Sarasota County Animal Services won’t turn away any animals that are dropped off at its facility on Bee Ridge Road. Instead, it either includes the animals in its adoption program or refers or transfers animals to rescue organizations. The animals not transferred are strays, rescue animals that have been treated with cruelty or neglect or are animal-biting cases.
One of Animal Care Supervisor Tami Treadway’s eight dogs is a biting case; she says he is a sweet animal. An abused dog she rescued named Boo was used as a search-and-rescue canine. In fact, most of the seven staff members who work at the facility have rescued animals from the shelter.
“They’re perfectly good cats and dogs,” says volunteer Karen Ankerstar.
Ankerstar, who fosters kittens without mothers, says this is one of the worst years Animal Services has had in terms of overcrowding.
The facility takes in approximately 8,000 dogs and cats each year.
In 2010, there were 1,265 euthanizations of animals at Sarasota County Animal Services. An animal is only euthanized if there is a medical issue or temperament issue; once an animal is admitted into the facility’s adoption program, it typically stays there.
“I took a mini survey among my friends and family, and many people know Animal Services exists, but people don’t know it’s a place to adopt,” she said.
Treadway has seen an increase in animals dropped off and believes it is due to the economy.
“If someone can’t feed themselves or pay their bills, then how are they going to take care of a pet?” she asks.
Animal Services is in need of supplies, volunteers, foster parents and especially someone to coordinate a foster program.
It is always in need of people who would like to adopt a pet, such as Oliver.
Oliver is a poodle puppy who broke his leg, and his previous owners gave him a homemade splint instead of taking him to the vet. The flesh under the splint started to rot, so he had to have his leg amputated. Animal Services took him in, and his surgery, pre- and post-care were all donated.
In 2010, 815 dogs and cats at the facility were adopted, complete with spaying/neutering; rabies shots; testing for heartworm in dogs and feline lukemia/feline AIDS in cats; at least first vaccinations; deworming; heart worm prevention; flea and tick control; and a microchip. The prices for dogs are $70, $60 for a cat, and there will be reduced fees during the “Adoptathon,” which takes place from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29.
IF YOU GO
Sarasota County Animal Services Adoptathon
What: Reduced adoption fees are available during this event sponsored by Sarasota in Defense of Animals.
When: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Where: Sarasota County Animal Services, 8451 Bee Ridge Road
• Cat Depot
5933 N. Washington Blvd.
Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
• Honor Animal Rescue:
8435 Cooper Creek Blvd.
Open Noon to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
• Humane Society Sarasota County
2331 15th St.
Open Noon to 7 p.m. Monday, Thursday and Friday; Noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
4942 S. Tamiami Trail
Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday;10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
• Racing Dog Rescue Project
• Sarasota County Animal Services
8451 Bee Ridge Road
Open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday; Noon to 2 p.m. Sunday