Adopt A Palooza Thank YOu

The 3rd Annual Adopt A Palooza, the largest one day adoption and pet expo event in Manatee County, is over and  54 (20 dogs and 34 cats) animals from Manatee County Animal Services found their forever homes! 

Finding homes for shelter pets is not easy! Overpopulation in shelters is an ongoing and seemingly endless problem. Yesterday, instead of spending one more night in a shelter they are no doubt cuddling up on the couch or bed with their new family. Congratulations to the adopters who added a new member to their family!  We wish you many years of happy tails and sloppy kisses.

This makes all the hard work of fundraising, endless hours of planning and pulling all the event elements together worth it. This is why people in animal rescue do what they do – to find a home for a shelter pet, one animal at a time. Results like today are also due to people who chose to adopt rather than shop for a pet. 

The Bradenton Area Convention Center was full of great vendors and local rescue groups. There were raffles, silent auctions, Big Mutt trucks, food, music and K9 demonstrations. Adopt A Palooza is a community event bringing together the county shelter with other shelters, area rescues, local businesses and pet related vendors. Adopt A Palooza shows what can be accomplished when a community works together.  

A large scale event like this takes support from amazing committed volunteers, sponsors, individuals and media and MCAS staff. We are lucky to have all of those entities come together and share a common desire and passion to help the animals. 

The Proceeds from today's event will go directly to support the needs of the Manatee County Animal Services shelter animals through the nonprofit 501c3, Friends of Manatee County Animal Services.  

We want to thank everyone who made this year’s Adopt A Palooza a success! 

Kittens in Need

cat3.jpg

We may be very tiny,
We may be very small,
But when it comes to messes,
We can beat them all.

Our days are made of play,
At the shelter where we stay,
Whiling away each hour,
With not a single care.

We put our feet high,
And we put our feet low
Into the food dish,
They often go!

No matter how hard we try,
We simply sit and cry.
A gooey sticky mess are we,
And just wait until we pee.

Our loving shelter mothers
Simply can not keep us clean.
They wash and wash our towels each day,
With a sad old machine.

It doesn’t wash enough at all,
Because it’s very old,
And without our towels and blankets clean,
We could be very cold.

Sad to say,
The thing we need,
Is a brand new washer
To keep us clean.

Please vote for us everyone,
Give us help today we ask.
Our shelter needs you the most.
The old machine is giving up the ghost.

Manatee County Holds 3rd Annual Large Scale Adoption Event

Manatee County Holds 3rd Annual Large Scale Adoption Event

Adopt-A-Palooza – Manatee County’s Largest One Day Adoption and Pet Expo

Co-hosted by Friends of Manatee County Animal Services and MCAS

Manatee County, Fla., (June 20,  2017) The 3rd Annual Adopt-A-Palooza will be held, Saturday, August 5th at the Bradenton Area Convention Center, 1 Haben Boulevard in Palmetto.
Hours are 11:00 am-4:00 pm.

Adopt-A-Palooza is the largest one day adoption and expo-style event in Manatee County and will feature over 100 adoptable puppies, dogs, cats and kittens from Manatee County Animal Services, local shelters and animal rescues - all under one roof. 

The family friendly event will include retail vendors selling a variety of pet products and information tables with special pricing on services such as spay and neuter, chipping, vet services and more. Animal Services Division Chief Sarah Brown states, “We are very excited about the evolution of this event, now in its third year. With Friends of Manatee County Animal Services as a collaborator, we are hoping to engage even larger audiences about responsible pet ownership and the joys of adopting a shelter pet. This event is a fun example of the great things that can happen when communities collaborate to help the homeless animals in Manatee County and surrounding areas.”

FELD Monster Truck “Monster Mutt” and favorite FELD characters will be on hand as well as a demonstration by the Peace River Search and Rescue K9 team. Food and beverages, raffles and silent auction items will be part of the event. Attendees are asked to bring cat and dog toys as donations.

The proceeds from the event will benefit Friends of Manatee County Animal Services. Friends of Manatee County Animal Services is the newly formed 501 c3 nonprofit that serves as a fundraising arm whose mission it is to work hand in hand with Manatee County Animal Services to enrich the lives of the shelter animals by raising funds to provide additional resources, medical care and heart worm treatment. The funds raised by FoMCAS go directly to help the shelter animals and to help with initiatives at the shelter such as dog beds, turf for the play yards and crates.

FoMCAS board president, Rebecca St. Jean, states, “We are excited to be co-hosting Adopt-A-Palooza this year. If you are looking to adopt or foster, we know you will find the right pet. And even if people are not looking to adopt we hope they will come out to help us help the animals of our county.”

Admission and parking are FREE. All pets will be spayed or neutered, vaccinated and micro-chipped. Manatee County pet license tags will be for sale. 

For information about Manatee County Animal Services, please contact Hans Wohlgefahrt at hans.wohlgefahrt@mymanatee.org or 941-742-5933 ext. 8307 or visit www.mymanatee.org/pets.

For information on sponsoring the event or donating a raffle or auction item or for additional information please contact Caryn Hodge at carynhodge@yahoo.com or 941-713-3105 or visit www.fomcas.org.

Kassandra's Eye on MCAS

I had the pleasure of volunteering with Brian the other day at Manatee County Animal Services.  Like any other day, we took dogs out, group walked, gave lots of love to many of the shelter dogs.  But this time I took a moment and watched him with one dog named Soran and it made me smile.  It reminded me of a quote “ when you give of yourself, you find yourself.”  He was full of love in what he was doing because it wasn’t about him, it was about the dogs.  And there are many volunteers just like him…

 

When people hear I volunteer at an animal shelter, its pretty standard for the response to be, “ Oh, thats amazing that you do that, but I could never.”  Asking why?  They usually respond with the following:

“ Its just so sad, I would be depressed all the time”

                                 OR

“ I’d want to take them all home with me”

 

Just to let you know, I’ve never known a depressed animal shelter volunteer.  The feelings you get when you volunteer are just amazing and joyful, nit near depressing.  It is true that, eventually, most volunteers do end up adopting some special dog or cat ( maybe several ?!!) , but that’s a happy event, not sad!

 

So you want to know what is so great about Volunteering?  You are instrumental in bringing joy, love and a sense of trust to every animal you play with, walk with and cuddle with, and most important you receive love and joy back from each one of them.  I know lots of shelter volunteers that come in on 

“ unscheduled” days because they want their spirits lifted or they know they will feel better after spending an hour or two with the dogs or cats.  I know I do!

 

Volunteers are also dedicated to continually help exercise, socialize and spend time with the dogs.  It is very rewarding when you seen extremely shy dog “ come around” and begin to greet people, take treats and pay with trust and joy.  As a volunteer, you really make a difference everyday in these animals lives.

 

What is TRULY the best?  It is when you happen to be at the shelter the same day you “favorite” dog or cat is adopted, walked out by their new owners and driven off to their FURR ever homes.  Finnigan was one of those dogs.  He was a volunteer favorite and quite the perfect dog!  He loved all people, dogs and lots of hugs and kisses.  The minute he saw you he wiggled his whole body!  However, he was afraid of thunderstorms and most people do not understand that fear and what to do.  Until one day, a wonderful family came in looking for a dog.  They met Finn and fell in LOVE with him instantly. They also understood Finns anxiety , what to do and said they would LOVE him and help him through it because he is now a member of their family.  Seeing, hearing and knowing that Finn is in his forever home filled with love, we couldn’t ask for anything more!!!

 

These are just SOME of the many reasons to volunteer at Manatee County Animal Services!  Pay it forward - Become a volunteer and see how much goodness, love and joy you can bring to an animal in need…

 

Thank you and see you at MCAS!

Oh My Dog

Timothy ( A082106 )

Timothy is a very gentle and friendly boy. Everyone adores him. He loves attention and will love you even more if you give him belly rubs.  He is a playgroup rockstar and gets along with other dogs. 

Currently Available for Adoption at Manatee County Animal Services (305 25th St W, Palmetto, FL 34221) (941) 742-5933

Provided by: Picture Them Adopted

Oh My Dog

Ariel ( A080350)

Ariel is a delightful little sprite!  She is a little shy when you first meet her, but when you spend a little time with her, she is the sweetest little girl. She loves to play! She has been waiting for her forever family ever so patiently!  So come meet beautiful Ariel.

Currently Available for Adoption at Manatee County Animal Services (305 25th St W, Palmetto, FL 34221) (941) 742-5933

Provided by: Picture Them Adopted

Pam's Scratching Post

Cat Adoptions From the Manatee County Animal Services Downtown Satellite Adoption Center

Each year, hundreds of cats are relinquished, found, or somehow end up at the Manatee County Animal Services (MCAS) door. This creates an immediate need for homes for these beautiful felines. They seem to come in all ages and colors—black, black and white, all white, orange, tabby-- a never-ending combination of colors, sizes, and shapes. They are all beautiful and want a family they can love. This year is starting out with a bang. Last year’s total adoption from Downtown was (unofficially) 214 and in January and February combined, there were 19 cats adopted. This year, in that same combination of months, there have been forty cats adopted. This is double the number of last year!!

 

This early-2017 tally is worthy of celebration, but there is always the knowledge in the backs of our minds, that this adoption rate could slow to a trickle as the year wears on. And of course, soon kitten season will be upon us, that time of year during which most kittens are born. Many of these babies are surprises to the owners, so they wind up in the MCAS shelter, stretching the shelter’s capacity to manage so many cats. Adopting families are always needed to help our shelter move its inhabitants into loving homes, but ensuring that these litters do not happen is even more important. Guaranteeing that everyone’s companion cats are spayed or neutered and that they stay inside their homes is a very important. This ensures that unwanted litters of kittens do not happen and that each family pet remains healthy.

If you are considering adopting a cat or kitten, always consider the responsibility this entails. Responsible feeding and watering is a must. Indoor or screened-in habitats are also better for pets. Regular vet checkups and appropriate vaccinations are also a must. Safe environments are critical--poisonous plants should be removed from a cat’s reach; plastic bags should be disposed of immediately; and falling, and tangling dangers should be removed for kittens.

All cats or kittens available for adoption from the shelter have been fixed, given a rabies shot, and are chipped. If you think you are ready to adopt one of the beautiful MCAS cats or kittens, please visit Downtown, located at 1002 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, Florida 34205. They can be contacted at 941-742-5824. 

 Unofficial cat adoption rates from MCAS Downtown through February 27, 2017. 

Unofficial cat adoption rates from MCAS Downtown through February 27, 2017. 

Oh My Dog

Barney (A081718)

This wonderful guy is ABSOLUTELY striking!  He is super mellow, smaller in size and a little shy when you first meet him but he warms up quickly. A lover boy, who will climb into your lap and give you love and kisses. 

Currently Available for Adoption at Manatee County Animal Services (305 25th St W, Palmetto, FL 34221) (941) 742-5933

Provided by: Picture Them Adopted

Pam's Scratching Post

Want to Try Fostering From Meowtown?

Fostering cats from Manatee County Animal Services (MCAS) is something that is desperately needed year round. Fostering consists of taking responsibility for a cat or kittens by giving them temporary shelter in your home and ensuring they are safe and well until time to be returned to the shelter. If a cat is frightened by the daily noise of the shelter they may not show well for adoption. If they are too small to be adopted or are in danger of becoming ill while in the shelter, getting them into a quiet, safe home could literally save their lives. In my case, when I heard that there was a young mother cat and six tiny kittens at the shelter that needed fostering, I knew I had a job for the next two months.

Fostering takes time out of your day, requiring you to interact with your new charges ensuring that their quality of life is enhanced while also protecting htem. As I prepared the space in my home for the seven new cats, I began to worry about their safety. Protection is required if you are introducing your foster pet to your full time pets. Enough time must be allowed for introductions and refereeing any disagreements. Protection for kittens consists of a more helicopter parent approach.

Being a good foster parent for kittens requires that you crawl around on your hands and knees, taking a kitten-eye view of the fostering environment before you place them into it. How many areas of the bedroom, bathroom, or entire house could endanger a kitten’s life? While doing a quick bathroom review, you should notice that an open toilet is a drowning hazard. Shower curtains can be climbed, but what happens when a kitten reaches the top? They jump and that can be up to a six-foot fall! The TV room is so cozy, that every kitten will want to join you, but what about the foot rest mechanism on a recliner? If the kitten is dozing in the foot well and you rock the chair downward, it could cause serious injury or death. Window blind cords can be a deadly tangle for a kitten, the more they struggle to get out of the cord, the closer they come to strangling themselves. I worried about all of these dangers and more.

Despite all of my worries, fostering Mama Bear and the six kittens was a total delight. I knew that I was socializing them so they would be more adoptable. If cats and kittens are afraid of humans, they are not likely to show well when presented for adoption. If fostered, they can be socialized carefully so they relate well to humans. It is just another way to ensure more adoptions occur from Meowtown, MCAS’s premier cat adoption location.  

Mama Bear oversaw my efforts as I played with the six babies each day. When they were old enough, we played the towel game, where I pulled a towel across the floor and all of them piled on and rode the towel as though it were a magic carpet. When I turned the corner, each of them would roll off, seeming to delight in the new game. Then, they would jump up and bound after the towel again, riding until the next turn. It was a delightful two months during which I had many laughs at their antics. Please consider fostering from Meowtown.

Meowtown is located at 1002 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, Florida 34205.

They can be contacted at 941-742-5824. And like them on https://www.facebook.com/downtownmeowtown/.

Presidents Perspective

“Until one has loved an animal, part of one’s soul remains unawakened” Anatole France

This is one of my favorite quotes because it’s so true for me. My animals enrich my life and bring joy and laughter to my world. When I meet people who can’t have a pet for whatever reason, I tell them there are still dozens of ways they can still help animals in need. A few simple ideas are volunteer your time at the local shelter and wash bowls or walk the dogs. You can collect food, toys and old towels or host a yard sale and donate the profits to animals in need. Or when you pick up food for your pet, grab an extra bag and take it to the shelter.

There will always be needs in our community and your donation may help someone be able to keep their pet if the budget gets tight. There are also many local animal-related fundraisers where your attendance and participation will help local rescues and you can often bring your pet so they can have fun too! Every dollar raised can go to help an animal in need. And if you are not ready for full-time pet ownership, pet fostering is always an option where you save the life of the animal while the rescue tries to find them a good home. As a community, there are many ways to help the animals in our shelter and one of the most important ways is to spread the word about the importance of spaying and neutering.

Please follow us on Facebook to learn of our upcoming events and thank you again for your continued support! We look forward to meeting you!

Rebecca St.Jean, President, FoMCAS

Kassandra's Eye on MCAS

Belle's Story...A Personal Journey through Heartworm... 

I will never forget the day I met her, I was driving home from work and it was pouring rain, pitch black and I could barely see the road.  Out of the corner of my eye, I thought a saw a shadow; I drove past it, but something in my heart told me to turn around.  I didn’t see anything at first, then I saw her, she was walking on the side of the road in the rain.  I always have a leash and treats in the car for times like this, so I got out of the car and whistled.  She came right to me and jumped right into my car, almost as if she had been waiting for me to come pick her up. I called my husband and boys and told them I am bringing home a dog I found.  They said another one?, I told them this one is different.  

When we got home I was amazed at how she looked.  She was very thin, scars on her body, half of her hair and teeth were gone and she was having a hard time breathing and was coughing A LOT.  But she was happy and warm and smiling through all her matted mess, as if saying, thank you for saving me.  I made an appointment for the vet the next day so we could have her checked out from head to paws. That night I slept on the floor right beside her to make sure she felt safe, loved and happy. Looking at her that night, I knew she would be part of our family.

The next day was our trip to the vet, she jumped right in, loving to ride in the car as she stuck her face out the window to catch smells in the wind.  We got there and everybody was amazed at her appearance.  She didn’t seem to care, she strolled around like she was a show dog, all smiles!   We were in the room and Dr A came in and asked "Who do we have here?”  I said her name is Belle, meaning beautiful. =))  I told him the story about how I found her and he ran a series of tests.  Most were what I expected, anemic, parasites, hair loss, needs a lot of TLC.  I was not expecting what he told me next, my sweet Belle was Heartworm positive stage 4.  Her heart was enlarged due to the Heartworms and she had to go on antibiotics immediately and begin treatment ASAP.  I left that day scheduling an appointment for Heartworm injections in a few weeks. My heart hurt for my sweet girl.

We began the treatments which lasted over a course of 4 to 5 months.  The first one was the hardest, at least for me, I know it was painful for her, but she was stronger than I could ever be. The first month she slept a lot, didn't really eat and just took slow walks around the block.  Whenever we would go to the vet , she would jump right into the car as if to say “ Hey, Lets go!, I want to get better! “.  She took the treatments with a smile on her face the entire time.  As the months passed, I noticed quite a difference in my sweet Belle, her hair started to grow back,  she gained weight,  she LOVED food , she had more energy and most of all she looked healthy. Toward the end of the 5 months , we had our last Heartworm check up and it revealed that she was Heartworm Negative. Oh what JOY!

After the treatment , Belle became my partner in crime.  She was my Demo dog for dog training classes, she was a Nose Work champion and a therapy dog for autistic and special needs children; but most of all she was my best friend and my sweet Belle.  Heartworms did not limit her, she overcame them ( with my help =) and became the dog she was meant to be.  I will be forever thankful I found her that day for she was always by my side through good times and bad.  I was there for her when she passed of old age, living an amazing Heartworm free life helping people, touching lives and being my sweet Belle.                                                                                                       

 

There are multiple dogs at Manatee County Animal Services with Heartworm that are waiting to find loving homes and to start their lives like Belle. They are all such amazing dogs, with great personalities and so much love to give.  They deserve a chance at an amazing life, a chance to be the dog they were meant to be!  Come to MCAS and meet one of the dogs today and if you decide to adopt, Friends of Manatee County Animal Services is able to help with the cost of the Heartworm treatment. If you can’t adopt, think about fostering or donating to FoMCAS Heartworm fund to help the Heartworm positive dogs in need.

 Thank you and See you at MCAS!

Thank you Manatee County

Dear Manatee County,

Friends of Manatee County Animal Services is proud to report that we raised more than twice our goal during Animal Network, Dawg Phonics & Motorworks Brewing’s Monthly Yappy Hour in Bradenton on Sunday, January 15th.  We could not have had this outstanding level of success without the dedication and commitment of the volunteers, the employees at MCAS and the newly formed volunteer board for the Friends of Manatee County Animal Services, 501C3.  A special thank you goes out to the owners of Motorworks, Denise and Frank Tschida along with the many supportive restaurants, retail shops and businesses who donated to make this fundraiser a huge success.  THANK YOU for the strong community presence at Yappy Hour and supporting this great cause!  These much-needed funds raised at Yappy Hour will go toward treating heartworm positive dogs through FoMCAS "Heal My Heart" program. 

FoMCAS would especially like to thank Sue Kolze, Deb Starr and Deb Matthews of Animal Network for their incredibly generous donation to get our “Heal My Heart” fund off the ground.  We are grateful and humbled by their generosity.  We want to thank Sarah Brown, Chief, Hans Wohlgefahrt and Maddie Ferguson of Animal Services for your support and attendance. Everybody loved and appreciated the 3 well behaved adorable adoptable dogs, Tigger, Tucker and Bobo, MCAS brought for attendees to meet.  The community support being shown is very encouraging and FoMCAS is confident we will continue to make a difference in the lives of the animals at the Shelter.  Please follow us on Facebook or subscribe to our newsletter (www.fomcas.org) to learn about upcoming events and volunteer opportunities. 

Thank you again for staying Pawsitive with us and showing us your support!

Pam's Scratching Post

Meowtown is the remote adoption center for Manatee County Animal Services. Located in downtown Bradenton, Florida, it is right in the center of all the town’s daily action, making it a perfect place for many people to see the charming felines in need of homes. The layout is open and airy, with group play areas in which the cats reside until they are adopted.

They can climb the walls, reaching cozy beds for a nap, or they can play on the carpeted cat trees when the notion strikes them. Frolicking with various donated toys is another favorite past time…especially for the kittens.

Reopened in early 2015 after being refurbished, MeowTown is becoming Manatee County’s premier cat adoption location. According to Manatee County Animal Services (MCAS) Chief, Sarah Brown, “For 2017, MCAS will be focusing most of the cat adoptions at our downtown location.   Additionally, orientation for interested cat volunteers will now be held at our downtown location.” Chief Brown went on to say that there were over 100 adoptions from the Meowtown location in 2016. But there are many cats who still need homes.

One of those cats is Bindi who is now available and would benefit greatly from a forever home. She is blind, but loves being petted after she gets to know you. Her naturally folded ears, make her look like a munchkin, but she is a delightful lady.

Special programs are often sponsored by Meowtown, including the 2015 “Kitten Shower.” Kitten season (usually early spring when litters of kittens are born and relinquished to the shelter) is a time of need for special products to ensure the babies flourish. Local response to this Meowtown Kitten Shower was spectacular.

It takes dozens of local volunteers to support Meowtown’s Manatee County staff and more volunteers are always needed. Each day consists of cleaning, socializing, feeding, along with many other duties. Soon there will be more specialized training for interested volunteers to ensure that the kitties’ quality of life is enhanced. According to Brown, in 2017, “Additional training opportunities will be available for our volunteers, such as behavioral seminars and clicker training for our cats.” This training will continue to give interested volunteers the basis for making each feline more adoptable.

Another very important role that volunteers can fill is that of fostering. Often, it is better for some cats to live away from the shelter for a while, be it for recovery from an injury or illness, or for kittens who need to be away from the daily hustle and bustle in order to thrive. Foster parents are needed to support the feline population.

And, good homes for each cat are always needed. The new year has gotten off to a good start and the staff and volunteers at Meowtown celebrated Ozzie the Cat’s departure when he was the first cat to be adopted from Meowtown.

Meowtown is located at 1002 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, Florida 34205. They can be contacted at 941-742-5824. And like them on https://www.facebook.com/downtownmeowtown/.

Kassandra's Eye on MCAS

Happy 2017! May the New Year bring much happiness and joy.  Whenever I think of New Years, I think of resolutions, new beginnings, fresh starts  and new outlooks.  As humans, we begin the New Year by starting with diets, money management and many other things, that’s usually how it works with us right??

I was walking down the dog kennels the other day and I thought, every one of these dogs and cats at Manatee County Animal Services have no idea that it’s a brand new year and they definitely don’t know or care about resolutions.  What they do care about and are looking for is a new beginning, a  fresh start and a forever home.

One of those dogs is Gilligan, who has had a rough start in life; he was kept in a cage too small for his growing body.  He has a hard time seeing, marks on his face and body, and it shows he did not develop properly.  Through all that suffering, he is one of the most loving, gentle and kindest dogs I have ever met, as well as a volunteer and staff favorite.  Gilligan has simple needs - yummy treats, a warm bed, short walks and lots of love. This boy is still looking for his new beginning and his forever home.

As the New Year begins I leave you with one of my favorite quotes, may it bring you and others a new outlook for the upcoming year…

“ Shelter dogs aren’t broken, they’ve simply experienced more life than other dogs.

If they were human, we would call them wise.  They would be the ones with tales to tell and stories to write, the ones dealt a bad hand who responded with courage. Dont pity a shelter dog. Adopt one. And be proud to have their greatness by your side. “

May the New Year bring many fresh starts, new beginnings and forever homes to the wonderful animals at MCAS and the families throughout communities.

Thank you and see you at MCAS!

Merry Christmas from FoMCAS

During the holiday season we get to spend time with family and friends and reflect on all of our many blessings.  I’m thrilled to report that this year the dogs at the Manatee County Shelter were all blessed with new elevated beds because of 2 very generous donors!  We are so happy they get to sleep on something comfortable versus the concrete.  As well,  the Home for the Holidays promotion was a success with 37 animals placed in new homes!   We are so excited for them and their new families.  Thank you to all of the wonderful volunteers who made this possible!

Friends of Manatee County Animal Services has officially taken over the heartworm treatment for the shelter dogs with a new program called Heal My Heart.  Much of our fundraising will go toward treatment of heartworm positive dogs at the shelter before and after adoption.  This condition is entirely treatable and it’s our goal to also educate dog owners on the importance of treatment and prevention.

Here are FoMCAS we are gearing up for our Yappy Hour at Motorworks on Sunday, January 15, 2015 from 1-4pm.  This will be a great opportunity to meet the board of FoMCAS, bid on many amazing baskets of goodies and meet some wonderful adoptable dogs from the shelter.   Come hang out with your friends and ring in the New Year with this awesome event!   Keep an eye on our Face Book page for our other upcoming fundraisers too!  We look forward to meeting you!

Finding Furever..December

I met “Baby” at the Manatee County Animal Services shelter. I volunteer there several times per week and generally take the same 5 or 6 dogs out to play each time. We had an adoption event and most of the dogs I took care of got adopted so I found some more to play with and Baby was one of them. She walked so quietly on a lead and just tickled me with her oversized gremlin ears. Not only was she beautiful, but she was sweet as well. She seemed timid at first and quite confused as to why she was there, but over the course of several weeks, she started coming out of her shell and I started falling for her. After a month, I knew she had to come home with me and my two big male dogs.

I renamed her Katie. Her first meeting with Brody and JoeBear was easy as they sniffed and checked each other out. She was especially enamored with JoeBear, my blonde 6 year old Shepador (another rescue, half white Shepherd and half yellow lab). He really liked her too and they became fast friends. Brody (my tuxedo Catahoula Hound mix) is 8 years old and not prone to play so he sleeps with her but shies away from playtime. By that evening she had climbed up on the couch with her head in my lap and fell fast asleep, something she continues to do with regularity.

She now loves to play with JoeBear and easily knocks his 80 pound frame over even though she’s 30 pounds lighter than him. The three of them cuddle together on the sofa at night and they eat side by side with no problems. Katie sleeps in my bed with me cuddled up as close as she can to my chest. She rides in the back seat of the car with her brothers and enjoys it tremendously. Her true personality has come out and she is inquisitive, funny, playful and loving. I love it when she cocks her head to try to figure out something I am trying to teach her. She has also gotten somewhat protective and recently barked for five minutes at a 2 foot high stuffed Santa I put out as a decoration. She finally craned her nose close enough to sniff it and discover it wasn’t alive.

She is such a special addition to our little family and is queen of the house. She knows this is her home now and loves being part of a family with two doggy brothers to play with and sleep on. I love her just as much as my boys. She is in her forever home.

FAQ around the dogbowl...

Small buzzing, flying, annoying little insects....yes, I'm talking about Mosquitoes!  To us humans, they are a nuisance.  But to our dogs, they can be DEADLY.  

Here are some frequently asked questions about heart worm and how you can prevent your dog from being infected.

Q. How do dogs get heart worms?

A: Only from the bite of an infected mosquito. There’s no other way dogs get heartworms. And there’s no way to tell if a mosquito is infected. That’s why prevention is so important.

Q: Can people get heartworms from their dogs?

A: It can only be passed on by mosquitoes. It’s a specific parasite that only affects dogs and cats and ferrets and other mammals. In rare cases, heartworms have infected people, but it does not complete its life cycle. The heartworm will migrate to the lung and cause a round lesion that looks like a tumor. But these are very rare cases.

Q: If one of my dogs has heartworms, can he give it to my other dogs?

A: No. Again, the only way heartworms are transmitted is through the bite of an infected mosquito. And even if an uninfected mosquito bit your infected dog, and then bit your uninfected dog the same night, he wouldn’t transmit the parasite from one dog to the other. That’s because when a mosquito bites an infected animal, the heartworm needs to undergo an incubation period in the mosquito before the mosquito can infect other animals.

Q: How can I prevent my dogs from getting heart worms?

A: For less than the cost of going to Starbucks for a weekly coffee, you can prevent heartworm disease in your dog. There are monthly pills, monthly topicals that you put on the skin, and there’s also a six-month injectable product. The damage that’s done to the dog and the cost of the treatment is way more than the cost to prevent heartworm disease. A year’s supply of heartworm preventative will cost about $35 to $80, depending on a dog’s weight.

Q: If my dog gets heartworms, what’s the treatment? How much will it cost?

A: The drug that you treat with is called Immiticide. It’s an injectable, arsenic-based product. The dog is given two or three injections that will kill the adult heartworms in the blood vessels of the heart.

The safest way to treat heartworms includes an extensive pre-treatment workup, including X-rays, blood work, and all the tests needed to establish how serious the infection is. Then the dog is given the injections. With all the prep work, it can run up to $1,000. 

So, do your dog a favor, skip the Starbucks, and give them their monthly prevention.  You just may be saving their life!

Kassandra's eye on MCAS

When I go into volunteer at Manatee County Animal Services, I see many wonderful things going on around me ; a dedicated and caring staff who work so hard for the animals every single day.  I see all the amazing and loyal volunteers, each of them with a heart of gold that they pour into each animal at the shelter ensuring every one feels loved and adored.  I see the community coming out to adopt and open up their homes to these wonderful and deserving souls.  And then, of course, there is the animals…

I usually go and work with the “long term” dogs - the ones who have been at the shelter longer than they should.  All volunteers have their favorites, mine is Priscilla, who is pictured above.  She is a beautiful, sweet, funny American Staffordshire terrior that will love you with her whole heart. THAT being sad,  the first thing I do when I get to the shelter is visit each and every dog, give them a treat and say hello. I see some of the long termers that I usually work with and recognize dogs from the previous weeks.  Then there are always new faces coming through those doors, dogs of all shapes, sizes, colors and breeds, 150 dogs on average.  That's a lot of faces…

The one thing I notice is that these dogs all have something in common.  They are ALL sweet, loving and friendly. They ALL want attention and love.  They ALL love to play, go on walks and be social.  They are ALL waiting patiently for their treats and they ALL love them. They are ALL happy to see me. They are ALL good dogs. AND they are ALL looking for their forever home.  150 dogs at any given day just waiting to be picked by you!

Manatee - This is YOUR shelter. You CAN make a difference.  Come Adopt, Come Foster, Come Volunteer.  If you can’t do that, you can still support the shelter and animals in need through a donation to Friends of Manatee County Animals Services or FoMCAS.  The animals will be FURRever grateful.

Thank you and see you at MCAS!