Transparency in Animal Shelter Act driving adoptions

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MANATEE COUNTY - If you know when an animal is going to be put down, would that make you more likely to adopt?  Well, that's the hope of a new legislation voted on by lawmakers this week.

"Our cage space is full and we're just trying to make room for more animals coming," said Tammy Bentley from Manatee County Animal Service.

The packed cages has pushed Manatee County Animal Service to wave its adoption fees through Saturday.  Because officials say if they can't find homes for the animals they're currently housing they will be forced to put them down.

"If these animals aren't adopted we can not continue holding on to them forever," said Bentley.

But luckily, the efforts seem to be working.

"Our dog died a few years ago and we'd love to another one, but definitely the free adoption was a lure," said Sandra Ashbrook.

But the Spring Fling adoption event is just the beginning of Manatee County's effort to become a no kill shelter.  The animals are also being publicized on their website.

"It's important because when put the animals on line you can see the date they came into the facility and you can see the date what we call their review date, and that's the date that by law we have to hold them. "

On that review date the fate of the animal is determined and Manatee County officials hope getting that information out to the public will help increase their adoption rate.

"That gives them the time frame and the mind set of how long these animals have been here and how long they may have to go."

The shelter is one of few to publish that information but state lawmakers passed the Transparency in Animal Shelter Act which would require all shelters in the state to post the date the animals entered and when they are expected to go.

"When they start doing it they'll see that their numbers of live release rate are going to increase, their save rates are going to increase because they're going to have that awareness out in the public."

If the law continues on its current path it would go into effect on July 1st.