Happy Feral Cat Day, Oct. 16. Sorry you missed it.
I believe that most Manatee County residents who are aware would agree that we have an Animal Services department that is out of control. The focus on effective animal control that we, the citizens pay for, went out the window when some county commissioners launched their desire for Manatee County to be a "no kill" county.
Since then, Animal Services and their animal rescue partners have been on a crusade to stop killing unwanted pets. And our unwanted pet problem has grown!
Bill Hutchinson, our new animal control director, says he is understaffed and under-budgeted. Could this be the result of not having an effective pet licensing system that has caused them to lose out on tens of thousands of dollars every year? Very easy to check out.
The USA, with 70 million stray cats and dogs, has an epidemic in pet control that is not being addressed with backbone! Pet owners have created this costly overpopulation problem; therefore, greater financial and regulatory responsibilities must be imposed by our elected officials.
At the top of the list of effective animal control has to be mandatory spay/neutering. This action alone would solve most of the pet overpopulation and make any "no kill" objective much easier to achieve legitimately. The USA has 35 million unowned cats and only 2 percent are sterilized! There would be no need for Animal Services to mislead the public with bogus "no kill" figures if mandatory spay/neutering was the law. "No kill" could be a reality.
Pet adoptions are not a good solution as 70 percent of pet owners end up giving them away, abandoning them, or taking them to shelters. We are chasing our tail. Our commissioners have taken us down a dead end road!
Source: Current National Humane Society figures.