Manatee County waives adoption fees as pets overwhelm area shelters

Adoption fees have been waived this weekend as Manatee County Animal Welfare partners with Best Friends Animal Society to get pets into homes.

"Really, there are so many pets here. There is a special pet here for everybody," said Hans Wohlgefahrt the Outreach and Event Specialist for Manatee County Animal Welfare.

Manatee County Animal Welfare hopes one of the faces in its kennels, catches someone's heart.

"Every kennel that we have here is being utilized and our shelters are in the same position. That’s why it’s important for people to come on out and help us during this time," explained Wohlgefahrt.

With 360 pets in shelters and 175 in foster homes, new homes are needed for dogs and cats.

A dog waiting to be adopted stares out from a chain-link fence.

Manatee County is waiving adoption fees to ease overcrowding at the shelter. 

During the last few months, the shelter has seen its numbers increase drastically.

"We love these animals. They are not going anywhere, but our hope is for all of them to find a home. Sometimes it takes a little bit longer than other times, but we are patient and resilient. That’s what we do for these pets. They deserve it," he said.

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Wohlgefahrt said on some days, 50 pets come through their doors and there are a few reasons why.

A dog waiting on his forever home at a Manatee County animal shelter. 

According to Wohlgefahrt, the summer season, combined with kitten season, also increases the numbers. 

Plus, the financial burden to so many who are struggling to make ends meet and sometimes pet owners have to choose between paying bills or pet care.

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"We really need our community to come out and help us during this time. If people can’t adopt, we can certainly help with fostering and we will go through all those options. It’s an easy process," he stated.

Adoption fees for all pets are waived. Adopters will receive a complimentary gift bag for their new pet (while supplies last), plus an entry to win a special prize basket, courtesy of the Friends of Manatee County Animal Welfare. Adoptions include spay/neuter, microchip and rabies certificate.

A kitten in need of adoption waits in a Manatee County shelter.

A kitten in need of adoption waits in a Manatee County shelter. 

The adoption event runs from Friday, September 16, through Sunday, September 18, at all Manatee County Animal Welfare (MCAW) locations. 

The Palmetto Adoption Center (located at 305 25th Street West in Palmetto) and Bishop Animal Shelter (at 5718 21st Ave. W in Bradenton) are open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. on Sunday. 

The Cat Town Adoption Center (located at 216 6th Ave. E in Bradenton) will be open 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday but will be closed on Sunday.