Suncoast dogs may face death unless adopted

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MANATEE COUNTY, FLA. - Capacity issues at Manatee County Animal Services has the group making decisions that go against their no kill goal.

"Many residents who drive down Manatee Avenue think the county is no kill but in fact that is not correct," said Debbie Woosley. 

Woosley organized the a facebook page to help get animals in Manatee County Animal Shelter adopted.  But she says the county is misleading the public to think they're no longer putting animals down.

"The public should be aware that they can't just take their pet to the animal shelter and expect a home will be found.  They are not no kill yet," added Woosley. 

Woosley says she even has a list of their next victims.  "We were giving a list of 62 animals that we received on Wednesday and we have been told that any of those animals that are not adopted by next Friday the July 12, that those animals will be euthanized."

And Woosley is correct.  Manatee County Animal Services is not "no kill" but the organization say there is confusion about the list of animals they have sent out.

"People think its some sort of kill list or a euthanasia list that's not the case.  Its simple a marketing tool to be able to communicate better between the shelter and community the dogs that are of highest priority, said Ron Koper the director of Public Safety in Manatee county.

Koper says some animals on the list could be killed.  But stressed the county made a commitment to becoming no kill.  Something he admits has been a difficult journey.   "We are not no kill shelter. The concept of being no kill and becoming a no kill community will always be a work in process because you need to sustain that movement. We continue to take in at lease 10 to 15 dogs per day and if we're not sending 10 to 15 dogs out very quickly the shelter becomes over loaded."

And that movement of animals coming in and going out, is one officials say required the help of the community.

"I want the  public to be engaged in the problem with us and be a part of the solution. How they can help is if they are willing and able to adopt, come in and adopt our animals," said Koper.

In May the shelter took in 242 dogs about half were adopted or returned to their owners. 40 were transferred to other shelters and 35 were euthanized because of capacity issues.

To find out more about adoption, go to: Division of Animal Services