Manatee County Animal Services overwhelmed after latest animal investigation

Manatee County Animal Services Chief Sarah Brown and her staff have their hands full with a four-legged problem after the latest animal investigation being conducted by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

The nature of the investigation is being kept quiet at this time as the local state attorney’s office builds a case, according to Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore.

“I can completely understand them not wanting to give out any information at this time,” Whitmore said Friday. “We don’t want to mess up an investigation and want to get to the bottom of whatever is happening. In the meantime, we are needing our community to get the existing adoptable dogs out of there and for volunteers to step up to help the staff.”

Brown said the facility is designed for 80 animals and there are currently 187. Whitmore said Animal Services is using conference rooms for temporary shelters and having to double up kennels to make room. While there isn’t an exact number of dogs involved in the case, Whitmore said from what she saw, “It’s about 40.”

Brown said, “All I can tell you at this time is we are assisting in the case. The dogs came in in varying conditions. Any time we can work with law enforcement, it’s great, but right now we really need help from our community.”

Brown said the veterinarian is currently evaluating the health of each dog and it may be a few more days before any further information can be released.

In the meantime, she encourages the community to come to Animal Services at 305 25th Street West to find the existing dogs “forever homes. It’s a great time because we are currently having a 50-percent off sale on all dogs and cats, which includes heart worm treatments and identification chips.”

Brown said there is simply no more kennel space at the shelter.

“We are really striving hard for a no-kill status,” she said. “The best way to make that happen is to get the community out here and either adopt or foster, which is a program we are really trying to strengthen. We have a great team here and we are doing what we can.”