As government officials make efforts to bring up to date antiquated infrastructure to accommodate the growing population of Manatee County, the county’s animal shelter has been left behind.
Built in the 1940s and renovated in the 1980s, the shelter “is at capacity,” said Cheri Coryea, Manatee County administrator. “As our community has now reached a population of over 400,000 people and growing, it is time for us to meet current demand and plan far into the future for caring for unwanted pets.”
The Manatee Community Foundation intends to help with that planning by launching a donation drive and the foundation will match the first $100,000 raised.
“Embarking on this public-private partnership is a unique opportunity with the help of Manatee Community Foundation and the Animal Network and it allows for the community to help us plan and bring the new facility to fruition,” Coryea said.
Animal Network Inc., a local and all-volunteer animal welfare organization, has agreed to spearhead the campaign in hopes to raise $2 million. Also, Manatee County is dedicating $8 million toward the new shelter’s eventual construction.
“This shelter is desperately needed to meet the demand that our community faces in taking care of homeless and abandoned pets until they can find their forever homes,” said Susie Bowie, Manatee Community Foundation’s executive director.
“The leadership of Manatee government in committing $8 million for the new shelter demonstrates an understanding of how important humane treatment of animals is to our residents.”
Bowie said now is the time for philanthropy to do its part to make a long-time community need become reality.
“Research shows that when forward-thinking communities invest in animals, they have a competitive advantage in attracting new residents and engaging the many people who believe that a healthy place to live includes care for pets,” said Pam Freni, board president of Animal Network.
To learn more about the project or make a tax-deductible gift, visit sheltermanatee.com or contact Freni at firstname.lastname@example.org.