t understand that we are the only open admission in the county so that means we are full all the time,” he said. “We make an appointment a month out for people to surrender their animals, unless we have room, but that’s hardly the case. In that time, we offer other options and provide re-home information.”
Wohlgefahrt said some want to surrender for financial reasons, but Animal Services has a food pantry for pets and can connect people to low-cost medial services. Sometimes’ it’s just a case of a sudden move and maybe the new place doesn’t allow animals.
“It’s a reality for people that they have to face,” he said. “We are aware of that, but we have limited space and means as well, so it’s a bit of a balancing act, but if we can find a way not to give up, we want to help them find a solution. After that one month, we’ll accept the animal.”
The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday said there were no updates to release as they continue to investigate what happened to Daisy, and why. Anyone with information can call 941-747-3011.