Community advocates for a true No Kill shelter have vowed to take the fight to stop the killing in the Manatee County Animal Shelter to the next level, and the past few days have produced events that show their resistance to be halted in their efforts to have a true No Kill shelter. Readers who follow this story are aware that the Manatee County Animal Shelter in the Bradenton area community located a few miles from Sarasota allegedly began a movement toward a No Kill policy back in 2011, but with the tragedy of the killing of the two dogs Buck and Bill belonging to Karen Erskine last year, were finally discovered to be in violation of most of the protocol advocated by the No Kill Coalition, founded by Nathan Winograd in California. Community advocates for a true No Kill shelter began to dig a little deeper into the practices of the Manatee County Animal Shelter, and the fight began in earnest to stop the killing.
Several events this week have brought the fight to the next level. A peaceful protest rally was held on Tuesday, July 29, with a good crowd of participants. The rally brought the issue of the fact that the shelter uses a cruel practice known as a “heartstick” to euthanize healthy animals to the forefront of the fight to stop the killing. The rally was held outside the BOCC building where the county government holds meetings.
A county commissioner’s meeting held this week fueled the community’s anger when several community members were halted while speaking in an attempt to voice their opinions concerning the treatment of animals at the animal control shelter. A key community advocate for the animals, Nathan Levinson, posted on the Support No Kill Manatee County FaceBook page that he would like to take this issue of freedom of speech to federal court.
Social media is being used to keep the community members in the loop as to what is taking place as a continued effort to demand change for the animal control shelter. Support No Kill Manatee County is run by volunteers that advocate a true No Kill policy. The page has incurred the wrath of the shelter and a comment was posted on the Facebook page that is managed by Manatee County Animal shelter that people who post comments on the Support No Kill Manatee County only strive to create drama. The shelter has now allegedly decided to send its “Kill List” to another volunteer organization that also manages a Facebook page. Volunteers from both groups will continue their excellent work in saving animals from needless euthanasia. A post on the Facebook page managed by Support No Kill Manatee County reminded the shelter that they are misusing the practice when they kill animals for space. The practice of euthanasia is only to be used for terminally ill animals who are in pain due to a terminal illness, or for an animal that has been so severely injured that it is impossible to save its life. Volunteers and community members will continue to post positive comments that advocate true No Kill policies to the Support No Kill Manatee County Facebook page. If the shelter considers these comments to be “drama”, then the drama will definitely continue.
Communities all over the country are in the fight for demanding true No Kill policies for their animal control shelters, and the citizens of Manatee County are in the fight to stay. The animals will ultimately be the winners. Volunteers will not be silent and will continue their highly successful work of saving the lives of the animals by networking for homes for the animals that are in this high-kill shelter. Elections will be held in Manatee County in November to elect new commissioners and county officials that are true supporters of the No Kill Movement.
Stay tuned for what the shelter workers consider to be “drama” from the No Kill advocates in Manatee County, Florida.