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Manatee County Adopts No-Kill Policy for Animal Control


BRADENTON -- Approving Resolution R-11-127 officially confirms Manatee County as a no-kill community. It is the first county, in the state, and one of a few in the country to adopt the no-kill program. This was something many in the community have been working on for years. Animal control, with the help of volunteer organizations, trap or capture feral cats, have them spayed and then release them back to the neighbor hoods from which they came. Abandoned dogs and cats are kept, quite often in foster facilities, until they are adopted. Eventually, the number of animals without homes is reduced. A more humane way to perform animal control, than putting an expiration date for euthenasia.

There were those that weren't as excited about adopting the ordinance as the commissioners, Humane Society supporters and those from animal network. Mike Picchietti, a county resident, wasn't thrilled. He has been burdened with a nearby kennel that supports up to 75 dogs and was there to complain about the noise. Dennis Panton, president of the Tropic Isle Home Park, didn't want the feral cats that have been caught and spayed, returned to the park. Leonard Krueger said, "Feral cats attack other animals, climb screens and aren't as healthy as indoor cats."

But right behind them were an army of defenders led by Caryn V. Hodge, Lisa Williams and Ruth Uecker. Hodge spoke about the many ways there are to adopt and the wonderful companionship she has experienced, saying, "Had I not adopted, I wouldn't have so much meaning in my life." From the Humane Society, there was Hildy Russell,

Denise Deister and Robecca Neal, president of the Manatee chapter, said that  no-kill communities have proven to save money and would be a great achievement for Manatee County. She very respectfully quoted Mahatma Gandhi saying, "The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way it treats its animals." 

There were more in support of the no-kill ordinance, like Laurie Crawford and Jean Peelen and friends, all with a stack of heartfelt reasons to ween the county of a practice past its time, toward a more humane approach to a complicated reality. 

The commissioners had suggestions to try and help those who felt a no-kill was not the best direction. They reminded them that spaying the feral cats eventually reduces the size of the population, saves the county money and sets a good example for other counties. Commissioner Joe McClash added, "What you have here, is a change of attitude at the county. I'm glad we're finally here. No kill means we make every effort to avoid euthanizing healthy animals."


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