No cost animal adoption in Manatee County

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PALMETTO -- The Manatee County Animal Shelter is so full, that for the last several days they have offered free adoptions for their dogs and cats.

"There's always an urgency here,” said Cece Pritchard, who volunteers at animal services. “There's a lot of strays, a lot of owner surrenders. This is not a place for them to live; they need homes, forever homes."

The Manatee County Animal Services shelter is packed.

"They only have so many kennels, and when there is a big number that comes in, they have to double up, which makes it a lot worse on the dogs."

This week, animal services has offered all dogs and cats, at no cost. It's an effort to free up much-needed space – something that many families are pleased about.

Amber Zane and her kids are taking home a cattle dog named Jill – a name they plan on changing.  "They are very excited, so they are looking forward to getting her home I'm sure,” Zane said.

For Zane and her family, adopting Jilly doesn't just mean taking her home; it means saving her life.  "She is a sweet dog and the goal is to help Manatee County become a no kill shelter."

Anthony Williams and his girlfriend feel the same way. "There's too many dogs in shelters that are being killed, so we wanted to save one," Williams said.

And so they saved Scooby, a year old pitbull/lab mix.

And it's not just canines that need to find their forever home; it's felines as well.

"I need a nice mouser at the house, so I went for an older female,” said one new cat owner. "When they catch (big)rats, yeah, I think they're pretty good."

While many animals have been adopted this past weekend, animal services officials say it's not nearly enough – that as soon as the cages empty, more cages will fill up. As such, they have extended the waved adoption fee through Monday. Animal services' Palmetto location is open Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.